Soon after Amare Stoudemire signed with the Knicks in 2010, he said, “I’m a pioneer right now to really take a step forward and help rebuild a program and get us back on top.”

What many people didn’t know is that Stoudemire, the pioneer, wanted to rebuild something else when he arrived in New York: his on-court eyewear. In the latter part of 2010, STAT, a Nike athlete, approached the Nike Vision team, a newer division within the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., to see if they could tailor make a pair for him. Stoudemire, who suffered a partially detached retina in his right eye in a game on Feb. 18, 2009, had been previously wearing more generic Oakley shades for protection, and he wanted something better suited for his game.

For several months, Stoudemire and Nike Vision worked hand-in-hand in customizing new eyewear that would help the power forward on the court. In doing so, they set a new standard in innovation. Stoudemire had his first crack at wearing the eyewear during the summer and called them “phenomenal.”

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