For Drake, balling out always leads to courtside appearances. Forget Instagram — the rapper sees no better place than basketball games to show off new purchases, unreleased sneakers, or quality father-son time, recently flaunting a $1.9 million diamond necklace from Frank Ocean’s Homer brand during a Lakers vs. Raptors basketball game.
Few items could outshine a diamond necklace that big — but with Drake, if there’s a will, there’s a way. At the latest Raptors vs. 76ers game, the rapper showed off an unreleased Nike sneaker featuring a striped upper and midsole air bubbles, fueling rumors of a new NOCTA silhouette.
Look familiar? — Fans quickly pointed out the shoe’s resemblance to Nike’s Zoom Flight 95, a sneaker originally released in 1995. The retro model sports many of the same qualities as Drake’s mystery shoe, including a mixed-material upper, bubbly midsole pods, and carbon fiber-esque pattern work. Given the rapper’s love for older sneaker designs, the Zoom Flight 95 could very well be the inspiration for the next NOCTA model.
Still, any sneaker with a chunky sole and slightly off-putting look can also be compared to Yeezy kicks, which is exactly what Twitter users did. One person noted how similar Drake’s sneakers looked to the Yeezy 700, pointing out the shoe’s wavy sole unit and striped upper. It’s not the first time NOCTA has been compared to Ye’s Adidas label, either: Drake’s initial Hot Step Air Terra sneakers were critiqued for looking too much like something from Yeezy, a claim that played into Drake and Ye’s feud at the time. The two rappers have since made up — imitation is the greatest form of flattery, after all.
Buckle in — Regardless of where Drake sourced his inspiration, the mystery sneakers are arguably hot. There’s no telling when we might see the pair again, though — NOCTA’s Hot Step sneaker was initially teased in 2020 and only released this February, two years later. The lengthy drop schedule mirrors that of Drake's Certified Lover Boy album, which was delayed numerous times and launched a year after it was expected. It could be years before we catch another glimpse of these kicks, but we’ll keep an eye courtside for now.