Can They Kick It?

Jordan Brand unveils new Carmelo Anthony signature shoe

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in New York City, just steps away from Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Jordan Brand unveiled his latest signature shoe, the Jordan Brand Melo M11. The new shoe, out Jan. 3, is Jordan’s newest performance model, and will be available in several colorways that reflect Anthony’s life and journey.

The event was held at Terminal 23, the indoor basketball court on West 32nd Street that Jordan Brand opened a year ago inside a former event space. Since being transformed, Terminal 23 has become an epicenter for off-season pick-up basketball among New York-based NBA players, largely thanks to Anthony’s constant presence. For the evening, the entryway to the facility had been transformed into something of a museum, and Anthony patiently walked reporters through the venue, explaining each installation. “I almost handed out headphones to everyone like you get at the Louvre,” Anthony joked.

As for the details on the shoe, from a press release…

The Jordan Melo M11 incorporates the brand’s pinnacle technology created for the basketball court: FlightPlate. Designed to harness and return energy from every step for explosive liftoff, FlightPlate features a moderator plate placed directly over the forefoot Nike Zoom unit to create a larger sweet spot and ample cushioning. On the shoe’s upper, a molded collar optimizes fit and enhances ankle support for Anthony’s versatile game.

Anthony definitely notices a difference in his game when playing in FlightPlate, saying it not only makes him faster and provides jump-shot lift in the first quarter, it actually keeps him fresh through the fourth quarter.

Building on last year’s model, the Jordan Melo M11 echoes Melo’s physical transformation through the offseason. After a summer dedicated to intense workouts — Melo was known for hosting some of the game’s best runs at Jordan Brand’s Terminal 23 in New York — he returned slimmer, fitter and ready to push even harder this season.

Melo said he wanted the Jordan Melo M11 to have a more sophisticated look that is well suited for a high-end, simple color palette, but also uses hues and patterns to tell dynamic stories.

The upper features synthetic leather for support and lightweight durability, while perforated details enhance breathability. A webbed strapping system wraps the foot to provide superior lockdown. The updated foam heel counter integrates into the midsole, bringing strength and support to the collar, as well as a distinctive pattern produced by repetition of the letter M.

INSPIRED BY NEW YORK CITY
Born in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., Melo has always felt a strong connection to the city of New York. Each colorway of the Jordan Melo M11 is inspired by — and a tribute to — different elements of Anthony’s story.

“It was essential that we incorporate how important New York City is to me,” Anthony said. “It’s where my basketball journey started, and there’s no other city where I’d rather play the game.”

CONCRETE ISLAND
Inspired by the concrete jungle, this color way of the Jordan Melo M11 juxtaposes the grit and shine of one of the world’s greatest cities. The gray across the forefoot echoes the concrete streets and the detailing on the tongue is a nod to brightly colored graffiti and street art, while a subtly speckled midsole evokes the bright lights of the city that never sleeps.

RED HOOK SUNSET
Born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, Melo remains inspired by and committed to remembering his roots even as he achieves great personal success in basketball and business. This colorway brings to mind sunsets in Red Hook and early memories of his childhood in the famous New York borough.

JORDAN FAMILY
Melo wanted to include a colorway tribute to the Jordan Brand family, who have been with him and supported him throughout his career. Featuring the traditional colorways worn by Michael Jordan — black, red and white — the shoe calls to mind the great Jordan rivalries with New York throughout the 1990s.

“BLACK/GOLD”
Featuring a simple, premium color scheme, the black/gold colorway features luxury touches, and highlights throughout.

Today, consumers in North America will be able to pre-order the Jordan Melo M11 at Jordan.com. The shoe will be globally available at select retailers and Jordan.com starting January 3. Stay tuned to @Jumpman23 on Twitter and Instagram for more information.

For a closer look at the shoe and the Terminal 23 gym, check the gallery below…

Russell Westbrook is an intense personal trainer

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In this latest spot from Foot Locker, we see what would happen if you — a young, developing basketball player — were tutored by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. He will teach you how to be a great basketball player, sure, but make certain you’re ready for a glass of water in the face and a battery of challenging drills before you sign up. SPLASH!


VIDEO: Westbrook Fly

Chris Paul just wanted to talk to his guinea pig

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When Chris Paul was a kid, all he wanted to do was to fly. At least, that’s apparently what Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul would tell you if you asked. Just don’t ask him in front of his mom, Robin, who in this new ad for Kids Foot Locker, is only too willing to snitch on Chris and admit in actuality, what CP3 really wanted was the ability to talk to…Mr. Peeps the guinea pig?


VIDEO: CP3 Fly

Nike introduces Kyrie Irving signature shoe


VIDEO: Nike Kyrie

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — “Welcome to the club,” Charles Barkley said to Kyrie Irving, and he settled into a seat next to Chuck and Penny Hardaway, and as LeBron James showed support from the back of the room. Irving was not only literally joining a couple of NBA superstars by sitting alongside them, he was also joining their ranks with a product that elevates him to a higher marketing plane.

Last night, at a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea district, Nike debuted the Kyrie 1, the Cleveland guard’s first signature shoe. This puts Irving into some exclusive company: He joins LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant as current NBA players with their own signature Nike lines.

