NBA legend and current Chinese Basketball Association star Stephon Marbury is re-entering the American shoe market with an affordable and fashionable new shoe—and he’s criticizing Michael Jordan and LeBron James along the way.
After taking to Instagram to promote the new Starbury shoe line last week (a reboot of his previous line), Marbury went on Twitter to address how his $15 shoes are made in the same factories as Air Jordans, and said that they cost the same to make despite the $200+ markup. He went so far as to say that Jordan was “robbing the hood,” with kids being killed over his expensive shoes:
Home boy your paying 200 for Jordan’s and they make them for 5 dollars. The shoes are made in China in the same places. Stay calm we coming!
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) October 4, 2015
Jordan has been robbing the hood since. Kids dying for shoes and the only face this dude makes is I don’t care. The time will change!
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) October 5, 2015
As reported in The Washington Post, Marbury also criticized LeBron James, who has a similarly-high markup on his own line of signature sneakers:
Jordan isn’t the only athlete with a huge markup on his shoes. LeBron James, one Twitter user noted, has signature shoes that go for over $200. “He’s a follower,” Marbury replied, “not even giving that any energy.”
A Forbes report from last year broke down Jordan’s immense profits from his athletic apparel line:
Jordan U.S. shoe sales rose 17% last year to $2.6 billion, according to data compiled by SportScanInfo. Jordan has eight times the sales of the signature shoes for the top active NBA star, LeBron James. Jordan apparel and the international business add more than $1 billion as well. The Jordan Brand commanded 58% market share of the $4.2 billion U.S. basketball shoe market last year, up from 54% in 2013. The Swoosh’s share jumps to 95.5% if you include Nike Basketball. The competition: Adidas (2.6% share), Under Armour (1%) and Reebok (0.8%).
Marbury’s not totally off-point in calling out Jordan—people have notably been robbed and killed over his signature shoes, including an incident in Cincinnati last year.