– What’s going on world? It’s a brand new episode of Royal Key there on your screen. I’m your host George Kiel and I’m here with Eric Housen in Oakland. What’s going on, man?
– What’s up, George? Thanks for having me. – Oh nothing much. Now, you know, this is long overdue, right? (laughter) – Yes. We tried to do this few years ago.
– Yeah. – We got a little busy.
– We want to talk about shoes here today. You guys have some of the biggest sneakerheads on the team, right? – Yeah, no question.
– On a typical season how many shoes come through this place. – Thousands. It’s hard to really inventory exactly the number that comes through, but it’s a lot.
– Right, right. And you guys are so spread out, talk to me about the different places in which you guys keep shoes. – It’s definitely a unique setup having a practice facility downtown, an arena, you know, 20 minutes away, and then, you know, traveling twice a week on the road so you basically have things in four locations really. We have a storage site at the airport. We have stuff in our home arena. We have stuff at the practice facility and then we also have like a 4,000-square foot warehouse where we house a lot of older shoes. I try not to give anything away because you never know when a player is gonna come back to wanting a shoe.
I try to keep everything that they don’t want it or we don’t send to their foundations. We’ve done some pretty cool things as far as donating in the Bay Area a couple shoe drives here have been pretty popular but for the most part all of their older shoes at least one or two pairs are there and in some cases like Andre and Steph there might be 500-600 pairs of old shoes there. – Now as a typical game day, we’re gonna talk home and then we’ll talk away, what do you do as far as a typical game day?
– Well it really depends on what the day is gonna bring. Typically I think I’m out of the house by 5:00-5:30 depending on what needs to be done. I may stop at the warehouse or the arena. We usually have shootaround at the practice facility so we do everything here then, you know, obviously down to Oracle (Arena) for the game. There’s a few guys that, you know, only play in the shoes they’re practicing in, for instance, KD wears the same pair of shoes pretty much all the time until he transitions into a new shoe, so I always have those at the practice site and then at the arena for the game whereas some players will have some shoes at the practice site and then some at the game.
– Right, right. – So I’m constantly shifting and moving things around just depending on what the day brings.
– Yeah, yeah. Now on the road, I know this totally different and when I first heard about the shoe bags, it was you actually. How do those shoe bags work for you? And how many do you carry? – Yeah, on a normal trip I have about ten shoe bags. One just for Steph and one just for KD not by their own choosing. This is me totally not wanting to forget anything. Both have tons of different colorways and as far as their marketing program goes, you know, they’re slated to wear those shoes on any given night and I’m always afraid when a new pair comes in I’m gonna forget them so if I put them in their bag, I know they’re there. There’s 16 pairs for each of them on every trip and then I have three other bags it facilitates, you know, all the shoes for the other guys.
We left Nick Young out man. Swags has got a lot of different shoes and I have never had a player like Swags, you know, he plays without the sock liner. So first player I’ve ever had. He plays his foot, sock, rubber, floor, it’s crazy. No orthotics, you know, so I’m not recommending that.
– Yeah. Yeah – That’s a really unique Swag (laughter) thing.
– That sounds about right. Let’s go check it out. This is our equipment room in the practice facility downtown Oakland, this is where we store basically the day-to-day stuff for the team. Like I said, we’re pretty spread out. So not everything’s here but we have, you know, practice gear and extra shoes here and everything that guys need on daily basis.
– Right, right. Now before we get into these five, who I think are your biggest shoe guys, you – what is your favorite shoe, Eric?
– I have two. I’m older, so Air flight 89 was my favorite shoe and the reason was it was one of the first SMU’s (Special Make Ups) they did for Chris Mullin and at the time we didn’t have any signature players so there’s like a big deal going from that to where we are now with three guys with signature shoes and three guys with special makeup shoes – And I think you hinted at how long you’ve been here. How long have you been working with the Warriors?
– I started in ’86 is a ball boy and they gave me the head equipment job in 1999. – We’re going to start here with Draymond give me one thing about Draymond and his Footwear that describes him. – Tough. Physical. He likes new shoes and loves it when he gets to, you know, launch new shoes and does a great job of it, but he’s not super particular. I mean he just goes to battle in what you give him. He is a guy that if you are looking for feedback on a shoe, he will give you the honest truth. – Right, right.
– What you see out there on the court is what he is to deal with on a daily basis and it’s great because, you know, he’s always going to give you 100% the truth and tell you right to your face. This is a Flyknit Hyperdunk. This is one of my favorite shoes they’ve done for Draymond. Just the design and the colorways. This blue one is so nice and he wore this at the beginning of this season and he’s transitioned into the HyperRev.
– Now let’s move on to Klay. Klay is probably your most recent signature guy. How is it working with Anta?
– Anta has been great. I mean, this is definitely their best version of Klay’s shoe. A great look, great performance. He loves them. A multitude of colorways that they’ve done for him this year have been tremendous
– And how is he with shoes, is he switching every time.
– He’s exactly like Draymond. You give him a new pair, he’ll wear them. You give him an old pair, he’ll wear him. He likes to break them in. Another guy that’s just so physically tough, you know, he will play a finesse game or he will fight you tooth and nail. He is a tough tough kid and he just goes out there and hoops. – Moving on to KD, they give him an assortment of colorways, obviously, how is he? – He doesn’t like to change his shoes too much. He gets stuck in one shoe where he’s comfortable and he’s got it broken and he likes to stick with it, but he has a lot to choose from and obviously, you know, the colorways that they make for him are just – every time I get one man.
