Sneaker Culture in the Association – Part 2
QUEENS, NY – The NBA is good for storybook finishes. LeBron James has catapulted himself into the MVP race. Please, do not take this man for granted. 15 seasons, game 81. Donovan Mitchell (great job Adidas, we see you) and Ben Simmons are jawing back and forth through media, each making cases for ROTY. Simmons is building a reputation around the league for his snarky remarks and cheeky personality. Over on the left coast, Honcho Steve Kerr is mincing words on a week to week basis, severely concerned with the state of the Golden State Warriors. They just took a 119-79 smack down from the Utah Jazz. Kevin Durant opted out of his contract with intentions to renegotiate this off-season. Playoff positions in the west haven’t been locked in yet. The fate of seeds 3-9 are dependent of how the final evening will progress. The Nuggets-Timberwolves are playing for the 8th seed. This is only the third time in NBA history since the recent playoff format (1983-84), where one team moves onto post season play and the other packs for vacation. If you were hoping for the last two nights of the season to be drama-filled with big jabs throughout the media and Lance Stephenson? It’s come to fruition. While we’re here, let’s revisit what your favorite athletes wore on the court while the drama unfolded.
Nike LeBron 15
Honorable Mention – Nike LeBron 15 I’m King: Special PE
The Narrative: It’s been said the best ability, is availability. If so, LeBron James is this year’s MVP. In a cozy win over the dismal New York Knicks, Bron delivered 26 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds on 50 percent shooting from three. The Cleveland Cavaliers secured another division title, his 10th straight. As per Dave McMenamin, LeBron will finish the season playing all 82 games for the first time in his career – “I’m healthy, so I’m playing.” There seems to be another caveat in play. The Cavs will most likely finish 4th in the east, LeBron has never journeyed to the Finals as anything lower than the 3rd in the conference. James Harden has found himself in another close MVP race for a third consecutive season. Unfortunately, you cannot award someone for being snubbed in year’s past. This isn’t necessarily a ref’s make-up call during gameplay. Despite boasting the league’s best record with the Houston Rockets, LeBron has The Beard beat in virtually all statistical categories. At 27.7 points, 9.2 assists, and 8.7 rebounds on 54 percent shooting from the field – LeBron will finish with greater totals in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, minutes, games played, and triple-doubles. On the court, he continues to make a statement. In a special PE colorway, “I’M KING” decorated the heels of his LeBron 15 while in NY. You could also spot JR Smith in a light grey colorway and Michael Beasley in the Nike LeBron 15 Fruity Pebbles pictured above.
The Narrative: Sound the alarm – Kevin Durant must play without Steph Curry and opted out of his contract! The scrutiny will never subside for KD, regardless of the scoring titles, ring(s), or Finals MVP. As per morelifehoops, the Warriors are 12-8 in the last 20 games Durant has played without Curry. In comparison, the Dubs are 20-0 in the last 20 games Curry has played without Durant. He’s a once in a lifetime player, it seems to be something lacking inside that makes the difference. Curry is engine that makes the Warriors go. Farther south, the rockets are gearing up for their playoff run awaiting their first-round matchup. Luc Mbah a Moute has gone down with a dislocated shoulder. Although an integral piece to the Rockets success – specifically on the defensive end – they should fare well amidst his return. The KD sneaker series usually has a solid impact around the league. You can find the KDX laced up on several players across the league on any given night.
The Narrative: Nike has a slew of releases for the month of April centered around the Nike Kobe 1 Protro series. You can find Nike signature athletes like The Greek Freak, Demar DeRozan, Devin Booker, and Kyle Kuzma in just about unlimited colorways every single night. It’s easily one of the best performance shoes on the market. It boasts incredible style and detail tailored to history while crafted for the future. No coincidence the players who sport a pair consistently are some of the most confident on a nightly basis. Check out the links for more information.
Adidas Dame 4
The Narrative: The Portland Trailblazers have come up clutch in the latter part of the season, rattling off 13 straight wins. They overcame notable teams – beating GSW twice, Jazz, Wolves, Cavs, and OKC. Dame and C.J lifted the Blazers quietly for sole possession of 3rd place in the West. A recent 4-game losing skid has put the playoff positioning in jeopardy, they match up for 3rd place against the 4th seeded Utah Jazz Wednesday night. Much like the appeal of his career, the Dame 4 is one of the most underrated sneakers this season. Adidas has provided a bevy of colorways for the extensive roster this year. Austin Rivers, Ricky Rubio, and Donovan Mitchell can be seen in a pair every time they hit the floor. Hip Hop culture and the NBA remain intertwined. The latest Dame 4 pays homage to Juvenile’s 400 Degreez album released in 1998. This is the second time in last week or so we’ve seen New Orleans culture come to life in modern times. Drake released another hit record uplifting women within film/music industries and all around. Already sampling a Juvenile classic before, the OVO camp livens “Nice For What” by paying homage to New Orleans bounce. You’ve probably heard it already, just listen closely.
Heavy Heat x Nightly Notables:
Air Jordan III PE Exclusive – Chris Paul (photo courtesy: IG – slamkicks)
Nike Air Max CB 94 “Air Derrty” x Nike LeBron 3 “Oilers” – PJ Tucker (phot courtesy: IG – slamkicks)
Way of Wade 4.0 Origami Pink – Dwyane Wade (photo courtesy: IG – slamkicks)
Air Jordan 2 x Just Don “Beach” – Lance Stephenson (photo courtesy: IG – solecollector)
Under Armor Curry 3
Photo Courtesy: IG – brkicks (Under Armor Curry 3)
Andre Ingram, we salute you! The G-League, formerly known as the D-League, has changed names several times while Ingram represented for 10 years. Some of its affiliate teams no longer exist, his perseverance has outlasted. It was after 10 consecutive years; Andre Ingram was finally called up to the NBA. He was signed for the remainder of the season, to join the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers to close the 2017-2018 campaign. The Hall of Fame mogul, Magic Johnson joined GM Rob Pelinka, Head Coach Luke Walton, and Lakers executives in what Ingram thought was his routine exit interview. Grey sprinkles in his dark caesar, youthful smile, and pure exuberance in his voice – he called his wife to deliver the good news. Ingram’s salary in the G-League this season tapped out at 19k. He’ll be compensated roughly 14k for each of his final regular season games with the Lakers. If you’re reading this, keep pushing and see it through!
What did you wear this week? What did you hoop in?
Olivier - @WhatOlivierSees