By David Roth
There are many professional ball players working in the NBA,
Some who make more money in one game than we make in a year.
One by-product of this industry is something
called a "sneaker deal.”
All you have to do is have a promising career.
Then the companies come courting; they see dollar signs
in every pair
Of inexpensive highly marked up shoes that they'll be hawking.
Then they slap a famous name on footwear cheaply made in China,
And they charge a hundred bucks a pair, the athletes do the talking.
Unfortunately the targets of these ad campaigns are not
The rich and wealthy well-to-do's with lots of cash and
They're the kids of working folks or single parents,
some on welfare,
Who now have the added pressure of these shoes
their kids are craving.
Here comes Hakeem Alajuwon, the wondrous Houston center
Who's done everything a player could hope to do in his profession,
Except have a shoe, he's never had a shoe, can you believe it?
‘Til the Rockets took that title home two seasons in succession.
Whereupon a company picked up the ball and dropped a dime and called him up.
They said "We want to put your nickname on our sneaker line, Hakeem.
We're proud that you're a winner, we can both make lots of money.
Every kid'll wanna have 'em, and we'll call your shoe ‘the Dream.’ ”
But Hakeem, a most religious man, reflected on their offer,
And responded with a most resounding "Yes, on one condition...
That these ‘Dreams’ you wish to sell you price at
less than thirty-five dollars.
If you stick to that, you have my permission."
"But who would wear such cheap shoes?" they reacted in a panic,
Knowing full well that the going rate was that and more
“I will,” said Hakeem to them and that's just what he did.
That whole next season in the NBA, for all the world to see.
That's right, he wore those low-cost sneakers right there
on his size eighteens,
And on each box is printed "Make Commitments, Dare to Dream"
Oh, by the way, they sold 1.8 million pairs it seems.
Well, 1.8 million and one...cuz now I wear the Dreams.
© 1996 David Roth