– I’m gonna go ahead and let you pick your top five right now.
– “MLK” for sure. Just the colorways the way it goes together what it represents I really love this shoe. The “Aunt Pearl” right now. It’s hard to make a cool pink shoe. and I think that Nike accomplished that on this one. – Yeah, they do it every year. – I love this one just because, you know, I’m diehard Warriors superfan even though I work here. This is another unique one where they took on our Bay logo and for Chinese New Year, and that’s the actual Chinese logo that we have on the front of our jerseys and they just put a KD in there. I thought that was pretty cool. – Yeah, tell me about the cupcake ones.
– Ohhh, the cupcakes. Yeah, they came out of OKC. We don’t have those out but those are the red velvet cupcakes. They were calling him that in OKC, so they just kind of ran with that. – Yeah.
– Definitely not a cupcake though.
– Moving on to Under, Armour Steph Curry is the poster child for Under Armour. Does he have the most colorways of any of your guys? – I would say him and KD are pretty close to the amount of colorways they get.
I said I had two favorite shoes, one was the Air Flight 89, my second one was the Curry 1’s, just because everything is symbolized taking a risk, leaving Nike to go to Under Armour to represent that brand and where he’s taking it is just incredible. You know as years progressed, you know, we’re in the Curry 4’s right now, and they’re really popular man.
– Just like the KD one I want you to kind of give me some of your favorites over here. – Oh man. I’m picking this one right away.
– Okay. – Steph knows Oakland A’s. I love the Oakland A’s, that’s my team. This is numero uno. Steph knows, I love the Golden State yellow, the canary yellow. I love the yellows. Everybody’s like, “Oh man those things are bright.”
I love these shoes though. Not all of these have been out yet but it’s one of the most requested shoes I get. His shooting coach, Bruce Frazier, has a pair, you know, some of the other coaches don’t quite have them yet. Johnny West is always rocking an exclusive model because him and Steph are really tight.
– Is Steph more of a hightop or a lowtop fan? – He wears lowtops to work out in a lot – Okay.
– And to shoot around in, but he wears the highs in the game. The thing with Steph is, he can wear a pair of shoes right out of the box. He is a little bit superstitious, but it has to be a great game for him to go and wear that shoe again in the next. I know I’m talking a great game for him 25-30 is pretty standard.
– He starts to get up in the 40-50 points he’s definitely going back to that shoe that he had the 40 and 50 points for the next game. – So I’m assuming that double nickel game he might have worn those couple.
– Yeah, he had worn those like six straight games or something. – Now Andre, he’s told us about his affinity for Kobe Bryant off-the-court,
– Man. – But you can see that –
– His shoe collection, his lifestyle shoe collection, might be the dopest. – How is he with shoes? Does he beat him up pretty bad? – Nah, I mean he’ll wear them a couple games, but he’s not super particular. Now, the last person to me is probably the best lifestyle off-court guy. Nick Young.
– Oh Swag. He’s such a unique character from his pregame outfits to his shoes to – I think he played a game in Yeezys once.
– And I’m sure he wears, what, a new shoe like every single game or? – Not every single game, but he switches them up a lot. what’s unique about Swags is I’ll have two or three pairs of shoes ready to go for him and he’ll come in with a pair of shoes on and just decide to wear them straight off the street. I mean if he’s feeling good that day he’ll wear his lifestyle shoes in the game and that’s not something I recommend either, but I mean you don’t get Swaggy as a nickname for not doing stuff like that. – Swag is like, he’s not a superstar, but the brand’s treat him just like he’s one of them, right? – Man, he has a commercial! But he’s a good guy to generate that lifestyle because I mean, like I said, he’s eccentric in the way he dresses, unique, he’s so comfortable with who he is.
– What do you think is the most unique shoes they’ve made for him.
– The ones that get me are this “Still Swaggy”, you know what I mean? Like just putting that little stitching in there, I think adidas just wanted to, you know,
make sure everybody know he still got the swag even though he’s coming off the bench. Maybe a little bit more limited minutes than he’s used to but I like that one, especially because it’s in our colorway I’m usually gonna pick those.
– This is the one, actually, I really like.
– Oh, yeah. I hadn’t even seen it until you picked it up bottom up. That’s pretty dope.
– Yeah. Now, correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve heard this before maybe it’s a rumor. I heard that you once used to create the shoes for the players as far as like Nike ID and stuff like that.
– We’ve done some of that some of the guys when they first get in the league, you know, are getting the standard shoes that Nike gives which is fine but a lot of them want their own made. I think this year we did something for Jordan Bell, some Paul George’s, until he builds himself up to get that SMU shoe, you know, well on his way. You know, I always like the collaboration with the guys because you really get a good feel for what they like and then you can project that moving forward. I set out 60 pairs of shoes between the five players.
– And you also have for our social media – you have a giveaway for us. – Yes, we’ll get you a nice care package.
– Yeah, definitely. So find out how to get it at coiski Media. We’ll be sharing that info tomorrow.