By Phil Hecken
Well — it’s that time of year again. The time of year I turn the reins over to Uni Watch’s favorite Sneakerhead, Matt Powers, who is here to bring us his annual preview of the sneakers that will be worn during the NBA All-Star Game, which this year is taking place down in New Orleans.
Yes, the big news out of the Big Easy is that the NBA is again pushing the sleeved jerseys on the players. Paul has already covered the sleeved jerseys when they were leaked, so we won’t cover those again, other than to say the designs aren’t terrible (in a vacuum) and the game will be color vs. color.
I’ll now turn this post over to Matt, whose sneaker collection continues to astound:
NBA All Star Game Sneaker Preview
By Matt Powers
The NBA All-Star game is once again upon us. For the legions of sneakerheads, who eagerly anticipate the weekend’s festivities, this event is like Comic Con, Christmas, and your birthday rolled up into one big foamposite present!
With the setting being New Orleans, both Nike and Adidas have created themed collections for your purchasing pleasure. Similar to how Nike tapped into Houston’s ties to NASA and the space program, 2014 seems to be much the same.
A “gumbo” in the cultural sense, New Orleans is an eclectic mix of characters, music, cuisine and art. You can’t rush gumbo … It requires an instinctive balance of heat, spice and creativity. Inspired by the flavors and stories of the Big Easy, Nike cooked up a bold mix of technical innovation, aesthetic flair and old-fashioned New Orleans traditions for some of the world’s best basketball players: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
Not only has Nike created the on-court kicks that the Big three, now two, will be wearing, they have a more recreational collection as well, which can be found on NikeiD. And of course, they’ve given us the Crescent City collection.
To a lesser degree, Adidas has done the same but focused more on a vintage feel specializing in retro Top Ten kicks and clothing. Considering that they are the official uniform outfitter of the league, they have their hands full, however their “In the Quarter” collection is pretty cool.
Carmelo Anthony – Jordan Brand M10:
Not only is Carmelo on the verge of his seventh career All-Star Game appearance, but his status as a starter for the Eastern Conference has never been debated. His ASG kicks are a black and orange version of his “Melo M10”. He has worn a variety of colorways since the shoe debuted this season. On January 8th, Nike and Foot Locker even partnered to give away free versions of the shoe to contest winners at the Heat/Knicks game at the revamped MSG, which was a big night considering the author and his daughter were both in attendance for her first NBA game.
Paul George – Nike Zoom Hyper Rev:
George, the Fresno State “Bulldogs” phenom, has been pretty loyal to the Nike Hyperdunk 2013 this season, however he has has laced up the Hyper Rev, Kobe 8 PE and the Nike Zoom Crusader, all in Pacer colorways. If I had to choose my favorite, the Hyper Rev gets my vote although my favorite make-up has been Deron Williams version that he wore against the Mavs.
LeBron James – Nike Zoom Lebron 11 “Gator King”
Hyped Sound Bite. Saint Vincent Saint Mary. Lottery Pick. Hometown Hero. NBA Champion. World Champion. Global Icon. Words do not do this man justice. For people of my age group, Michael Jordan became a larger than life phenomenon, however, this kid, that we have watched grow into a man, is a force of nature.
To be honest, so many different colorways and special editions of this shoe have hit the shelves that it’s almost overwhelming. Notice that I said almost! This shoe has captivated my attention and curiosity so completely that I have considered spending the $200 to own a pair.
Kyrie Irving – Nike Zoom Hyper Rev:
Like Paul George, Irving has also been a big fan of the Nike Hyperdunk 2013. Nonetheless, it was inevitable that the former Dookie would don the ultralight Hyper Rev considering that he has been the face of the shoes‘ ad campaign.
As far as my personal preferences go, The $200 Lebron 11 is #1. The Hyper Rev is a much more feasible $120 #2. My only concern is durability.
Dwyane Wade – Li Ning Way of Wade “ The Change”:
First Converse, and I just shook my head. Then on to Jordan Brand and I thought, “ OK, this is where you belong”. As soon as I had gotten comfortable, Li Ning enters the picture. Similat to last year, Li-Ning is putting out a two-shoe pack using the “StingWade” print. Ok, I guess…when it comes to kicks, I’m all about loyalty. The Adidas rumors have been swirling around D-Rose and his knee injuries. I only hope that someone doesn’t find a similar correlation between DW3 and his Chinese branded kicks.
