Can They Kick It?

The time Jim Jackson talked trash to Michael Jordan

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERJim Jackson had a tremendous NBA career, playing for 15 years and scoring almost 13,000 points. But he was not Michael Jordan. Yesterday during a summer league game on NBA TV, Kendall Gill recalled a story about a time when he was teammates with Jackson, and they ran up against Jordan. And we’ll just let Kendall take it from there…


VIDEO: Kendall Gill remembers when Jim Jackson talked trash to Michael Jordan

Adidas introduces new Derrick Rose shoe

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — While Derrick Rose continues his comeback from injury and tries to help the Bulls add an impact free agent, adidas today dropped info on Rose’s next signature shoe, the D Rose 773 III.

According to adidas…

The D Rose 773 III features Rose specific detailing such as three stripes on the heel with an architectural pattern and premium finish inspired by Chicago’s landmarks. The lace jewel highlights the 773 area code that inspired the shoe’s name while the D Rose logo is featured on the side and the tongue.

The D Rose 773 III also draws on collaboration with adidas’ collegiate teams to build on previous D Rose 773 models. The latest D Rose 773 utilizes a perforated pattern to increase breathability, an improved collar shape to enhance fit and performance and adiprene+ cushioning for comfort and responsiveness during quick cuts and drives to the basket. The SPRINTWEB upper dawns a color contrasting overlay while the zoned traction pattern on the bottom of the shoe offers optimal grip to fit all styles of play.

The D Rose 773 III is available now for $115 at adidas.com where you can also customize your own colorway with miadidas for $135.

For images, check the gallery below…

Robin Lopez customizes his shoes

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Turns out Portland’s Robin Lopez isn’t just a fan of comic books and nerd culture, he’s an artist himself. Thoughout the playoffs, he’s been posting pictures of his adidas shoes, which he’s been customizing for each game — often this means drawing intricate shapes and designs on the shoes. Lopez is a talented artist, and he’s been chronicling his work on Instagram…

(via FTW)

Gilbert Arenas has more shoes than you

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We have previously established in this space that NBA players often have a lot of pairs of shoes. It’s simply a part of the gig, like Richard Hamilton showed us a year ago. And now we see in this Instagram video from Gilbert Arenas, sometimes you have so many shoes you have no idea what to do with them all. I’m pretty sure he could find some takers if Gil is really looking to give all of those away…

(via TNLP)

Jordan Brand unveils Air Jordan XX9

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


VIDEO: Tinker Hatfield on the Air Jordan XX9

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — At a press conference yesterday in Manhattan, Jordan Brand unveiled their latest signature sneaker, the Air Jordan XX9. Michael Jordan and designer Tinker Hatfield were in attendance, and they talked often about how the new kicks, which will be available in September, is the best shoe they’ve created yet.

The shoe is woven together using a technology they found in Italy, so it’s both light and strong. As a press release explains…

The performance-woven upper delivers superior abrasion resistance, along with an entirely new look on the outside of the shoe. The structure and fit of the shoe are engineered through Flight Web tunnels, and strategic panels of stiffer and softer flex to enhance natural motion. The absence of numerous layers and adhesion technologies creates an incredibly comfortable, sock-like interior lining with superior breathability. Using webbed straps that wrap the foot and integrate with the laces, the Flight Web fit system offers superior mid-foot lockdown that moves with the athlete. Woven channels in the upper enhance the Flight Web fit system, while a double-lasted heel helps dampen the impact on hard landings. Articulated padding in the collar adds to the premium, signature feel of the shoe and helps prevent the heel from slipping.

While the shoe isn’t out until the fall, you’ll probably start seeing it on some feet in the playoffs. In the meantime, check out some images of the first two colorways in the gallery below…

Shaq, Shawn Kemp Go Old School For Reebok

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Arguments in a barber shop are about as common as the actual haircuts. Want to talk sports, politics, movies…basically anything? Head to the barber shop. Which makes it the perfect setting for this new ad from Reebok. In this barber shop, Shaquille O’Neal and Shawn Kemp (along with comedian Lil’ Duval) try to decide who is the best big man in the game. Want to hear Shaq’s argument? He’d probably rather just show you…
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VIDEO: Reebok Barber Shop

Adidas Debuts 2014 NBA All-Star Uniforms

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA and adidas today dropped an early look at the uniforms for the 2014 All-Star Game, on February 16 in New Orleans.

