Metta World Peace, former eccentric NBA star, current eccentric CBA star and lover of all things panda, has developed a way to make pandas a part of his on-court experience by grafting their heads on to his basketball shoes.
Metta announced the “Panda Friendly” shoes on his website. They will be available in black and white and will go on sale soon—along with children’s books and panda face t-shirts.
At first, Metta seemed to hint that the heads will be detachable, saying to Courtside Access:
Before every game, I will be wearing the white or black shoes. The top part of the shoe has a panda on it. I will be throwing it to a friend in the crowd. The person who catches it will be the Panda’s Friend of the day.
Since, he has recanted and maintained that the bear is an integral part of the shoe (feels less inhumane that way).
The bear is not detachable. The Teddy bear is a permanent and is the pandas friend! The ears on the side are also not detachable. Enjoy
— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) September 22, 2014
Experienced biologists may have noticed that the head on the shoe doesn’t look like a panda at all, more of a teddy bear.
— mettaworldpeace.com (@MettaWorldPeace) September 23, 2014
Metta, formerly known as Ron Artest and soon to be known as The Pandas Friend (not Panda Friend; no apostrophe), recently arrived in Chengdu, though his team’s season doesn’t start until November. He will lace up his panda sneakers for the Sichuan Blue Whales (because when you think of Sichuan, you think of blue whales). Meanwhile, he has been ruminating on deep questions concerning his future life in China:
1) Chengdu is known for their panda population and visiting the pandas will be routine for me. I wonder if pandas would enjoy taking selfies with me.
His arrival in China was relatively low-key with a few friends and fans greeting him at the airport—unfortunately no real pandas.
— Discover Sichuan (@DiscoverSichuan) September 21, 2014
It’s going to be a magical season.
by Alex Linder
[Images via Courtside Access]