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Nice Kicks: First off, tell me how your signing with Jordan Brand came about.
D.J. Augustin: Well, you know Michael Jordan, at this point, is the co-owner of our team. He owns a certain amount of our team, and when I was in summer league before my rookie season, I was trying to decide which brand I was going to sign with out of Adidas and K1X. At that time, I didn't even know that Jordan wanted to sign me. I played pretty good in the summer league and my agent and I were going back and forth trying to decide who I was going to sign with. One day, my agent called and said Michael Jordan wanted me on the Jordan Brand team. I couldn't pass that up no matter how much money the others were offering.
Nice Kicks: Well, seeing that he personally wanted to sign you, do you have a personal relationship with him?
D.J. Augustin: Yeah, because it is only a certain amount of us that are with Jordan. He doesn't just go out and get a bunch of guys, so it was special for him to pick me. He only picks a select few of players such as Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, me, Kevin Martin, Rip Hamilton to name a few. It's a small group of dudes, so we all have a certain relationship with him and we're all close. He's a cool dude and he's just like one of us.
Nice Kicks: You say he's just like one of the players. Last year, a photo surfaced of Michael Jordan practicing with the team. What do MJ usually wear when practicing with the Charlotte Bobcats?
D.J. Augustin: One time, when he was out there shooting with us, he had on the Air Jordan 11 "Space Jams". Another time, he had on the Air Jordan 3 "Black Cat". One day he had on a pair of Jordan PHLY Legends; you know his nickname is "Black Cat", so he had "Black Cat" imprinted on the side of his PHLY Legends. He wears those a lot. Jordan comes to a lot of our practices but this year he didn't as much. He was talking and joking with us when shooting around sometimes, but this past year he was more serious with us because it was more pressure on us to win.
Nice Kicks: Has Michael Jordan ever hinted at making the entire Charlotte Bobcats roster a Jordan sponsored team? Maybe recruiting some of your other teammates to jolt to Jordan Brand?
D.J. Augustin: No, he never really mentioned that. I don't think he would since a lot of guys are with different shoe companies. For example, Raymond Felton is with Adidas, Raja Bell is with Nike, Boris Diaw is with Nike. We have a lot of guys that are with different companies, so I don't think he would do that since guys are in their contracts.
Nice Kicks: Since your signing, we know Michael Jordan has slid you a couple of classic Jordan sneakers under the table, right?
D.J. Augustin: (Laughs) No, because sometimes I get shoes that don't even come out until two months from now. I have to hide those and keep them away from my homeboys. They'll try to steal them. So, being a part of the brand means I get a lot of exclusive shoes that don't come out until later on; some that never come out at all. That's a real nice perk we have, so it's no need for Jordan to personally give us exclusives.
Nice Kicks: Speaking of exclusives, can we expect a D.J. Augustin Jordan signature shoe in the near future?
D.J. Augustin: I'm hoping man. I mean, when Chris Paul first signed with Jordan Brand, he didn't get anything right away. He's been in the league for like 3 or 4 yrs, just recently signed for like 40 million dollars and now has his own shoe. Also, I think Carmelo just signed for a good amount and now has his own shoe. So, starting out, I know that I have to work hard and prove myself on the court. If i do that, in a couple of years I'll hopefully have my own shoe.
Nice Kicks: Presently, who owns the best Jordan signature shoe: Chris Paul or Carmelo Anthony?
D.J. Augustin: I don't know man. I really do like the Jordan CP3.II. It is really nice. It's something about the Jordan Melo M5 though. I cannot see myself wearing them but they're cool.
Nice Kicks: We followed you, and many other players, consistently through our Kicks On Court daily column this year. We spotted you in the Air Jordan 21, the Jumpman Team Pro, the Jordan Pure Pressure and the Jordan 6 Rings. Which one of the four was your favorite?
D.J. Augustin: I'd have to say the Jordan Pure Pressure because there so light on my feet. I'm a guard and I use my speed a lot, so the Pure Pressure is perfect for me and it feels pretty good. I like the Jordan True Flight as well. I didn't wear them a lot, but they were real light too. I think certain shoes fit certain guys. I feel as if the Jordan 6 Rings are for forwards like my teammate Gerald Wallace. He's with Jordan Brand too, and he likes those 6 Rings a lot. I'm really excited to see what they have for me next year though.
Nice Kicks: By the way, everybody in our office agreed that you owned one of the better colorways seen on the Jumpman Team Pro (Black/Grey-Orange).
