Two-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade is signing with Chinese sportswear provider Li-Ning, which is giving the Miami Heat guard his own brand within the company along with plenty of creative and strategic input.
The partnership will be announced today in Beijing, where Li-Ning is headquartered and where the Heat are visiting for the NBA China Games tour.
Wade told the Associated Press that he expects the Li-Ning deal to continue through at least the remainder of his playing career. Wade wore Converse for his first six seasons, then Jordan Brand for the past three years.
Wade’s debut in Li-Ning sneakers is expected Thursday, when the Heat play a preseason game in Beijing against the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s also hoping to play when the Heat and Clippers meet again in Shanghai on Sunday, and Li-Ning plans to auction off the sneakers from those first two games.
Wade’s line of apparel and footwear is to be available at Li-Ning retail stores in China “soon,” with a U.S. retail debut expected in 2013. His shoes are expected to sell for about $120.
Lakers’ Howard cleared
Dwight Howard has been cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Los Angeles Lakers in his latest step back from surgery.
Howard won’t play in the Lakers’ next preseason game tonight against Portland in Ontario, Calif.
Howard was cleared Tuesday for limited participation in full-court scrimmages with contact. He had participated in every other aspect of the Lakers’ practices during training camp except full-court contact.
The six-time All-Star center had surgery on his back last spring.