Born on the 7th of July, 1960, Sampson’s height maxed out at a towering 7-foot-4 and became a three time College Player of the Year, was the number one pick in the 1983 NBA draft, the Rookie of the Year and, ultimately, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In Sampson’s first three seasons with the Houston Rockets he averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. It wasn’t a surprise when he signed one of the first big money footwear deals in the sport’s history.
Probably the greatest individual moment of his career was a buzzer-beating shot to win the Western Conference in 1996 that derailed the LA Lakers’ hopes of winning back-to-back NBA titles and sent the Rockets to only the second NBA finals in their history.
However, a series of career limiting injuries began to take their toll on already legendary player and the last 7 years of his career saw him move between several teams as he looked to rediscover the form that had seen him become a four-time All-Sar and an NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1985.
He finally called time on his career in 1995 before going on to be a coach and, more recently, being involved in the relaunch of a retro reinterpretation of his iconic shoe.
Now, more than 30 years after Ralph Sampson graced the courts of the NBA in classic Puma Majesty high tops, the German footwear manufacturer has re-released the iconic colourway with Sampson’s signature to commemorate their collaboration. It’s fitting show of Respekt between a man and his preferred brand.