By Phil Hecken
Taking a break from the past week’s rather in-depth discussions of Native Peoples’ iconography/logos/naming, Klan uniforms, and other more “esoteric” subject matter, today we break out the annual sneakerhead’s wet dream — the annual preview of the NBA All Star Game footwear, with long-time UW Sneakerhead-in-Chief (old photo) (new photo), Matt Powers. I asked Matt whether his collection had been kicked out of the attic, and he replied, “We renovated the attic where they previously were. That is now the master bedroom. I have a huge closet, not walk-in, that I keep probably 75 pairs in, which is not very photogenic. However, we razed and rebuilt the garage and I built shelving to house all of my officiating/lacrosse/softball gear and there it is!” Scary.
Matt’s been off the comments grid for a while, but fear not, you lovers of leather, he’s baaaaack today. Matt’s short on words, but long on pictures, and there’s really not much more to say, so at this point, I’m just going to turn the rest of this section over to Matt as he takes us through the …
NBA 2013 ASG Kicks
By Matt Powers
The calendar is almost on the NBA’s most incredible spectacle of the year. Fittingly, this year’s game falls on the 50th birthday of not only the greatest player of all time, but the very player whose sneaker “game” helped to create a sub-culture of devotees willing to camp out for reproductions of those shoes. The ASG was Jordan’s unveiling of the annual edition, with this years being referred to as both the 2013 and XX8, which is akin to calling someone wearing the number eighty-five, Ocho-Cinco!
To this collector who grew up without cable, catching a glimpse of the shoe along side Weeden and Kennedy’s ads with Spike Lee or an on-court close-up of the shoe was worth the wait! These damned kids these days have got no idea how lucky they are, with their Inter-Webs and I-whatevers. Just keep them off of my lawn!
Last year, Nike’s “Galaxy” themed kicks were a hit with the sneaker buying public, affectionately known as sneakerheads! With this year’s games’ proximity to NASA’s Johnson Space Center being played in Houston, the swoosh is using a similar “Area 72” theme for its’ specialty kicks. Images have also leaked that an extra, super duper “Chromed” theme set of those kicks will also be seen throughout the three day festivities.
Without much further ado, let the wild rumpus begin!
Some interesting points:
• The 2013 ASG is featuring six first-timers
• 8 of the 25 ASG players, including the injured Rajon Rondo, are NOT repping the swoosh
• Chinese companies Peak, Li Ning and Anta are making a big splash outfitting the likes of Tony Parker, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Garnett
• Perhaps the biggest sneaker news of the year, besides Wade Jump(ing) the Jordan ship for Li Ning was JB signing Blake Griffin
• Nike Area 72 Collection
• Nike BarkleyPosite Max
• Nike Area 72/Chrome Collection
• Jordan Brand 2013 ASG Collection
• Chris Paul: Jordan Brand CP3 VI Stealth
• Kobe Bryant: Nike Kobe 8+ Area 72
• Kevin Durant: Nike KD V Area 72
• Blake Griffin: Jordan Brand Air Jordan 2013 Stealth
• David Lee: Nike Air Max Hyperposite
• Tony Parker: Peak Team Lightning
• Tim Duncan: Adidas adizero Crazy Light 2
• Zach Randolph: Nike Air Max HyperGuard Up
• LaMarcus Aldridge: Nike Air Max Hyperposite
• James Harden: Nike Lunar Hypergamer
• Carmelo Anthony: Jordan Brand Melo M9 Stealth
• Brook Lopez: Adidas Adizero Ghost
• Joakim Noah: Le *Coq Sportif Noah 3.0 All-Star
• Jrue Holiday: Adidas Crazy Fast
• Tyson Chandler: Nike Hyperdunk
• Paul George: Nike HyperMax
• Luol Deng: Nike Air Max HyperAgressor.
Thank you, Matthew. And that concludes our look at the footwear of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Big round of applause for Mr. Powers, on his annual review of the game’s kicks.
So…just what will the top ballers be wearing at the game?
