LeBron James won another MVP, as is tradition, ergo Nike hooked him up with some special MVP shoes, as is tradition. These bad riders are the LeBron X “What the MVP” edition, his fourth such MVP shoe and easily the craziest thing we’ve seen on his feet. Just look at these things.
Maybe I am miscounting, but I see 7,500 different colors on these. There are so many colors that if someone asked you what color they were, you might say purple, but you’d probably say, “All of them, I guess.” And you’d kind of be right. It’s like Nike challenged themselves to make the craziest looking version of this shoe that they possibly could — which is basically true for the Swoosh’s long-running “What The” series that started with some Dunks back in 2007 and which has shown up on shoes for Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and even some one-off versions of LeBron’s last signature shoe that were just for LeBron and his buds — and succeeded. Even the laces are different colors. Even the lace locks are different colors.
The shoes will be hitting retail, but Nike’s website has no details other than that they “will be available in limited quantities at select retailers” and that they’re coming out “soon.” Suffice it to say, these are going to be expensive and hard to get your hands on. But on the plus side, if you do, you’re getting like 40 different shoes out of the deal. That’s a lot of bang for the buck, not to mention two different lace locks.
Not that I think anyone was planning anything, but I wanted to let anyone who was thinking they might want to touch Nate Robinson’s Jordans know that they should reconsider. Why exactly? Because he has a rule in place, should such a thing occur.
“Michael Jordan was my Hercules, Zeus and Napoleon. When I was 7, my father bought me my first Air Jordans, the VIIs, and I cried right there in the mall. I own maybe 150 Jordans. My rarest of all is the all-yellow IVs. One of the worst days of my life was when my brother, Anthony Stewart, broke in to my closet last summer and wore those IVs before I’d rocked them myself. He even rubbed it in by posting a photo on Instagram. I was like, ‘Oh, hell no!’ Never been so mad. Now I have a rule: You can drive my car, sleep in my bed, use my toothbrush, but if you touch the left side of my shoe closet, the Jordans side, we’ll have problems.”
There are a few conclusions to draw from this. One, I guess we all have free reign to borrow Nate Robinson’s cars, crash at his house and brush our teeth with his toothbrush whenever we want. I’ll definitely take him up on all those things the next time I visit home. Not only will it save on lodging, it’ll be nice to have a car to cruise around in, plus I don’t have to worry about forgetting my toothbrush. Thanks, Nate. Two, I guess we finally know what made Lil’ Nate so mad during that Knicks-Nuggets fight from a few years ago — J.R. Smith must have tried on one of his Jordans without asking at some point. It’s nice to finally solve that mystery. Three, Nate Robinson does indeed consider Napoleon a hero, which is perfect.
So yeah, don’t even think about trying to touch any of Nate Robinson’s Jordans. You don’t want to end up getting punched in the knee, do you? No, you don’t. It really hurts.
Remember when Nike gave their three biggest basketball players outer space-themed shoes for the All-Star Game? I really hope so, because that was only like a month ago. But if not, it’s OK to forget about that because there is a new concept pack in town — it’s Nike’s Elite Series 2.0 and it’s superhero-themed because space is so last month.
The Elite Series 2.0 is a continuation of last year’s Elite Series (duh) which itself was a continuation of Nike hooking it’s premier players up with some special shoes for the postseason. (The Lakers better make the playoffs, otherwise, awwwwwk-ward.) All of the shoes are updated versions of the players’ signature shoes, with the main addition being new tech in the form of Kevlar aramid, articulated foam, and carbon fiber reinforcements to make the shoes light and strong. You know, like a superhero’s armor, only significantly less metal.
Style-wise, the colors are a bit strange. LeBron’s are in Knicks colors, Kevin Durant is wearing oversaturated Golden State Warriors blue and yellow and Kobe Bryant is in, gasp, Celtics green which is something we’ve seen before but still feels wrong. I’m sure the real ones they’re going to wear on court will be team appropriate, but for now this is all we’ve seen. Not that the shoes don’t look awesome — I particularly like the low-cut KD V, which reminds me of Roger Federer’s kicks in a very good way — but it is always odd when the first version you see of a shoe doesn’t match the player’s team. Though, to be fair, superheroes tend to match their armor and not their favorite sporting franchise. I mean, Spider-Man would never wear orange and blue shoes.
All three shoes release April 28 and I’m sure they’ll be more expensive than the standard versions of these shoes, what with all that fancy stuff added. No idea if the rest of the armor comes with the shoes, but if not, it’s probably pretty easy to make it yourself. After all, Tony Stark built an entire suit of armor AND arc reactor while trapped in a cave, so I’m sure you can handle a chest plate and some metal leggings.
Lots of pics after the jump. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.
This is one of those stories that matters to a very small number of people, but it just might matter a lot to those people. Box Out Kid, the kid we always see at All-Star Weekend getting all up in the scrums who also somehow showed up on stage at the Heat’s championship celebration, loves the name so much that he’s had some custom shoes made to honor how he’s always getting in everybody’s way.
