Blanksoles, a decentralized sneaker company, has announced a partnership with former NBA champion Metta Sandiford-Artest—better known as Metta World Peace, and before that Ron Artest—to launch “Metta Designsoles,” a series of limited edition Solana-based NFTs and physical sneakers.

The goal, Blanksoles co-founder Raymond Dong told Decrypt, is “to have the sneaker to be a blank canvas for expression for partners in our network.”

Metta Designsoles is Blanksoles’ first inspired by Metta World Peace’s history as a player and his spirit animal, the panda.

There will be 450 unique Metta Designsoles in the mint that takes place March 14 to March 20 on Magic Eden, according to Blanksoles, and those who are redeeming a Designsoles token will unlock an exclusive physical pair of limited edition Metta Designsoles by shoe and NFT designer Marc Scepi, president of SNKR Project.

Dong said when people buy the Metta Designsoles NFTs, Blanksoles will collect their shoe sizes and send them the physical shoes about a month later. After the initial run of 450, Dong said production could be ramped up to make thousands more.

“Technology is something I’m interested in,” Sandiford-Artest told Decrypt. “Now that I’m retired, I wanted to do something for basketball players using the existing technology or building a platform.”

Sandiford-Artest, who won a title in 2010 with the Los Angeles Lakers, said part of his motivation for this project is to help players market themselves digitally, such as with NFTs.

“When I had the opportunity to do Blanksoles, I’m like, ‘Wow, I always…

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