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Indiana Pacers veteran Darren Collison is the latest NBA player to sign with Q4 Sports, a startup sneaker company appearing on NBA courts.
Collison, 30, had one of his career-best seasons with the Pacers and helped lead the team to the Eastern Conference postseason. Others who have deals with the company include E’Twaun Moore (New Orleans Pelicans) as well as Langston Galloway (Detroit Pistons) with more to be announced soon.
He spoke with us after the playoffs about why he decided to sign with Q4 Sports.
I wanted to congratulate you on the impressive season as well as your new sneaker deal with Q4 Sports.
Darren Collison: Thanks! It is unconventional but that’s why I decided to go with them. It’s so unique.
Is this something you’ve been considering for a long time? When did you first take notice of it?
DC: I noticed it about a year ago. My good friend was part of the company and we had talked about going with them, doing some creative things with it. I get a chance to put my own input. Most other shoe deals, you don’t have that much input. It’s a good deal for me. My teammate Lance Stephenson wears it every now and then.
What are some of the main things you’ve noticed about the shoe since you’ve started to play in them?
DC: I’d say their overall comfort level. Comfort is always big, especially for an athlete. If you’re comfortable, it doesn’t matter how it looks. It’s just a very different style. Most shoes have the same style but I like the new approach.
Collison wearing Q4 sneakers (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
What are some of the things you plan to do with your special design now that you’re with the company?
DC: It’s still coming along. I’ve got two of my best friends that I grew up with and we’re working on designing them right now. We’re getting some really good feedback, too. That’s the best thing about the whole situation here. We get to have our own input and we don’t have to go out there and take whatever they give us. Basically, we’re telling them what we want.
What is the main difference working with Q4 that you’ve enjoyed so far?
DC: Other companies have so many clients that they can’t really zero in on what you want. It’s way more hands-on here and you get to have your own say.
Do you expect more players around the league to take similarly unconventional approaches with their sneaker deals?
DC: I think they should. Whatever is in the best interest of the player. I think you have to look out for your own brand, your own career and see where you can get the best deal. People sign shoe deals but don’t have any say in it but just go with the flow.