Dale Kasler / dkasler@sacbee.com

Mayor Kevin Johnson looks at a shoe display for Fila, which will reintroduce the KJ7 this fall.

Fila brings back Kevin Johnson model basketball shoes

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 - 7:59 am

It's still not clear whether Sacramento will keep the Kings – but Mayor Kevin Johnson is getting his basketball shoes back.

The mayor announced Monday that sportswear maker Fila is reintroducing a KJ7 shoe next winter, honoring Johnson's days as an NBA star.

Because he isn't allowed to accept royalties as mayor, Fila is making a $25,000 donation to the Sacramento Public Policy Foundation. Also, the company will make a donation of $25,000 to Think Big Sacramento, the task force devoted to building a new arena for the Kings.

Johnson said the money will be used for "fan experience" events in Sacramento.

Fila officials said the shoes will be introduced at next year's NBA All-Star Game. They will come in two types – a purple model in honor of the Kings and a purple-and-orange model in honor of Johnson's old team, the Phoenix Suns.

"I was the first player in the NBA to wear Fila," Johnson told a crowd of reporters and fans during a press conference at Downtown Plaza. The mall would be the site of the new Kings arena if the team doesn't move to Seattle.

The mayor also announced that Fila is sponsoring a video competition surrounding the fight over the Kings. He urged fans to submit to his Think Big Sacramento organization a 60-second "closing argument" video on why the NBA should keep the Kings in Sacramento. Videos must be received by next Monday, and producers of the top 10 submissions will each receive a $500 gift card from Fila.

Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

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