OK, so they’re going to play color-on-color and they’re not too terrible. Somehow, though, adidas always seems to incorporate their 3-stripe motif somewhere on the jersey and pants (plus the “mountain” on the ‘lapel’. Not that color-vs-color or adidas branding is anything new.
Not so sure I’m a big fan of the fonts they’ve chosen, but at least they will be legible. And as far as All-Star game unis designed by adidas, these could have been a lot worse. Just what exactly are these unis going for?
“For Houston the natural thing it to go back to space and aeronautical,” says Travis Blasingame, head of apparel for global basketball at adidas, “We focused on the speed of planes and tying it back into the speed of the game.” What’s more, “The uniforms for the 2013 contest feature an impact camouflage and stencil numbers drawn from fighter planes, and unique personal patches for each player on the warm ups that remind of pilot’s bomber jackets.”
Whatever. They may not be the best ASG unis ever, but they’re certainly not the worst either.
Enjoy the game. If you want to watch, it’s on TNT at 8:00 pm.
If you’ve been following the weekend Uni Watch posts for the past several months, you’ll know that colorizer-extraordinaire Gary Chanko is also a supreme talent, who blessed us with two sets of vectorized NFL Logos and “Badges” (Volume I) and (Volume II), and last weekend completed the triumvirate with a set of AFL Logos and “Badges” (Volume III). Never satisfied with resting on his laurels, today Gary is back with
the WFL, USFL and XFL his next project. I’ll let Gary explain:
A Logo Poster Project
By Gary Chanko
When I became involved in vector graphics many months ago, my only intent was to have a few T-shirts printed. My initial plan diverted in another direction – an entire set of vector graphics covering vintage NFL and AFL logos.
Last week I ordered a few T-shirts and was thinking about other uses for the logo art.
There’s a variety of printing services that, along with T-shirts and other apparel, will transform your art into an assortment of articles.
I decided on making a poster using the NFL and AFL team logos.
[Click on the images below to upload the .png graphics, or the links below that, for the .pdf files -- Note - the pdf files will not show in the preview due to the size of the poster. Just click "Download" and save to your computer, or a flash drive should you wish to have it professionally printed -- PH]
I sized the poster to a standard 18”x24” and gave it an “aged” appearance. Prints this size are relatively inexpensive (less than $10 at my local Costco).
Now it’s time to throw down the gauntlet and challenge the Uni Watch creatives for their ideas. We know you’re out there based on the recent Super Bowl Logo Contest submissions. So how about some alternative poster designs, T-shirt ideas, or anything else your imagination shapes.
Thanks (again!) Gary. Well readers — what say you — what other posters, t-shirts or designs can you come up with?
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Clay Brown, who joins a group of folks who want to change the Thunder:
I’ve always thought the OKC Thunder uniforms were boring. I saw the dark blue alts and loved them. These uniforms are also simple but I love the vertical lettering. I added home/away versions to the alt using their “normal” color scheme.
Next up is Douglas King, with a remake of the Yellowjackets:
Did these about a year ago, I developed a look revolving around the comb pattern. I have the uniform ideas on paper for football, baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball, but at the moment I have only rendered the football unis on the computer.
The combos shown would not be the only ones available.
I developed a font that I call Sting Times (a little corny I know), I’m pretty sure I have the Numbers where I want them but the Letters are still being refined (so I won’t include those).
I have also considered a medium “UCLA stripe” design, I may get around to doing a concept for that.
And we close today with Tim Donovan with a possible preview of the new Dolphins helmet:
I mocked up the allegedly new Dolphins helmet, with a an infinitely looped helmet.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Yesterday’s post featuring a wonderful lede by Caleb Borchers prompted many great replies in the comments (which were all well stated and respectful) and also generated some fine E-mails. One of these, which was sent to both Paul and myself, comes from Anil Adyanthaya, who wrote the following:
Dear Paul and Phil,
Caleb’s article was excellent and is a great idea for resolving this dilemma. This has been an area of interest for me. I wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe several years back on this. Pasted below in case you were interested.
Newton Upper Falls, Mass.
