Nike

Solemates: King James appreciates Lauri Markkanen's shoe game

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USA TODAY

Solemates: King James appreciates Lauri Markkanen's shoe game

Lauri Markkanen continues to impress the king of the NBA with his skills and his kicks. 

During Friday's one-point loss to the Kings, the Bulls rookie caught LeBron James' eye -- at least on Twitter -- when he laced up a pair of the superstar's signature shoes:  

That retweet is a hat tip of sorts to the 20-year-old from Finland, who has slipped on other LeBrons in the past

Oddly enough, though, when it comes to the "Phantom" LeBron 7s, King James and Markkanen have now worn the edition the same amount of times in NBA action. According to Comples, James rocked the sneaker -- which was released in 2010 -- only once, even though the design was praised for its classy and clean appearance. Markkanen shot only 5-for-13 while sporting them, so he may want to put the pair into early retirement, too. 

But this weekend wasn't the first time James acknowledged Markkanen. After a matchup early in the season, the three-time champ noticed something besides what was on the rookie's feet

“Very confident. Very confident. Watched him a lot at Arizona, Had to stay up very late to watch those Arizona games,” James said to reporters after the Cavs beat the Bulls on Oct. 24. “But very confident kid. Can shoot the heck out of the ball. He's going to continue to get better.”

Isn't LeBron a free agent after this season? 

Jokes aside, with the Cavs coming to the United Center on Monday for what will almost certainly be a blowout, the shoe storyline is something to watch.

Will Markkanen pay homage with LeBrons or opt for another pair from his closet? 

Bulls reveal new Icon, Association uniforms, will wear red jerseys at home

Bulls reveal new Icon, Association uniforms, will wear red jerseys at home

The rebuilding Bulls will have a new look when their host of young talent takes the United Center floor this fall. Their jerseys will look different, too.

The Bulls revealed their new Nike uniforms on Wednesday morning. And while the Bulls' iconic uniform design won't change much - unlike some other teams around the league - their primary home and road colors will.

The team announced on Twitter that their red "Icon" jersey will be their primary home threads.

Their "Association" jersey will be their primary road threads, although it will depend on which uniforms their home opponent chooses to wear.

Minor tweaks were made to simplify the name on the backs of the jersey. The Bulls' red Icon uniform now has white lettering, different from the old black lettering with a white outline. On the Association uniform, the lettering on the back is now black, different from the old red lettering with a black outline.

The Four Stars on the Chicago flag will also be represented on the waistband of the shorts:

It's different from years past, when the Bulls - like most of the NBA - wore traditional white uniforms at home and colored uniforms on the road.

Last season the Bulls wore their white uniforms at home 36 times (out of 41 games). They wore gray Chicago PRIDE jerseys three times, red one time and green (for St. Patrick's Day) once.

On the road the Bulls wore red uniforms 33 times, black sleeved jerseys seven times, and white one time.

Eight NBA teams will have a Classic edition jersey, which Nike said will celebrate "some of the most iconic uniforms in league history." The Bulls are rumored to be one of those eight teams.

Each team will also have two alternate jerseys, one "inspired by the athlete's mindset" and one "inspired by the community."

Nike took over for Adidas as the primary outfitter of NBA uniforms this season. The brand made significant changes to the back shoulder of the uniform, while hemlines across the jersey "were modified to allow for full range of motion." The jerseys were first tested on last summer's USA Basketball team that won gold in Rio.

Nine teams will have sponsor patches on their uniforms this season. The Bulls are not one of those teams.

Recruiting News and Notes: Quincy Patterson racking up offseason accolades

Recruiting News and Notes: Quincy Patterson racking up offseason accolades

Quincy Patterson (QB), Solorio

Solorio three-star quarterback Quincy Patterson (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) continues to draw accolades this offseason. Patterson, who took part in the Nike Football The Opening regional camp held at Halas Hall last Sunday, was named the camp's Most Valuable Player at the quarterback position. Patterson, who is already verbally committed to Virginia Tech, will also take part in the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camp held at the Nike's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon this summer. The camp features Nike's Top 11 junior quarterbacks from across the country.

I'Shawn Stewart (WR), Bolingbrook

Bolingbrook three-star wide receiver I'Shawn Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) is getting closer to making a college decision.

"I would like to visit where coaches are most interested in me and where I feel welcome and somewhere I will fit in," Stewart told OrangeandBlueNews.com's Beth Long. “Some places will definitely be Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin."

Stewart also said that he's, "hoping to commit sometime near the end of the month."

[MORE: Why Illinois football players are making verbal commitments so early]

Bryce Effner (OT), Metea Valley

Metea Valley offensive tackle Bryce Effner (6-foot-5, 275 pounds) has continued to draw increased recruiting attention and now has scholarship offers from Big Ten schools. Effner has recently added offers from both Penn State and Minnesota.

"(Recruiting) has been pretty exciting," Effner said. "It seems like more and more coaches are interested."

Effner was hoping to have wrapped up spring college visits but that could change.

"I was going to stop making visits in April and focus on school and training," Effner said. "That's still my plan but if  things change most likely I'd go visit Iowa, Minnesota or Notre Dame."

Samson Evans (ATH), Prairie Ridge

It's looking like Prairie Ridge three-star athlete Samson Evans (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) is inching closer to making his college choice.

Evans, who plays quarterback for the Wolves and led the team to the 2016 Class 6A football state title, was asked when he could make a verbal commitment.

"It could be in late May or Early June."

Evans also has a handful of visits in mind this spring.

"I'm probably going to head up to Iowa again for a spring game and maybe Minnesota for another visit. I'm also going to the NIU spring game."