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The Return of the Nike KD 4 ‘Galaxy’

The star of stars lands as a retro release for the first time ever at NBA All-Star 2024. Boardroom dives deep into the revival of this Kevin Durant rarity.

Twelve years ago in Orlando, the NBA All-Star Game was a scene.

From riots at local malls to Dwyane Wade breaking Kobe Bryant‘s nose, the competition was fierce for sneakers and buckets.

Nike KD 4 Galaxy
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

On the court, King James, the Black Mamba, Flash, Superman, Melo, and the Point God were all in their playing prime, going to war with league MVP Derrick Rose and an ascending Russell Westbrook.

Off the court, the “Galaxy” Nike Air Foamposite One broke banks, malls, and the Internet.

The Big Bang of modern clout created a constellation of collectible colorways for Nike Basketball, quickly making hoop shoes a status symbol again, exploding the resale market as we know it.

In the middle of it all was a a young Kevin Durant.

Going toe-to-toe with basketball’s best, the young forward showed out on the hardwood and in stores, winning All-Star Game MVP while debuting the “Galaxy” Nike KD 4.

Scoring 36 points in his glow-in-the-dark sneakers, the metallic makeup meant to look like a spacesuit lifted basketball’s original unicorn, only to evaporate at retail at the speed of light.


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Now, 12 years later and an All-Star for the 14th time, KD is still amongst the league leaders in scoring and still a starter in the midseason classic.

Perhaps even more exciting for fans? The Nike KD 4 “Galaxy” is releasing as a retro for the first time in history.

To culminate the comeback, Boardroom breaks down the nuance and nostalgia of this tipping-point pair.

A Category Crossover

Nike Basketball was booming heading into the spring of 2012.

After almost a decade of trying to find its footing following Michael Jordan’s final retirement, the Swoosh established a new sweet spot where the hardwood and the hallway interacted.

First, momentum mounted in 2008 with the release of the Hyperdunk: a blue-sky design drafted off technical innovation and the world’s stage of the Summer Olympics.

Though not casually lauded save the “McFly” makeup, the Hyperdunk instantly made Nike credible in basketball in a way their peers couldn’t mirror.

The equity rolled into a hot hand of Kobe colorways and LeBron line triumphs that sold storytelling just as much as performance, creating collector cache and lifestyle appeal to shoes once reserved strictly for the court.

In that same span, Kevin Durant became a signature athlete in his own right, giving Nike Basketball three personalities and player types that they could activate around all season long or rather all year.

After the success of 2010’s Christmas “Stoplight” Pack, each event on the calendar became a catalyst for thematic footwear from Nike Basketball.

The biggest hoop holiday of them all, NBA All-Star Weekend, saw the hype hit full tilt by way of 2012’s Nike Basketball “Galaxy” Pack.

Nike KD 4 Galaxy
2012 Nike “Galaxy” Pack (Image via Nike)

“It’s the best All-Star collection to ever go down,” Index PDX co-owner Terrance Ricketts told Boardroom. “All these guys were in their prime.”

Building outer space sneaker themes around LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant, each pair played to the idea of intergalactic travel by way of thematic signatures.

The buzz was all skyrocketed by the hysteria surrounding the “Galaxy” Nike Air Foamposite One — a Penny Hardaway retro release so hot it caused chaos and sold for the price of a car.

Sitting at the sweet spot of Nike’s constellation collection was the KD 4: a $95 novelty capable of breaking ankles on the court and breaking necks at the mall without breaking the bank.

Nike KD 4 Galaxy
2012 Nike KD 4 “Galaxy” (Image via Flight Club)

Because of the affordable price point and the halo effect of the pack’s hype, it quickly became the crowd favorite for those wanting in on the action.

“I saw so many people wearing those when they first came out, and I thought it was the coolest thing,” said Ricketts. “The KD 4 goes down as one of the best basketball shoes as well. The aesthetics and the time? It was iconic.”

To add to the energy, the “Galaxy” KD 4 was not only the most accessible pair but also endorsed by the youngest star of stars.

Heading into the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend, Kevin Durant was only 23 years old.

The starting small forward for the West squad would enter the game by giving daps to Drake and Lil Wayne before going head-to-head with the likes of LeBron and Carmelo.

He’d exit the exhibition with a win and a game-high 36 points, hoisting the All-Star Game MVP trophy above his head with the “Galaxy” KD 4s on his feet.

That spring, Durant would ride that hot hand to the NBA Finals and Summer Olympics.

When it was all said and done, the Nike KD 4 had a run that touched all corners of hoop culture.

The transcendent silhouette was just as visible in Larry O’Brien bouts as it was in AAU action. At only $95, the model was favored by kids just starting to collect sneakers just as much as it was by veteran sneakerheads like Wale and PJ Tucker.

