The Humble ‘Sticky Pad’ Keeping N.B.A. Sneakers on the Court

“My foot didn’t go down,” Lamb said while laughing and putting his face in his palms, “and I was thinking like, Damn, I should’ve hit the sticky pad.”

Golden State forward Jonathan Kuminga might have the most shoes of anyone on the team, with innumerable pairs often sprawled in front of his locker and inside his locker drawers.

While many players either use the pad or a wiping method, Kuminga doesn’t typically rely on either. He wipes the bottom of one shoe on the top of the other, partly because it saves time, he said, and because he has been doing it since he was a child. Because of that, many of the shoes in Kuminga’s locker look brand-new except for the laces, which are ripped and covered in dirt and dust.

“Hopefully, one day, if I get my own shoe, I can maybe add something on my laces so anytime that I’m wiping, I don’t have to mess up my laces anymore,” Kuminga said while holding a pair of shoes with blue laces that had been stained black.

The Knicks big men Isaiah Hartenstein and Obi Toppin always end their pregame routine by wiping their shoes on the Slipp-Nott. Hartenstein sprints to the pad first, typically after the starters are announced, and Toppin follows shortly after his teammate, ripping a sheet off when he is done.

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