Chris Bosh – Nike Air Max Hyperposite:
BIG MEN DON’T SELL SHOES! Like death and taxes, this is a universal truth. Nonetheless, Bosh has been loyal to the default Nike Big shoe the past two seasons. The Hyperposite features a full length air-sole unit designed to reduce impact. Call me crazy, but I would think that the high flyers like Paul George and the like would be more fitting of a technology such as this.
On the contrary, the bigs LOVE the Hyperposite as is the case with Mr. Bosh.
DeMar DeRozan – Nike Kobe 8:
Roy Hibbert – Nike Hyperdunk 2013:
Hibbert is the lone Nike big to buck the Hyperposite trend. His taste in kicks displays more of a swingman vibe. I don’t care what he wears. All that I know is that nobody can dispute the fact that if this kid’s game keeps improving, he might knock King James back into commoner status in the Eastern Conference.
Joe Johnson – Jordan Brand Air Jordan XX8 SE:
First hand perspective, Joe Johnson is a baller! My daughter and I were at the Barclays Center to see him light up the Heat for 22 points…in ONE QUARTER! It also happened to be Nickname jersey night but as far as kicks goes, he was still only playing second fiddle to Jesus Shuttlesworth!
Besides the Super.Fly 2 PE, and OG XIII’s, Johnson has laced up some beautiful Gamma Blue XI’s this season, but the Taxi XII’s will be forever be laser etched into my the memories of myself and Clark Gardner!
Personally, I don’t get it…the ASG was ALWAYS the platform in which Nike/Jordan Brand would introduce the new flagship Air Jordan to the world. February 17th is MJ’s birthday and the new drop was always expected! This year, JB has decided to buck the trend and any info regarding the XXIX has been scarce.
While with the Jazz, Millsap was a Nike guy and the song remains the same with the Hawks. Besides being a first-time All-Star, Millsap is looking forward to being a teammate of Lebron’s, so this can’t happen again! Just get out of the way, MAN!
Joakim Noah – Adidas Crazy 8:
Formerly with the French brand Le Coq Sportif, Noah has been wearing Adidas for most of the season after the formal signing announcement was made in October.He has definitely grown on me, mainly because of the passion he plays with.
For the ASG, my guess is that he will wear the Adidas Crazy 8.
John Wall – Adidas Crazy Quick 2:
First time All-Star Wall will wear the Crazy Quick 2, a brand new design from Adidas. Like Paul George and fellow 3 stripe wearer Lillard, he too will be in multiple contests this weekend which means multiple kicks! Look for him to sport either the Crazy 8 or Crazy 1 in the Dunk contest as a nod to Kobe Bryant, who originally wore both shoes when he was with Adidas.
I will NOT be rooting for Mr. Wall based solely on the fact that as a freshman at UK, he and his John Starks-line three point shooting, singlehandedly destroyed my NCAA bracket in which I led my pool from the Play in game until the Final. No Bueno!
Kevin Durant – Nike KD VI “Illusion”:
Like Lebron, The NBA’s scoring leader has had so many versions of his shoe descend upon sneakerdom this season, it is too much to keep tabs on. My personal favorites include the Peanut Butter and Jelly, the Blue Crab, the Black History Month, and the Aunt Pearl.
Blake Griffin – Jordan Brand Super.Fly 2:
Griffin is starting for the Western Conference as an All-Star for the fourth time. Having signed with Jordan Brand, they are suiting him up in the Super.Fly 2, which he has worn for most of the season. To be honest, I think Griffin could pretty much wear Bilbo Baggins shoes and still jump over cars!
Kevin Love – 361° Kevin Love 3.0:
Here it goes. 361 is a Chinese shoe company. Kevin Love plays professional basketball for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and likes Taco Bell. 361 and Kevin Love share an endorsement contract, which is strange considering Love is from lake Oswego, Oregon, which is one long rebound away from Beaverton! Oh, besides Jimmer Fredette’s Spaldings, I think these are the ugliest shoes in the NBA.
Kobe Bryant – Nike Zoom Kobe 9 “Devotion” “Maestro”:
Beef is sidelined with an injury and will not suit up for the ASG. Nonetheless, Kobe, along with Nike designer Eric Avar, created an ultra-high, supportive shoe to prevent further injuring the Achilles that he ruptured last season. IMHO, they are a design marvel but not something that I would be in the market for, especially at the $225 pricepoint.
Stephen Curry – Under Armour Spawn Anatomix PE:
Curry switched from the swoosh to the We Must Protect this House gang this year. From an aesthetic standpoint, I like them a lot, especially the Christmas Gremlin and Grammy editions. A bit higher than normal, they garner some great reviews from wear-testers.
