Archive for the ‘Shoes’ Category

Various NBA foot facts

It’s been said that you can find anything you’re looking for on the internet. And while I’ve yet to find an old Sports Illustrated article detailing Shammond Williams’ various hairstyles, it’s pretty much true. For instance, if you really wanted to know what model and what size shoe every player in the NBA wears (weirdo), then you could do it, thanks to SLAM’s recently updated database of footwear.

Naturally, I went through the data and found the following the factoids.

  • Not surprisingly, Earl Boykins has the NBA’s smallest foot. He wears a 9.5.
  • Somewhat surprisingly, the biggest feet in the NBA belong to Brook and Robin Lopez, who both wear size 20.
  • Of all the sub-6-footers in the NBA, Isaiah Thomas and Kyle Lowry have the biggest feet. They both wear 12s.
  • Boykins is joined by Nate Robinson, John Lucas III, J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe and Steve Nash as the only NBA players with shoes smaller than size 12. Of those guys, Jackson and Nash are the tallest, so ha ha for them.
  • Chris Bosh has smaller feet (14.5) than both LeBron James (16) and Dwyane Wade (15.5).
  • LeBron James may or may not have six toes.
  • The tallest player in the league — 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet, who yes, is really still in the NBA — wears a size 18.
  • Juwan Howard’s shoe make and model are listed as “Dr. Scholl’s” and “Orthopedic.” The size is XVI.
  • Joakim Noah (Le Coq Sportif), Anthony Parker (The League), Roger Mason Jr. (Protege), Matt Bonner (New Balance), Chuck Hayes (Qiaodan) and Metta World Peace (Ball’n) are the only players in the league who are their shoe brand’s lone NBA representative.
  • Instead of Raymond Felton’s shoe size, there is just a picture of a cupcake.
  • Three NBA players (Mario Chalmers, Chris Singleton, Jimmer Fredette) wear Spalding basketball shoes. Presumably these were not purchased at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
  • All four of the Williamses who played for the Nets this season wore different sized shoes.
  • Weird inclusion, but the database mentions that Brian Cardinal has no toes, which is why he falls down so much.

There’s a lot to be learned by poring through these pages and pages of sneaker data, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself to justify how I’ve spent the last hour at my life. Nonetheless, we all just learned a lot about NBA feet, so we’re probably better off.

Is Lil’ Penny coming back?

If you were a basketball fan in the 1990s, you probably loved Penny Hardaway’s alter ego, Lil’ Penny. What’s not to love about a wise-cracking puppet that’s voiced by Chris Rock? The commercials still hold up, I still have a copy of “Knee High and Livin’ Large” in my mom’s basement and people are still ripping off these legendary spots to move units.

That’s why the following blockquote is so potentially awesome. Penny and Chris Rock got together yesterday on the Bottom Line Sports Show to talk about their commercials and that’s when they dropped what might be the greatest news of 2012. It starts around the 59 minute mark.

Penny: I got something that my guy, Mark Doshay, and I were talking today. And this isn’t putting Chris on the spot, you know he’s a busy person or whatever and we can contact later. But we’ve got the Penny 5 — it’s a new sneaker that’s coming out of the collection — and he told me that he’d love to sit down and talk about things to negotiate something and then try to do something with the Penny 5.

Rock: OK!

Penny: That’s up to you. If it doesn’t happen it’s fine. I think this is big, but if we’re past it, we’re past it. I hope that’s not putting you on the spot.

Rock: No no no. Let’s do it. Let’s figure it out. Let’s do it.

Obviously, this isn’t a done deal because it’s pretty much just Penny Hardaway saying, “Hey, we should do this” and Chris Rock not wanting to be a party pooper, but still. If Penny Hardaway is getting another signature shoe even though he’s been retired for four years — he is, they look great — then they should definitely bring Lil’ Penny out of retirement. It’s a no-brainer.

I don’t know how we guarantee that this happens, but I’m guessing it’ll involve a letter writing campaign. If we all send letters (NO EMAILS) to Penny Hardaway, Chris Rock, the advertising executives at Nike, Weiden+Kennedy, Phil Knight and Tyra Banks, then I think we should be good. Meet you at the post office.

(via Nice Kicks)

I know what you are thinking — “Didn’t Michael Jordan wear Nike his entire career? And didn’t he start playing in the NBA less than 30 years ago?” The answer to both of those questions, wise reader, is yes. He was a Nike man and his NBA debut was a mere 28 years ago. You’re very smart.

Here’s the thing though. Prior to joining forces with Nike to literally change the face of professional sports for all eternity, Jordan was just a 19-year-old college kid named Mike who wore Converse and hit national championship winning jumpers. That first clutch moment was 30 years ago. Since then, Mike Jordan became Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan became the greatest basketball player ever and Nike bought Converse. That’s how we’re getting these fantastic Michael Jordan 30th anniversary Converse Pro Leather Mid LTDs and the celebratory memorabilia pack they’re a part of.

