New shoes connect Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, WNBA star Breanna Stewart

Detroit News

Detroit — When Isaiah Stewart likes a pair of shoes, you’ll see them on his feet often.

The third-year Pistons center is a self-proclaimed sneakerhead. Growing up in Rochester, New York, Stewart would collect sneakers and if he realized he wasn’t a fan of a particular pair, he’d sell them for a profit. In his words, he’d “buy and flip them.”

Puma signed Isaiah Stewart to an endorsement deal shortly after he was drafted to the NBA in 2020. He’s a big fan of the classic Puma Clyde collection. J. Cole, one of his favorite hip-hop artists, has a signature shoe with Puma named the RS-Dreamer, which was a staple on Stewart’s feet during the 2021-22 season.

Stewart has a new pair of go-to kicks this season.

He has worn Breanna Stewart’s “Stewie 1 Quiet Storm” for 10 of the 15 games he’s been available (Stewart has been sidelined for seven games due to a right big toe injury).

Stewart, a two-time WNBA champion and four-time All-Star for the Seattle Storm, became the 10th player in WNBA history to have a signature shoe this summer, and the first since Candace Parker released her last shoe with Adidas more than 10 years ago.

The shoe’s colorway is a combination of neon green and contrasting black, mirroring the Storm’s uniforms.

There are several similarities between Isaiah and Breanna. They both share the same last name. They both hail from Upstate New York. Breanna is a native of Syracuse, New York, about an hour and a half east of Isiash’s hometown of Rochester. They both played basketball in Seattle in 2019. And they’re both sponsored by Puma.

“It wasn’t something I was trying to do on purpose. I just really actually like the shoe,” Stewart told The Detroit News. “I kinda chilled out and tried to give it a break because I’ve been wearing them a lot and she just dropped a new purple colorway that I like. I’ll probably wear those (soon).”

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The five times Stewart has deviated from wearing the “Quiet Storms” were in back-to-back games against the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. The Pistons donned their Classic Edition teal uniforms for those contests.

“It just so happens that she’s (also) a Puma athlete. I’m not really sure what other woman athlete has their own basketball shoes, so I thought that was really cool. Obviously having the same last name, it’s kind of dope.”

Breanna and Isaiah Stewart have never met despite growing up in close proximity to each other.

Isiaah, 21, was just a boy when Breanna was making her mark on the high school basketball scene in Central New York. He played just two years at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester before he transferred to La Lumiere School, a prep school in La Porte, Indiana.

After leading Connecticut to four consecutive national championships, Breanna was selected by the Storm in the 2016 WNBA Draft. She led the Storm to two championships in 2018 and 2020. During that time, the two forwards wound up playing basketball in the same area again as Isaiah spent his lone season at Washington from 2019-20.

Still, the two didn’t cross paths. However, when Breanna noticed Stewart rocking her signature model for the Pistons’ season opener against the Magic, she was floored by his support.

“When I saw Isaiah wearing my shoes, it was just a tremendous amount of respect,” Breanna Stewart recently told The News. “Both being from Upstate NY, I think it makes the storyline even bigger. I wanted a shoe that was for everyone and one that can help bring out the best in their games.”

The Pistons aren’t winning as many games as they envisioned due to the vast amount of injuries throughout the roster, but Isaiah Stewart is having the best season of his career.

The heart and soul of Detroit’s defense, Stewart has always been known as a player willing to do whatever it takes to protect the basket. But now, he’s transitioning his game to the perimeter and taking three times as many 3-pointers as he did during his first two seasons. He’s converting on 33.3% of his triples, tying his mark from his rookie season, but it’s significant due to the increased volume of shots.

Stewart is averaging 12.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in 27.1 minutes per game. Breanna Stewart said she looks forward to watching Isaiah play in person soon.

“I think Isaiah is really finding his comfort zone in the league,” Breanna Stewart said. “His intensity never stops and the fact that he’s expanding his fame as a two-way player makes him even harder to handle. Sky is the limit!”

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Both Isaiah and Breanna see similarities within each other on the court, specifically their passion and disruptive nature to do whatever it takes to win.

“Definitely passion. Definitely the work ethic. Drive. She has that,” Isaiah Stewart said. “That’s what makes her a great player. One of the best to ever play in the WNBA, so hats off and respect to her.”

“When I think about my game and Isaiah’s game, I think about our will and desire to win,” Breanna Stewart said. “We are both going to do whatever we can to make an impact for our team.”

Several NBA players have worn Breanna Stewart’s signature shoe this season, including Stewart, Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton, Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, and 2023 lottery prospect Scoot Henderson. They’ve notably worn the purple colorway, named “Causing Storm.” It’s a pair Isaiah Stewart could debut on Wednesday against the New York Knicks, as he is expected to make his return to the Pistons starting lineup.

Regardless of the colorway, expect to see the Stewie 1’s on Isaiah Stewart’s feet for the foreseeable future.

“I’m kind of weird,” Isaiah Stewart said. “You’ll see me wear shoes for like 10 games straight. I like when shoes are broken in. If I wear them a lot, that means I really like them so I like her shoes.”

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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