D.J. Augustin: Yeah, I like the Pure Pressure though. I also had shoes that I didn't even wear. I don't know the names of this one pair I have, but I never wore them because I stuck with the Pure Pressure. I like to stick with a shoe that is comfortable to me. I really don't like to change shoes every game. But I had a couple of nice shoes that aren't even out yet. I might break them out this year at the beginning of the season.
Nice Kicks: Ok. You just mentioned Gerald Wallace who is a Jordan Brand Member. Sean May and Juwan Howard are also with Jordan Brand. Who own the better Jordan collection?
D.J. Augustin: I'd have to day myself since I have a smaller foot than those guys (size 12). They don't get all the shoes that I receive because Jordan Brand only makes certain sizes in particular shoes. After me, I would say Gerald and then Juwan. Or maybe Juwan and Gerald are tied. Sean, he doesn't get nothing. He's struggling. He tries to borrow our shoes.
Nice Kicks: What about your former University of Texas teammate Kevin Durant? Nike just gave Durant his1st signature sneaker (Nike KD1). What are your thoughts on this sneaker?
D.J. Augustin: I didn't like them. I told him they were ugly, but the new ones that are low-top with a strap across the middle are nice though (Nike KD2). I like them. I don't know if you have seen them yet but they're nice. Kevin and I have been working out together in Austin, Texas while attending classes.
Nice Kicks: Oh okay. Yeah, you and Durant did a lot for the University of Texas while you all were there. What was your favorite shoe to play in while at UT?
D.J. Augustin: It was probably the shoes Steve Nash used to wear in the 2007-08 season. They were Black suede and orange (Nike Air Uptempo Stutter Step).
Nice Kicks: Okay. Now we're about to find out your style. Give me a list of your top 5 basketball sneakers of all time
D.J. Augustin: I'd have to say the Air Jordan 11 "Space Jams"; I really loved the Adidas Pro Model; the Reebok Answer I Black/Gold; Jason Kidd's Nike Air Zoom Flight Five B; and the Nike Air Penny II
Nice Kicks: What is your favorite shoe to wear off-court?
D.J. Augustin: Man, I have so many shoes! With my jeans and like a Polo shirt, I wear the Air Jordan 1 Retro Hi Strap. I take the strap off though. I have those shoes in all types of colors. I have some on right now. That's my favorite shoe to wear with jeans and stuff like that. I wear a lot of Jordan flip flops as well.
Nice Kicks: Seeing that you are a professional basketball player, I know you do a lot of outdoor training. With that said, what shoe do you that in?
D.J. Augustin: For the most part, I wear the Jordan Trunner Q4. I run on the track and work out with them.
Nice Kicks: How does the process go for the shoes you wear on the court? Do you get to choose what shoes you want to wear or does Jordan Brand send you what they want you to wear in hopes of advertising a shoe that is on the market?
D.J. Augustin: At the beginning of the season, Jordan Brand sends you a package. In that package, you receive four shoe models. If you like them, they send you 10 pairs of each model to wear through February. After the All-Star break, Jordan Brand gives you two more models with 10 pairs of each to finish out the season. They let you practice in them and if you like them they will give you more. If you do not like the shoes they give to you, then they will give you something else to try. Basically, Jordan Brand wants to make u comfortable and make you feel good. They also give you the choice to have your personal logo, your name and/or your jersey number on the shoes. First, they show it to you on paper and if you like the shoe that is when they send you the package.
Nice Kicks: If that is not the best part about being a Jordan Brand member, please tell us what could be better?
D.J. Augustin: (Laughs) Man they just take care of you! They give you top-of-the-line service and you get a lot of the best gear/clothing for yourself, your family and your friends. Jordan gear is in high demand, so a lot of people aren't able to get the kind of stuff we get. It's a very good perk. They take care of you with off-court stuff as well. Jordan is involved with a lot of events. They know a lot of entertainers that they introduce you too and throw a lot of parties.
Nice Kicks: We have a section called Good, the Bad and the Fugly that spotlights a good shoe, a bad shoe and an ugly shoe each week. We hear that you like to play the drums in your spare time. What atrocious pair of kicks have you seen lately that could be beaten with a pair of drumsticks?
D.J. Augustin: I have seen a lot of ugly @*% shoes. Honestly, I think Shaq has the ugliest shoes. Those shoes are terrible! I dont know if you have ever seen them in person, but they are big and just ugly. They just look heavy. It seems like you can't even move in them. I don't know how he does it.
Nice Kicks: (Laughs) Well, thanks for your time D.J. We'll be looking for that Jordan Augustin I to surface soon.
D.J. Augustin: I appreciate it. Be looking for that.
I thought that this was a pretty good interview. Your thoughts?