For the past 20 years or so, a pair of Paul Pierce’s game-worn and signed Penny 2’s have been sitting inside a small local shoe store in Lawrence, KS. We decided to get our detective on and figure out where the came from. Here’s the story behind these highly coveted kicks.
Paul Pierce is an outright legend in Lawrence, KS – home of the University of Kansas and the Jayhawks basketball team. He’s arguably the best/most successful player to ever come out of KU. But back in 1996, he was just a college kid who needed some new kicks to play ball in.
In 1996, KU was in between sponsorships so the school gave student athletes like Paul Pierce a per diem to go out and buy their own sneakers. Pierce decided to go with a pair of Penny 2’s, which he purchased at Browns Shoe Fit – a local shoe store in Lawrence.
Pierce would go on to wear the shoes at a few practices and in a game or two, including one against UCLA (pictured above). Pierce played so hard in the shoes that he blew the sole out in a matter of weeks. He ended up bringing the Penny’s back to Browns to have them swapped out for a fresh pair. While he was there, the owner asked if Pierce would sign the shoes. Pierce agreed and the shoes were put in a display case and kept on a display in the store for years.
The shoes are pretty beat up, but I wouldn’t expect a pair of Paul Pierce’s game-worn kicks to be in good shape. These would still be a grail to both basketball fans and sneakerheads alike. Good luck getting your hands on them though. I doubt the owner will ever let them go.
Take a closer look at the shoes below:
Big thanks to Browns Shoe Fit for letting us take the pictures!
Photo cred: Ty Sechler