NBA players get booed for a lot of silly reasons. For instance, Kris Humphries — a hard-working player who gets the most out of his skill set, plays hard all the time and does the dirty work for a terrible team, which is a no-thanks kind of job that usually wins over a lot of fans — gets heckled because he married and was divorced from one of America’s most famous and beautiful women. (You might not think Kim Kardashian is all that, but you can probably at least agree that she is objectively pretty, but let’s save that discussion for our spinoff website The Silly Arguments Jones.) That’s like being razzed for buying a needlessly expensive pair of jeans with excessive pocket detailing.

Nonetheless, anyone in the league can get booed, even if they’re a generally innocuous fellow like Matt Bonner. As he explained to the Spurs’ website, he’s the player opposing fans heckle the most. And because he’s smart, he’s figured out five reasons why he’s an easy target. You should read them all because it’s really funny, but I’ll hit you with the most hilarious reason, which is that he wears New Balance basketball shoes.

1. My Shoes – I had the fortune of being sponsored by New Balance for two glorious seasons. Here’s the problem: New Balance stopped sponsoring basketball players almost three years ago. So while the other two or three players in the NBA wearing New Balance switched to Nike or Adidas or British Knights, I was left in the proverbial shoebox. Nobody wanted me.

To this day, I am still wearing New Balance basketball sneakers I have left over from the “good old days”. I’m down to my last four or five pairs and have no clue what I’m going to do when they run out. I even called New Balance in the hopes that they would send me some more. They said no. I then scoured the internet and came up emptier than Leonardo Dicaprio at the Oscars. In a last ditch attempt, I found one pair in my size on E-Bay but they were purple. The scrutiny from Coach Pop wouldn’t be worth it… But they are soooooo comfortable! The point is, I am obviously the only person wearing New Balance basketball sneakers in the NBA, possibly the world. Apparently that’s NOT COOL.

Normally, if you were the only guy wearing a certain shoe in the NBA and you couldn’t even get your feet in to any pairs if you tried, you’d be the shoe king of the league. Apparently that’s not the case with New Balances, which is comical considering super cool guys like Steve Jobs, the internet’s best men’s style blogger, Kanye West and yours truly rock NBs. Sure, your dad also might wear plain white Newbies when he’s mowing the lawn, but still.

But hey, sports fans will find any little thing they can to diss an opponent. Maybe it’s shoes that explode occasionally during games or maybe it’s red hair or maybe it’s that you weren’t blessed with incredible hops. Kids are mean and they’ll look for whatever they can to get under your skin if it means their favorite team has a better chance to win a game. At least Bonner knows what he’s getting in to. Other players don’t take this kind of stuff as well as it seems like he does.

Of course, now that he’s put it out in the open, fans are just going to double down on the New Balance taunts once the league returns from the All-Star break. Don’t be surprised to see a showering of 993s the next time Bonner is in Boston. They’ve got manufacturing plants all around there, so at least Celtics fans will be able to track down some shoes, even if Bonner can’t.

Comments (9)

  1. From Bonner’s post:

    Each time, while I’m tempted to abort my inbound pass to Tony Parker and instead, turn around and rifle the ball at the heckler’s head, I defer to common sense and just take it. Hey, they paid for their tickets. They have the right to act however they want, right? Even if it means blowing out my candle to make their own shine brighter (insert slowly rolling tear on cheek here).

    You guys seem to be pretty tight with Bonner. Any chance you can get him to occasionally write a post or two for TBJ? The man is hilarious. I loved the Coach B videos that he did too.

  2. NB basketball shoes ARE comfortable. My last pair lasted 5 years and I had to change them, but I can’t find any.

  3. I think Bonner needs to ditch NB and get with K-Swiss. Not only would he get Kenny Powers to do awesome commercials with him but he would also get some more ups because of the Tubes! Ok well maybe not more ups but he needs to do it at least for the commercials.


  4. I can’t believe they wont send him shoes. He is basically offering them free advertising.

  5. Even NB don’t want to be associated with Bonner. That’s telling. They’re like the Spurs of footwear.

  6. What size is Matt? I have a few brand new pairs of New Balance in size 15 from a sponsorship deal back in mid-2000′s if he wants them.

  7. What size is the Mamba? I work for NB and I will definitely send him a few pairs.

  8. There is definately a great deal to know about this subject.
    I like all the points you’ve made.

  9. I tried all the cool brands of basketball shoes that all the kids think are so f-ing awesome tight…like a boss or whatever term instead of cool they are using this week. like the newest lebrons or air jordans 199. i tried all the nike adidas reebok etc. anyway none even come close to the comfort of the basketball shoes nb makes. comfy right out of the box. no break in period. i dont work for nb and i cant imagine why they wouldnt send an nba dude some free pairs. they dont seem to be into marketing their bbball shoes much. but thats ok with me. at my age ill take every boost and advantage i can get. on the basketball court. so while everyone thinks im wearing my grand daddys shoes, my feet are quietly smiling and flying high.

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