LaMarcus Aldridge – Nike Air Max Hyperposite PE:
Aldridge is always a pleasant surprise because I rarely get to watch him play. He also seems like a pretty cool guy! He’s another Nike Big man sticking with the Hyperposite for a second year. He was even part of a contest where a lucky fan could help design a pair of posites for him! If the people of Portlandia had a say, he should have put a bird on it!
Anthony Davis – Nike Air Max HyperPosite PE:
James Harden – Nike Zoom Crusader:
For all of the flair in Harden’s game, his shoes are pretty ho-hum! The Zoom Crusader is a good guard shoe, however I stay away from them because of the low profile and reputation for being an ankle twister!
Dwight Howard – Adidas Howard 4:
Selected as a Western Conference reserve, Howard will wear his latest sig, the Howard 4, in a “Blast Purple” color that is influenced by Mardi Gras. Big man shoes normally do not sell well, mainly because most of the population doesn’t stand 7 feet tall.
Damian Lillard – Adidas Crazy Quick 2:
All-Star newcomer Lillard will be wearing the Adidas Crazy Quick 2. Lillard has quite a busy weekend, being involved in ALL of the NBA’s All-Star festivities. That will give him ample opportunity to lace up a variety of Adidas ASG kicks. The Crazy Quick 2 comes in a “Vivid Berry” and black upper with a “Solar Slime” splatter paint print representing the NOLA theme.
Dirk Nowitzki – Nike Hyperdunk 2013:
As recently as February 10th, Dirk has been spotted wearing LAST year’s Hyperdunk 2013 PE. More than likely, he will play it close to the vest and go with a team edition of the Hyperdunk 2013. PE Air Force 1, like the 2011 edition are probably not a reality this year.
Tony Parker – Peak TP 1:
I have to admit that I am biased against these kicks only because I know nothing about the brand, however the detailing is pretty cool! Both the Red/Purple and Silver/Purple pair are treated to NOLA-inspired graphic prints along the upper and inner lining. They also sport an All Star crest on the back of the tongue as well as “Go Spurs Go” worked into the outsole tread.
Chris Paul – Jordan Brand CP3 VII:
Fortunately for the world of Hoops loving fans, Paul has returned from his shoulder separation in good time. Garnering his seventh All Star selection, he will be a reserve on this year’s squad. He will wear a purple “Nola” themed version of his CP3.VII.
Other interesting versions of the shoe: An Ellen themed pair that Paul was given after appearing on the popular show. A fun cross brand tie in with All State and his fictional twin brother, Cliff Paul, the argyle-loving, super insurance agent that can be doctored up to your own liking on NIKEiD.
Whew! Thanks, Matt. I know I speak for all of us when I say, take a breath and enjoy the game! Lets give a big virtual clap to Matt for his devotion and dedication to all things sneaker!
Lewis & Clark Uniform Design Contest
Every Sunday, we’ll have news and updates on the design contest being sponsored by Ross Clites. If you missed the introductory post on this, please click here. You can also visit the Lewis & Clark homepage for more information and updates.
Here’s Ross with this week’s updates/information:
Next up for the LCBL uniform design competition is a team that will actually begin play in June of 2015. The Diplomats will fill out the Clark Conference in their inaugural season. It is never too early to get the logos going.
Submissions for the Diplomats should include a logo (primary for sure, secondary a bonus), a design for a home (and possibly road) jersey set, and an alternate cap. The hat [below] with the epsilon ampersand is the current on-field game cap. To date, it is the only one players have ever worn. We would like to give them a second cap and establish a system of home cap vs. road cap.
The one you design will look however you propose, as long as the bill/crown color combo is not identical to what is pictured. Do not worry about putting the official league logo on the back; we will add that later wherever makes the most sense with your look. This new cap will be worn — in games — exclusively by the visiting team. It will shift our current model to on-field home cap. Your design will actually get more wear than the New Era ampersand, as it will be the official batting practice cap (a decision based more on material in hot St. Louis weather) for both teams.
In this, each future LCBL game will be played between a team wearing a hat with a logo on it and one with an ampersand. Call it an easy way for late-arriving fans to figure out which team is home.
Clearing up some confusion people had with the week one (Captains) unveiling:
Q: What are our limitations with the jerseys?
A: Have at it on the jerseys. With Garb Athletic we are able to do a completely customizable garment. You want piping in unique places that don’t show up with certain brand’s templates? Go for it.
