Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero and Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren have yet to suit up in a real NBA game, but they're already proving that they can move the needle among basketball fans.
Recently, when Banchero and Holmgren teamed up at The Crawsover in Seattle, a ton of fans packed the gym or tuned in to the NBA's livestream of the pro-am.
Paolo Banchero (@Pp_doesit) and Chet Holmgren (@ChetHolmgren) put on a show at @thecrawsover!@TheTraeYoung, @DejounteMurray, @jcollins20_, @isaiahthomas and more are playing on Sunday afternoon! 👀 pic.twitter.com/IqtKekhgwI— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 31, 2022
The top-two picks in the 2022 NBA Draft have also shown that they can influence consumers.
During his NBA Summer League debut, Holmgren dominated in a pair of Nike KD 15s — finishing with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 6 blocks and 4 assists in under 24 minutes. Kevin Durant shouted him and added "love the kicks." Over the next three weeks (from June 21 to July 12), there was an 87% spike in eBay searches for the KD 15s.
Banchero also turned heads with his play in Las Vegas, and fans noticed that he wore a pair of adidas Exhibit As. Over the following week, the sneakers Banchero wore saw a 30% spike in eBay searches. Banchero was a sneaker free agent at the time, but he recently inked a deal with Jordan Brand.
We didn't get a chance to see Banchero vs. Holmgren during Summer League, so fans are understandably excited to watch them face off when the Magic play the Thunder this season.