The shoes are an updated reproduction of the kicks Jordan was wearing when he won the 1982 national championship with a game-winning jumper. The shoe has been decked out in all manner of Carolina and Jordan nostalgia. You’ve got “30 years of 23″ on the tongue, gold lace tips and the North Carolina practice shorts logo — which Jordan wore underneath his uniform for the entirety of his professional career — on the sockliner. It’s like they took a nice shoe and made it great, then had Michael Jordan sign it to make it even better. Included in the pack is a signed UNC jersey and a wooden box. That’s for burying this as treasure, I think.

All that’s great, but here’s the bad part. There are only 30 of these packs made and only 23 of them are being auctioned. That means you’re paying A LOT of money to get your hands on one of these. And while that might be totally frustrating, it’s not all bad as 100 percent of the proceeds are going to the James R. Jordan Foundation, who help provide education opportunities for children in underserved communities. So even though it’s a bummer you’re probably not going to buy these for less than $3,000, at least you know that’s $3,000 well spent.

More images after the jump.

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Even though it is trade deadline day and your Twitter timeline is going crazy to the point you’re having trouble keeping up while thinking, “Dag, if the Lakers add Beasley and Sessions for a protected first-rounder, that’s a pretty great haul for nothing,” let’s take a second and think about two players who aren’t going anywhere — Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

You remember those two guys, I’m sure. They’re safe where they are and will be starting the playoffs in a little more than a month, and (segue) they’ll be wearing fancy new shoes, both of which you see above these two brilliant paragraphs.

On the left is the Nike Kobe VII Elite, on the right is the Nike LeBron 9 Elite. You’ll notice they have something in common. They’re both part of Nike’s “Elite” pack, which also includes an updated version of the Hyperdunk. They’re all standard black and white with hits of gold throughout, inspired by the Larry O’Brien Trophy. There are new fabrics, updated technology and a bunch of other playoff-y updates that make these limited edition.

Personally, my favorite are the new white Kobe’s. They’re very simple but kind of elegant looking, if you ask me. I really like the raised snake skin texture and like that it’s pretty subtle compared to last year’s version. Feel like these would look great in the summer. As for the LeBrons, the black ones are pretty nice, like a commercially available version of the “Watch the Throne” shoes that LeBron has. Not crazy about the white ones, which are fine but not worth the $250 price tag.

Both shoes go on sale April 28, which is not coincidentally the first day of the playoffs. Both of the Kobes go for $200 and the LeBrons are $250. Don’t be surprised if Kobe mentions this price disparity in a postgame press conference. He’ll use anything for fuel. More pics after the jump.

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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.

It’s All-Star Game time, which means it’s crazy shoes time. Let’s take a look at the what kicks the most notable superstars are going to be wearing this Sunday.

Kevin Durant — Nike Zoom KD IV
Orlando is in the heart of America’s spaceship district, just a stone’s throw from lauchpads on the East Coast, so there’s a big space theme for Nike’s All-Star shoes. That’s why you have outer space speckles all over the midsole and shiny space silver on the upper. These are really great, even if it takes a bold man to wear silver shoes.

Kobe Bryant — Nike Zoom Kobe VII
More space, more awesome. I am not exactly sure what sort of nebulas and intergalactic clouds these are all over Kobe Bryant’s shoes, but I like them. Not the kind of shoe you’d want to wear everyday — unless you’re Buzz “Cameos” Aldrin, then it’s OK — but for a one-time All-Star Game special, they’re perfect.

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Apparently the new thing in basketball shoe marketing is giving Barack Obama a pair of shoes. First it was Under Armour and Brandon Jennings hooking Mr. President up with some of unreleased shoes. Now it’s Knicks fan/movie director/gigantic jersey enthusiast Spike Lee giving Obamdawg some special Jordan Spizikes.

Here’s Spike:

These Are The Spizikes Made By Michael Jordan For Michelle&Barack W/ Wood Engrained Presidental Seal [...] President Obama Is A Huge Bulls And Jordan Fan.Here He Holds His Gift Of Spizikes From MJ Himself.

To be fair, these aren’t exactly 1-of-1, specially designed by Michael Jordan shoes we’re talking about. They’re actually the “Bordeaux” colorway that comes out this February, but now they have a fancypants wood box engraved with the presidential seal and Michael Jordan’s autograph (photo after the jump) which has to be exclusive to the president, as directed by MJ himself. Or at least that’s what Spike Lee is leading me to believe and I totally trust him.

That being said, still pretty awesome. It’s not every day the best basketball player ever sends an Oscar-nominated director to deliver personal gift to the most powerful man on Earth. I’m not sure that these shoes and their box will go next to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, but you have to agree this is cool.

Not to mention, since this is shoe is going to be released to the public, you can have the same shoes as the President of the United States of America. Imagine the laughs you can get from telling your friends that you’re wearing Obama Jordans. That alone might be worth the sticker price.

But be warned — I’m guessing Michael Jordan’s not going to send one of his famous buddies to hand deliver your pair. Can’t win ‘em all.

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