According to a press release from adidas, “the uniforms are inspired by New Orleans’ rich and unique culture, featuring vibrant Mardi Gras colors and shiny brass and silver accents on a short-sleeved silhouette. The NBA All-Star logo appears on the chest of the blue ‘East’ and red ‘West’ jerseys in the shape of the fleur-de-lis, the official symbol of Louisiana, with a purple ‘W’ or green ‘E’ cut out to identify the conference of each player.”

“Each year, we look forward to developing a unique on-court look for the players that pays homage to the host city and adds to the excitement of this highly anticipated game,” said Chris Grancio, adidas head of global basketball sports marketing. “This year’s All-Star collection reflects New Orleans’ festive musical history while also providing the premium performance elements that NBA athletes have grown accustomed to.”

Also, the All-Stars will rock “varsity-style” warm-ups that are customized to “represent individual career accomplishments such as NBA All-Star Game appearances and NBA All-Star MVP awards, NBA Championships, regular season accolades and scoring titles. Players will also wear shooting shirts that feature a colorful primal print.”

NBA All-Star jerseys ($80 – $130) will be available at NBAStore.com in addition to a full range of NBA All-Star apparel from adidas including men’s and women’s T-shirts ($22 – $30), track jackets ($80 – $120) and headwear ($16 – $26).

Check the gallery below for images…


Gallery: New 2014 All-Star Game jerseys

Kobe Returns With A New Commercial

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — You stayed up last night to watch Kobe Bryant‘s return to action against the Sacramento Kings Toronto Raptors, didn’t you? Yeah, if you’re a basketball fan, you probably did. You don’t have to be a Laker fan to appreciate what a big deal this was. (And if you are a Laker fan, well, maybe you need to reorder your priorities.) This was the Mamba, arguably the best player of his generation, returning to action after suffering the most serious injury of his career.

And you know what? He looked pretty good. He was a little rusty, sure, and the layoff seemed to manifest most obviously in his timing, but overall it was great to see Kobe being Kobe. And to celebrate all the things that make Kobe so special, Nike released a new commercial last night (with Ice Cube on the voiceover) to remind us that Kobe is a pretty singular dude. Welcome back, Kobe.
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VIDEO: Kobe Comeback

Nike Unveils Kobe 9 Elite Shoe

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTERKobe Bryant has been through eight signature shoes as a Nike athlete, but at a media event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the ninth and maybe most dramatic kick yet was unveiled. The KOBE 9, out February 8, 2014, is a mixture of design, fashion and function, and Bryant clearly relished showing it off alongside Nike CEO Mark Parker and Nike Creative Director and VP of Innovation Eric Avar.

After several years of lowtops, the Kobe 9 is huge, reaching high above the ankle — Kobe said the idea came to him while watching Manny Pacquiao train and noticing his boxing shoes. Together with Avar, the idea was honed into the KOBE 9. (Of the design process and going back and forth with Avar, Kobe said he particularly enjoyed it because “I think we’re all geeks at heart.”)

The shoe is largely constructed from Nike Flyknit, the first time the technology has been used in a basketball shoe. According to Nike, Flyknit “defies conventional shoe manufacturing processes by creating a one-piece engineered upper made from single strands of yarns.”

While there are various design hints throughout the shoe to what Kobe referred to as his “muses,” the most obvious key to the shoe is the lines of red embroidered down the back of the shoe, a nod to the stitches Kobe received after his Achilles surgery.

“I draw inspiration from where I am as a player, as a person, and where my career is at this moment,” Kobe said. “I’m trying to do something that the majority of people think is impossible to do. I let my emotions out when I step on the basketball floor, it’s always been my escape, and these shoes will touch a nerve on the court in the same way I do.”

According to some early reviews on my Twitter feed, at least one other NBA player likes the look of the shoe…

For more looks at the shoe, check the gallery below…
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Dwyane Wade and Li-Ning Launch New Shoe, Website

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few years ago, it was announced that Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade had signed with Li-Ning, one of the largest athletic brands in Asia, but not necessarily a brand that was well known in the United States. Slowly but surely, that seems to be changing.

After wearing a signature shoe last season called the Way of Wade, this season Wade is rocking the Way Of Wade 2.0, and as of tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST, the shoe will be available online for the first time to consumers in the US and Canada on wayofwade.com.

The shoe, which will retail for $150, is called the Way of Wade 2.0 Overtown, named for a specific neighborhood in Miami. In the video below, D-Wade explains the thought process behind the kicks…
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VIDEO: Way of Wade 2.0