I’ve pasted the contents from that article below, since the article appears to be behind a paywall. It adds another voice in our continuing discussion of Native American mascots, iconography and team names. It was also written back in 2005. Clearly, this is not just an issue that’s cropped up in the past couple of years, although it’s been gaining steam of late. Enjoy:
WHAT’S IN a name? For sports fans, quite a lot, as the nickname of their favorite pro or college team is a topic of great interest. And today, Shakespeare’s famous query from Romeo and Juliet is particularly relevant to them as the NCAA addresses the issue of Native American nicknames for the sports teams of its member institutions.
The NCAA recently sent out “self-evaluations” to 30 schools that utilize Native American mascots with the goal of getting these institutions to examine their use of such imagery. But the NCAA committee administering the survey has stated previously that the use of Native American mascots should be “retired,” which suggests a stronger effort to eliminate all Native American mascots is in the offing. While the NCAA’s analysis of the mascot issue is a positive development, as it may lead to the elimination of some of the more offensive nicknames still in use, a ban on all Native American mascots has the potential to do as much harm as good.
The two main arguments against the continued use of Native American mascots are that they are racist and demeaning to Native Americans. A review of the mascots used by the 30 schools under NCAA review lends credence to that position, as the Savages of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Redmen of Carthage College seem particularly troublesome. But how racist and how demeaning are the other nicknames under review, such as Aztecs, Seminoles, Warriors, and Braves?
The use of Aztec or Seminole as a nickname by itself would not appear to be racist, as such names refer to a particular civilization rather than an entire race of people. In this way, they are no different from other school nicknames such as Trojans and Spartans (like Aztecs, ancient peoples) or Fighting Irish and Flying Dutchmen (like Seminoles, nationalities). Similarly, Warriors and Braves are no different from the fighting men of other cultures, like Vikings, Minutemen, or Musketeers (all current NCAA mascots) so it seems hard to argue that their use is uniquely demeaning in some way.
Recent events, however, suggest schools are arriving at a different conclusion. Marquette University, which changed its nickname from Warriors to Golden Eagles in 1994, announced earlier this month that it was switching names yet again. The new choice, Gold, was met with such derision that Marquette decided to reopen the search for a new name. The Marquette administration, however, made clear that a return to Warriors was not an acceptable option. According to the school’s president, “we live in a different era than when the Warriors nickname was selected in 1954. The perspective of time has shown us that our actions, intended or not, can offend others. We must not knowingly act in a way that others will believe, based on their experience, to be an attack on their dignity as fellow human beings.”
And changes are occurring here in Massachusetts as well. Earlier this month, Stonehill College announced that it would change its mascot from Chieftains to Skyhawks “out of respect to Native American culture.”
Even schools not facing the Native American nickname issue directly are weighing in. For example, the Universities of Wisconsin and Iowa refuse to schedule nonconference games against schools with Native American mascots.
This movement toward eliminating Native American nicknames from the collegiate sporting scene is troubling, but not because it is unnecessary. Clearly, the existence of derogatory and racially based mascots like Savages and Redmen demonstrates that Native Americans have been unfairly depicted in the sporting arena. Instead, the movement is vexing because its endgame appears to be a total ban on Native American nicknames. Such a goal suggests condescension and paternalism more than it suggests respect for the culture. By eliminating even inoffensive and arguably positive names like Warrior and Chieftain solely because of their connection to Native Americans, while at the same time tolerating similar names that refer to other groups, schools send a message that Native Americans are sensitive in a way that other groups are not.
One poll on this subject suggests strongly that Native Americans reject this implied fragility. In a 2002 survey published by Sports Illustrated, 81 percent of Native Americans responding disagreed with the suggestion that schools should stop using Native American mascots. As the NCAA continues its analysis of this issue, it would be wise to consider such data and to listen to voices other than just those of the activists pushing for a total ban. Increased scrutiny of school mascots cannot hurt, but following that examination with a reaction that does not take into account common sense can.
OK, ladies and gentleman, that’s a wrap for today. Thanks to Matt and Gary and all the concepters for their efforts. Enjoy the ASG tonight. Everyone have a great Sunday!
“Some say UW is telling folks what or how to think when in reality it encourages thought and expression thereof, which is why I enjoy frequenting this site.”
– Chris Hickey