After a championship and NBA Finals MVP win, the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard were looking to repeat for the first time in the team’s history. In the same regard, the Jordan Brand kept many features from the XX8 and transferred them over to the Jordan XX9. The Unlocked Zoom setup remained, albeit with a Zoom Air unit removed in the heel. A tendril piece was added in the midsole to prevent the midsole from flexing to a high degree, adding stability. The upper got a big improvement with a performance woven material used to reduce weight and add comfort, while still being strong enough to prevent rips due to the weaving process. This process also allowed the designers endless possibilities for the patterns that could be placed on the upper, as seen with the elephant print set-up above.
Despite the possibilities, Kawhi rocked mostly plain PEs that were done up in white, black, or silver to match the Spurs uniforms. The 2016-17 season in which Leonard wore the XX9 exclusively saw him jump into the scoring elite, averaging 25.5 points per game.