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BY TEQUILA MINSKY | On Saturday, two First Precinct police units were assigned to the early-morning line on Mercer between Canal and Grand Sts. No, those waiting were not there to buy cronuts. Although the Nike store usually opens at 11 a.m., the doors opened around 8:30 a.m. on this day, to relieve pressure from the crowd that began to form hours before. Waiting behind the barriers were mostly young men anxious to shell out $180 plus tax for a pair of LeBron James signature sneakers.
After his purchase, one young customer from Queens mentioned that the sneakers were for resale. He said he expected to get $400 to $500 for them.
One Brooklynite proudly showed off his sneakers explaining, “I hope to swap these. I bought a size 13, they didn’t have my size — 11.”
Asked how one finds a place to swap LeBrons, he said, “They have Facebook pages.”
By 9:30 a.m., most in the crowd, corralled behind the barriers, had already purchased one pair and were waiting to be called in to buy another. The one-day-only release of sneakers was sold out by 11 a.m.
Thanks to the police there were no incidents, unlike the mayhem at a store near Atlanta, where one man shot a would-be robber at 5:30 a.m. while waiting in line for the store to open at 11 a.m. Police have not charged anyone and for now consider the shooting to be self-defense. The shooter reportedly got back in line to buy the sneakers.
Nike also is releasing a very limited-edition LeBron James “2-Time” Championship Sneaker Pack of only 600 to 700 pairs.