Where we’re from in D.C., that’s just kind of how it is. Everybody is into the kick game,” said Jack, 30, who grew up just outside the nation’s capital in Maryland. “When you’re young you have very, very small goals. If you did work, cut some lawns or whatever, with the money you saved up, you’re probably going to buy some sneakers or some video games.
Something like that. For me, that was the thing I took, too. Obviously playing basketball, (your sneakers) were a way to express yourself without having to speak.
“Not just playing basketball, but also walking around on the street. When I was growing up, I was told the first thing a girl looks at is you, the second thing a girl looks at is your shoes. So that was something I took with me.”
Jack has a collection of about 1,500 pairs of sneakers lined up neatly in his Atlanta home, the result of accumulating about 300 per year since joining the NBA and signing with Nike. His goal is to wear a new pair every day, which is why he brought more than 100 to his apartment in New Jersey after being traded from Cleveland.
Opening “the sneaker room” in Atlanta, as Jack calls it, requires a security code to prevent guests from stealing.
“A lot of friends, my homeboys and stuff, we all wear the same size,” Jack said, “and they got real sticky fingers.”
“If I think it’s wack, I’m not going to get it. If I think it’s dope, I’m going to get it,” he said. “If I think it’s super dope, I’m going to get it early, maybe like five months early.”