Q: Where will the primary logo be displayed?
A: The winning logo design will get a ton of play on the website, printed media guides, and team merchandise too. It could possibly show up — in sleeve patch form — on the jersey (if your proposal draws it up that way). Most submissions will likely implement the designer’s primary or secondary logo on the cap, too.
Q: Will anything I create be for sale, and how would that work?
A: By submitting work to us, you grant us a license to use it how we see fit. Having said that, we want to do right by you. Items created with your work on it — t-shirts, shorts, car decals, etc. — will be exclusively sold on our in-house boutique baseball shop: gourmetbaseball.com. Winners will have an opportunity for some type of revenue share in all sales of their merchandise.
Q: Do I have to participate in all twelve to win?
A: Not at all. If you have a great idea for the Pioneers but are drawing a blank on the Settlers, that is fine. Take part in as many as you would like. Each team will have its own vote. You could easily more than once if you set up a “theme” that is well-received across the board. You could also pour it all out for just one design.
Q: Why can I not change the wordmark?
A: I put a restriction on changing the wordmark, knowing full well that people would ignore that rule. Consider it a blank canvas if you must; great designs are not going to be penalized for going outside the lines. I simply handed out a starter kit, should you choose to use it. Go rogue and build from scratch if you would like. If you have better, we will certainly entertain it. Colors are set in stone, however, because larger politics are involved. We have coaches traveling large distances to be LCBL managers, and part of their “reward” is getting swag in the colors of their college programs.
Q: Could I conceivably try the same logo twelve different times?
A: Interesting thought process, but I guess so. All the team nicknames are referential to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, so anything pertaining to one would fit with all. My reluctance for “derivatives” is having twelve caps depicting two men from marginally different angles. That will get us right back to where we currently sit; no visual uniqueness in our teams. Try the same logo twelve times and it stands as good of a chance as picking “C” for every question on a test.
Q: If the Captains become a dog, let’s say, will it rule out that animal for all others to come?
A: Every human/inanimate object/animal/abstract noun is fair game. We will make the decisions on a case-by-case basis: what is best for that team given the submissions received.
Q: When are submissions due?
A: This competition will run for twelve consecutive weekends, with a new team presented each Saturday or Sunday. That puts the final unveiling — the Voyagers — on (Easter) Sunday, April 20. Each team proposal has a two-week due date. So, beginning next week, you will start seeing two teams at once: one new team’s inspiration board paired with the submissions of a previous week’s team. Voting will open to Uni Watch Nation for the team whose time has run out, while the two-week clock will begin for the other. The Captains are due next week (February 22), the Diplomats will be due the week after (March 1), and so on.
The competition comes to a close on April 27, giving us a week to consolidate all the work. Be mindful of the fact that this gives you two weeks to come up with something for the Captains and the Travelers, for example, but only seven days to complete a Voyagers look. I may sound like a college professor, but get out ahead of the storm and manage your time wisely. Hopefully, by the time the last one rolls around, this will become old hat. If you participate in several of these team’s competitions, seven days should be plenty of time — an easy drag and drop into your personal template.
We will be going right down the alphabet, so move those concepts for the reigning-champion Explorers to the on-deck circle.
Thanks Ross. Last weekend, for anyone who may have read through the entire post, I was stricken (literally) with the flu, so I wasn’t able to participate in the comments or help Ross in any way with answering questions. Hopefully this will have cleared everything up. I’ve already received six or seven submissions for the first team (Captains), but you still have another week to get that design in to me (send an E-mail To Me with your submission). If you missed the design layout for the Captains, click here. We’ll be back next Sunday with the next design, updates and possible voting on the first design, so make sure to check back then.
What’s Even Cooler than Curling?
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from Austin Glover, and it’s a little too long for the ticker Click on any images to enlarge. Here’s Austin:
I thought I’d share something interesting about the Boston Bruins alternate sweater worn from 1995 to 2006 for the ticker. The sweater, along with new home and away sweaters, was introduced to coincide with the opening of the team’s new arena, the FleetCenter.
What’s interesting is that the sweater is also the away jersey for my bantam hockey team, the Troy Bruins, and is also in the movie Slap Shot 3: The Junior League. Obviously, the sweaters worn by my hockey team and the one in the movie do not have the “Bruins” text on the shoulder or the “pooh bear” logo, but have the same design. They aren’t rip-offs, as my sweater is made by CCM, just like the Boston ones were.
