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The story behind the custom sneakers Luka Doncic got his teammate Dorian Finney-Smith's horse for Christmas

WFAA spoke with Finney-Smith and the special edition sneakers' creator, Marcus Floyd, to learn how the horse shoes came to be -- and what makes them so special.

DALLAS — What do you get an NBA player for Christmas? Especially one who has seemingly everything after signing a multimillion-dollar contract extension mere months ago? Well, if you’re his superstar teammate, you find an enterprising, unexpected and singularly unique gift.

A couple of weeks ago, Luka Doncic surprised his Dallas Mavericks teammate Dorian Finney-Smith with a pair of Luka 1s, Doncic’s signature shoe from Jordan Brand

But these weren’t ordinary Luka 1s that anyone can pick up in stores or online. These were versions that Doncic had custom-made for Finney-Smith’s horse, Stevie.

Credit: Infinite Kustomz

"He did a good job of keeping the secret," Finney-Smith told WFAA. "He kept throwing little jokes at the horse, but I didn’t know what he was saying. Little sneaky stuff like, 'Man, you don't know what to do with that horse!' or just talking little trash. So, like I said, he threw little jokes, but I didn't think he was getting some shoes."

Getting sneakers made for a horse is no small feat -- especially custom Luka 1s in the “For the Love” colorway

Luckily, Doncic had seen the work of Lexington, Kentucky, native Marcus Floyd, AKA Infinite Kustomz, in a promo for Visit Lexington.

Floyd, a lifelong sneakerhead, has been making handcrafted, custom sneakers for horses — Horse Kicks, if you will — for four years. Having learned the art of shoe deconstruction and reconstruction at The Shoe Surgeon’s SRGN Academy, he’s now a pioneer in the sneaker world.

Credit: Infinite Kustomz

"How I design all Horse Kicks, I just kind of break down a shoe and go from there," Floyd said. "I've got to fit it to the horse boot that I use. It’s kind of a technique that I learned in the shoe surgeon course, where I take a shoe and deconstruct it, and I’m fitting it to the shoe, trying to figure out what it should look like. It’s a lot of cutting and tucking, as you can imagine."

He doesn’t work with any of the major sneaker brands to produce the shoes, although he said Jordan Brand did supply the materials for the Luka 1s he custom-made for Finney-Smith's horse. Rather, it’s just him and his imagination. He doesn’t even draw out the shoes first; instead Floyd creates a picture in his head of the finished product, and then starts piecing everything together like a puzzle.

Floyd says that Doncic’s team were some of the first people to reach out to him after the Visit Lexington campaign came out. For the horse Stevie's Luka 1s, Floyd worked on a tight deadline to produce the shoes to coincide with the release of the “For the Love” colorway.

"For his particular set, it probably took me — so, I made all four [shoes for the horse] — it probably took me a total of maybe 40 hours," Floyd said. "Total, for all four. It's usually anywhere from 10 to 12 hours when I make a shoe."

Doncic and Finney-Smith recently worked with Floyd to auction off a second made-to-order pair for charity. The Luka Doncic Foundation received 50 percent of the proceeds, and the Finney Family First Foundation received the other 50 percent.

While custom horseshoes are special in and of themselves, Doncic’s gift means even more given the significance Stevie has to Finney-Smith and his family. 

Before Finney-Smith's brother Ra-Shawn was killed at age 18, he would tell their mother Desiree that he would one day buy her a horse. It's a promise Finney-Smith eventually fulfilled on behalf of his late brother after he signed a four-year, $52 million extension with the Mavs in February,

While Finney-Smith first began riding horses during a trip to Jamaica three years ago, and that he's loved riding ever since, he said it will be some time before he or anyone in his family rides Stevie, who is a cow horse. She’s still working with trainer Kelby Phillips, Finney-Smith said,

"She’s young still," the Mavs forward explained. "So, she’s got a lot more growing up to do before we can put the kids up there and stuff. But she’s coming along.”

As for Doncic, it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t just do the unexpected on the court, but that he’s capable of it off the court as well. Finney-Smith said Stevie’s custom shoes are just the latest example of the lengths Doncic will go through to make a unique and remarkable impact in the lives of the people around him.

Credit: Infinite Kustomz

"After I saw the shoes, everybody started telling me the strings and stuff he pulled," Finney-Smith said. "It was just amazing. Luka is an amazing dude, just for him to be thinking about the little stuff. I told him I got a horse, and for him to even carry that out... it feels good, though. He’s thinking about me off the court."

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