To this day, the KD 4 remains revered.

Still, the “Galaxy” makeup is as much of a unicorn as the player they were inspired by. Even at Index — a consignment shop in Nike’s backyard — the “Galaxy” 4 registers as a rarity in modern times.

“Impossible to get,” Ricketts said. “We get a lot of sneakers. I rarely see that shoe.”

Gone But Not Forgotten

The 2010s were an era in which Kevin Durant rose from NBA All-Star to international superstar.

Winning Finals MVPs and scoring titles alike, the decade of dominance solidified Easy Money Sniper as an all-timer and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

“Kevin Durant is supernatural,” Sheck Wes recently shared on Boardroom’s Aux Money. “He defies the odds.”

Nike KD 4 Galaxy
(Justin Ford / Getty Images)

Stylistically, KD’s positionless play and shape-shifting sneakers score a time that still strikes a nerve with those currently in their 20s and 30s.

“The Year 2010 to the Year 2020 was very important to the growth of the game,” Wes said. “I grew up in that era.”

Though it may seem strange to some that the ’10s are already nostalgic, they very much are to those who came of age in the last decade. Speaking to that time and that talent is the Nike KD 4.

While Wes keeps a pair of OG KDs in his rotation, he’s not alone. Lately, the NBA’s young elite has showcased the same affinity for the vault style.

From Ja Morant to LaMelo Ball, Josh Giddey to Derrick Jones Jr., original pairs of the Nike KD 4 have remained relevant by today’s talent both in league action or on their come-up.

Nike KD 4 Galaxy
OKC’s Josh Giddey wore the Nike KD 4 “Galaxy” shoes in the Rising Stars Game last year during All-Star Weekend. (Alex Goodlett / Getty Images)

All the while, the KD 4 has remained rare because they’ve never received the proper retro treatment.

In 2024, that all changes with the return of the “Galaxy” Nike KD 4 Retro.

Coming off the heels of a lifetime deal with Durant and Nike, the spaced-out sneakers are back again and just in time for KD’s 14th All-Star selection.

Back on Earth

As early as 2019, fans and peers of Kevin Durant have been begging for a Nike KD 4 retro release. In Feb. 2024, it’s finally happening.

First previewed back in Dec. 2023 on the feet of the University of Texas Longhorn’s women’s and men’s basketball teams, the Nike KD 4 Retro “Galaxy” is officially landing in stores.

Launching at both boutiques and via SNKRS on Feb. 15, the flight suit sneakers will return for an MSRP of $130.

Sporting a silver upper, glow-in-the-dark sole, and unicorn logo on the tongue, the return reception is already red hot as most collectors still holding onto the originals have already worn through their 2012 pair.

“I’m never mad at Nike for re-retroing legend’s shoes,” Ricketts said. “The ‘Galaxy’ KD 4? I’m definitely getting those.”

From store owners to pro hoopers, adults to adolescents, the “Galaxy” KD 4 is ripe for a return.

Following a 12-year wait, the retro retail version sports the same styling as the original worn in Orlando by KD en route to his first All-Star Game MVP.

Set to start the 2024 NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis, the 35-year-old swingman can achieve the same accolade for the third time.

For fans of basketball and collectors of sneakers, the “Galaxy” KD 4 Retro shines a light on a golden era for Nike Basketball.

As the KD, Kobe, and LeBron lines remain relevant all these years later, the hope for a new wave of energy on the court and at retail remains.

From Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge to Sunday night’s main event, unicorns of every era and origin will try to make their mark at the midseason spectacle much like KD did back in 2012.

The explosive energy of that Orlando exhibition will be felt from the floor up, thanks to the timely return of the “Galaxy” KD sneakers that still stand as out of this world.

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Ian Stonebrook

Ian Stonebrook is a Staff Writer covering culture, sports, and fashion for Boardroom. Prior to signing on, Ian spent a decade at Nice Kicks as a writer and editor. Over the course of his career, he's been published by the likes of Complex, Jordan Brand, GOAT, Cali BBQ Media, SoleSavy, and 19Nine. Ian spends all his free time hooping and he's heard on multiple occasions that Drake and Nas have read his work, so that's pretty tight.

About The Author
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook is a Staff Writer covering culture, sports, and fashion for Boardroom. Prior to signing on, Ian spent a decade at Nice Kicks as a writer and editor. Over the course of his career, he's been published by the likes of Complex, Jordan Brand, GOAT, Cali BBQ Media, SoleSavy, and 19Nine. Ian spends all his free time hooping and he's heard on multiple occasions that Drake and Nas have read his work, so that's pretty tight.