Al Harrington decided he wanted to put together an affordable, high quality and stylish line of athletic shoes because he couldn't always afford those $100 sneakers growing up. He wanted to create an alternative to the expensive Nike, Adidas and Reebok basketball shoes for kids and parents. Now he is selling his Protege line exclusively in KMart for just $35!!! He landed endorsements from NBA players Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest and Mikael Pietrus as well. That's a lot of crazy dudes for one sneaker company and not the most well known roster but it's a start. If the shoes and company are successful, I'm sure many other higher profile athletes would consider Protege in the future.
Stephon Marbury created the Starbury line a couple of years ago which sells sneakers and apparel all under $20. It's a great concept but many complained about the look and quality of the products. As you can tell by the photo below, they are a little cheap looking and the style is something that needs to be improved. It's still a great deal for families that are short on cash but I could see how a kid might feel embarrassed to rock these in public. Hopefully he will have something that doesn't resemble a clown shoe when he joins the Celtics today. Anything is an improvement on this horrific Orange and Blue Knick colorway.
If you want to find out more about Protege sneakers check out the following:
Official Site: ProtegeMVP.com
Al Harrington Interview with DIME Magazine
More Pics of the Protege line with player photos