I found it interesting that CCM would take the sweater and use it for amateur hockey teams. Also, I’ve seen some images of the sweater that have a Starter logo instead of CCM, but couldn’t find any record of Starter making the Bruins sweaters. Do you know if Starter was actually associated with the Bruins or the NHL, or are they just knockoffs?
Here is our home sweater (made by Kobe), which I really like:
Here’s the sweater in Slap Shot 3:
Here’s our away sweater, the one that’s like the Bruins one:
Thanks, Austin. OK, now onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Another small amount of ticker submissons yesterday, so old school ticker today:
We begin with Gene Sanny, who thought he’d share a painting he did for his brother’s birthday. “He’s a big Bronco fan, so I did a painting that covered the major uniforms they’ve worn over the years. I left out some of the minor alternate versions.” … Here’s a keeper in Egypt in wrong jersey. Says submitter Francis Fay, “I think he was pretending to be playing for a team that didn’thave a giant McDonald’s logo on it’s jersey.” … From our friends at Icethetics, here’s all 29 Sochi 2014 Olympic hockey jerseys. Of course, Canada has 3, one of which is BFBS. … Speaking of Canadian team hockey, check this article on ESPN’s Grantland with a video of the 1987 Canada Cup. Francis Fay notes the Maple Leaf in the Canadian flag graphic at the 3:13 mark on the CBC video seems a little off. Also Mario Lemieux name on is jersey is M. Lemieux. … Yesterday, Pepperdine baseball wore throwbacks in Rainbow Guts style. … Ed Westfield sends this article from Complex Magazine: Ranking The NBA All-Star Jerseys Since 1980 From Worst-Looking to Best … Whoa: Check out Illinois State’s Doug Collins throwbacks (h/t Dallas Hoelscher). … Couple of nascar things from David Firestone. 1) Ryan Truex was practicing for qualifying at the Daytona 500 without a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series decal, “which in 24 years of following racing I have never seen.” 2) Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne had a Super Bowl bet, Kyle lost and he had to wear Seahawks jerseys as a punishment. … Paul Lee notes the official All Star Money ball this year has two stars on the ball listing the year the city has hosted the ASG. … “While attending the Pensacola Ice Flyers game vs the Mississippi Surge I spotted Evan? Zych (his name wasn’t on the roster) during warmups,” says Ryan Bohannon. Every letter on that name plate appears to be a “patch job.” … Friday night, ABC news used the old NFL logo during a story on the Dolphins bullying case (good spot by Steve Dodell). “Later on in the piece, they did use the correct logo in a background graphic. Here is the full video.” … Tom Semioli sends in this HuffPo Sports piece, “Worshipping Brand Jeter.” … “Not only did De La release their album catalog for free, they also included some scans of old photos/drawings,” writes Brian Mazmanian. One is uni-related and it’s pretty damn awesome. … The Cincy Reds once banned beards and insisted on black shoes. They’ve relaxed that a little, but want the players semi-clean cut. … New kits for D.C. United (read more here). … “For some reason the ‘US Olympic Team’ Facebook page decided to promote the US Hockey victory with a 13 star black & white flag on a photo of the team,” says David Haberman. “Found that odd, judge for yourself.” … OSHIE. … adidas has released new away kits for a bunch of World Cup teams. … We may have seen these before, but there are new batting helmets for Oregon (from Chris Flinn). … Three “Olympic Uniform Issues and funnies” from Warren Junium: 1) Swedish skier Henrik Harlaut barely completes run after baggy trousers fall down; 2) Fat bobsledder Christopher Spring’s suit was a bit snug; and 3) What happens when the locker rooms aren’t in the rink? … Kentucky broke out some fauxback unis vs. Florida last night (more photos here). … Bobbleheads of Purdue Alum Joe Barry Carroll were given out Saturday at the Purdue-Indiana Men’s Hoops game at Mackey Arena (thanks to Tom Hamann). … In his first interview as Commish, Adam Silver said “we’re having trouble keeping (sleeved jerseys) in stores,” so it looks like they’re here to stay.
And that is it for today. You guys have a great week — it’s possible I won’t be back next weekend, since Paul may have Jury Duty — if that’s the case, I’ll be handling the weekdays and he’ll take the weekends — so we’ll just have to see (we’ll find out Friday). In any case, I’ll catch you guys soon, either way.
Big thanks to Matt for the annual sneakerhead fantasy piece, and also to Ross — keep sending in those Lewis & Clark designs to me (Phil.Hecken@gmail.com).
Everyone have a great week and I’ll see ya when I see ya.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Switzerland is still a mystery to me.”