“Ring Ceremony/Box Out Kid” PE- not everything can be done on ID lol, these were derived from the “Ring Ceremony” PEs Bron wore opening night but with a twist. The customer wanted to represent his son known as “The Box Out Kid” who was onstage last June when the Heat won the championship trophy. He was hard to miss wearing his “Big Bang” 9s so I incorporated @herbjuice custom Big Bang tags to represent his moment.
Mache is pretty much at the top of the shoe customization game, so this is a pretty good get for Box Out Kid, who is apparently going to be going by that from now on. Smart decision. Better to become a brand now, rather than waiting until after high school. I don’t even know what his real name is and I’m glad he dropped it.
But yeah, Box Out Kid has some custom LeBron Xs now, and they legitimately say “Box Out Kid” on them. Outside of some “Durantula” shirts, this is the most successful a TBJ nickname has ever become. Congratulations to us.
Remember the zany, zipup Air Jordan XX8 that Russell Westbrook debuted back in December? Well, they come out this weekend, in honor of both the All-Star Game and Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. This is the official Jordan Brand commercial for the shoe, which is pretty weird to see on a silent television in a Mexican restaurant in Houston.
Pretty fun to watch in the morning though. Especially because we get to see Westbrook in what I imagine has to be his ideal basketball uniform.
The Flu Game is the signature game during the Jordan 12 era. It was awesome when I watched it at home as a kid and it remains awesome watching it today. 38 points in 44 minutes, 15 in the fourth, a tie-breaking three with 25 seconds left and one iconic photograph. It also inspired the greatest thing Josh Smith has ever said. “Can’t eat sushi in Utah, brother — landlocked” remains hilarious.
Sometime when you’re sick, throw it on. You’ll instantly feel motivated to do anything besides feel like the world’s biggest waste of organic material.
Back when Eastbay catalogs were the jam, I used to spend literally an hour on the phone talking with my friend Marc Johnson about all the various sections. We would go through the thing page-by-page, discussing what shoes we liked, the random And1 shirts and all that nonsense. Our greatest disagreement regarding anything that ever appeared in the catalog was about the Jordan XII, which came in a colorway called “Obsidian-White.”
Nowadays, I think we can all agree that these are blue and white shoes. But back in the day, I was convinced they were black and white because obsidian is black. I looked it up in the giant dictionary we had in the closet and everything. The shoes are navy blue, no diggity doubt about it. But also, obsidian is definitely black. It says so on Wikipedia and everything. So even though I was wrong back then, I’m still kind of right.
I 100 percent botched getting the Air Jordan XI when I was in 7th grade because I loved Grant Hill a little too much. The next year, however, was a different story. When the XII was released, I told my mom immediately that those were going to be my eighth grade basketball shoes. She got ‘em for me for Christmas, I played about 60 minutes of A-team basketball in them during the season, then I wore them with some Keith Van Horn-inspired tall socks to host our middle school’s talent contest as part of a classic odd couple bit with Tom Dean. It killed.
All-Star Weekend is the most wonderful time of the year for all the solemen out there, because that’s when a bunch of cool new shoes come out. It’s like a shoe showcase where all the displays are dunks, which means it’s pretty smart. Your first entrance in the All-Star zapatos game comes from Nike’s “Extraterrestrial” pack, which includes new versions of the LeBron X, Kobe 8 and KD V and a kind of hilarious description about where these shoes come from.
Rumored to have journeyed to earth on a meteor made of the galaxy’s hardest substance – black diamonds, the model takes a a purple hue for the overlays and black rests within the inlays. Furthering the story the model originated from NSP-LJ6, a planet discovered by the Nike Space Program (NSP).
Kobe 8 System ”Extraterrestrial”
Originating on planet NSP-KB24, the Kobe 8 is part of the guardian of the five rings. Able to freeze his opponents in his stance, Kobe has been given an orange tinted look over the engineered mesh upper and green highlights over the Nike Swoosh and liner.
KD V ”Extraterrestrial”
Known as the legendary Dark Matter, his weapon of choice will be the KD V. Believed to have originated on planet NSP-KD35, the shoe packs a lime green upper highlighted with a dark green on the heel counter and accented with orange on the laces.
I’m not sure about all that stuff, but I really do like all of these because I’m of the opinion that your All-Star shoes should be as insane as possible. Basing them on made-up planets, making them in extra bright colors and then covering them in details certainly achieves that.
Were I ranking them, I’d probably go Kobe then Durant then LeBron, but they’re all pretty close. I love the orange Jupiter-y upper on the Kobes, the entire color scheme of the KDs and how LeBron’s shoe looks like a jewel. Weird idea — though it is wisely based on Houston being the home of NASA’s Mission Control Center and continues Nike’s space-themed All-Star shoes — but the execution is great. If basketball were played on non-existent planets, this is definitely what the shoes would look like.
After the jump, there are more pictures of these bad riders. All of these will be available at retail stores on February 15. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.