The shoe has all sorts of design call-outs that make it unique to Irving. From a release via Nike…

1. The new Kyrie Irving logo on the shoe’s tongue represents his inner strength and hunger to learn

2. Hand-written details in Irving’s penmanship: #2 on the upper heel along with his personal signature on the inside of the tongue

3. Jagged pattern on the wrapped traction near the toe and heel counter with architectural angles are both inspired by the Sydney Opera House in Irving’s homeland of Australia

4. The acronym “JBY” that sits beneath Irving’s new logo on the outsole stands for “Just Be You,” a motto that Irving hopes inspires kids as they establish their own, unique identities

Each of these distinctions appear on all KYRIE 1 colorways. Individual stories come to life on each colorway beginning with the KYRIE 1 Dream. Irving often dreamt of waking up on Christmas morning and lacing up for a game professionally – a dream that will come true when Cleveland plays in Miami on Christmas day. The black-based shoe features geometric, colorful objects specific to Irving’s life journey, including stars from the Australian flag, a skateboard, his jersey number and a brass musical instrument.

The KYRIE 1 Deceptive Red is the global lead colorway; it takes inspiration from Irving’s phenomenal quickness and accelerated first step.

The KYRIE 1 is currently available for customization on NIKEiD, the KYRIE 1 Dream colorway will be available in North America on Dec. 23 in adult and kids sizes at nike.com and select retail destinations. The KYRIE 1 Deceptive Red colorway is available globally on Jan. 10, 2015. Along with the shoe, special KYRIE 1 T-shirts, hats and socks will also be available.

For detailed looks at the shoe, check the gallery below…

NBA and adidas unveil 2015 All-Star Uniforms

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Today in New York City, the home of the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, the NBA and adidas unveiled a first look at the uniforms for the 64th annual All-Star Game, to be played on February 15, 2015. To see more images, check the gallery at the bottom.

But first, a bit more on the design of the uniforms, via a press release from the NBA and adidas…

The jerseys feature a side panel of five stars, each representing New York City’s five boroughs with a unique pattern:

*Queens: a pattern inspired by the stainless steel orbit rings of the borough’s iconic Unisphere that was built for the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park

*Staten Island: a wave pattern to signify its surrounding waters

* Manhattan: a taxi-cab checkered pattern represents the pace and energy of the world’s most cosmopolitan city

*The Bronx: a vinyl record pattern to pay homage to the birthplace of hip-hop and the rich musical legacy of New York City

* Brooklyn: a brick pattern inspired by the iconic brownstone houses and buildings that make up the neighborhoods of the city’s most populous borough

“The NBA All-Star Game is a celebration of the host city and basketball culture, and this year we created our most detailed and sophisticated uniforms to date that pay homage to New York and All-Star weekend,” said Chris Grancio, adidas global basketball general manager. “We took inspiration from all five boroughs, in addition to the rich basketball and cultural heritage of the city, to provide a memorable collection for players and fans.”

The Eastern Conference NBA All-Star uniforms feature black name lettering and blue numbers while the Western Conference uniforms bear white name lettering and red numbers. Herringbone detail on the East/West patch and jock tags pays homage to the Barclays Center court, and the New York Knicks font is used for player name and number. For the first-time in an NBA All-Star Game, player first and last names are featured on the back of the jersey.

The All-Stars will wear black, gray and white fitted warm-ups that feature satin accents and military-style star patches to celebrate the number of NBA All-Star appearances for each player. Each player’s jacket will be customized with patches to represent the game’s top individual accolades including NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Star Game MVP and NBA Championships.

The on-court warm-ups also include a three-quarter-sleeve shooting shirt and tapered pant. NBA All-Star jerseys ($80 – $110) will be available on NBAStore.com and NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in January in addition to a full range of NBA All-Star apparel from adidas including adult and youth t-shirts ($22 – $30), track jackets ($80 – $250) and headwear ($16 – $26). Select NBA All-Star merchandise will also be available internationally on NBAStore.eu, NBAStore.cn, NBA.JD.com and LojaNBA.com.

 

To see more images, check the gallery below…

Duncan, Rose, Harden welcome Week of Greatness at Foot Locker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Foot Locker is kicking off their Week of Greatness, in which each day they release different highly anticipated sneakers and apparel. And to get the word out, they’ve released a series of terrific commercials. Two of the spots don’t feature NBA players (Manny Pacquiao and John Cena), but two other spots star NBA players and are genuinely great. Check out Tim Duncan being excited (well, for him) when he gets a call from Derrick Rose, and James Harden playing on his rep for not being defensive…


VIDEO: Duncan excited


VIDEO: Harden defensive

John Wall’s alternate future in fast-forward

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In a new ad for adidas and Foot Locker, Washington point guard John Wall sees what lies ahead for him, as his entire future occurs in about 30 seconds. There’s the possibility of great moments (a title, a family) and not so great moments (selling cars, gaining weight), but one redeeming feature of the whole thing: Having a shoe retro’ed. Which is hard to complain about either way.


VIDEO: Wall Future

Kevin Durant likes good apples

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In a Sports Illustrated story a little over a year ago, Kevin Durant talked about the importance of picking apples. As he said at the time…

To Durant, basketball is an orchard, and every shot an apple. “Let’s say you’ve got 40 apples on your tree,” Durant explains. “I could eat about 30 of them, but I’ve begun limiting myself to 15 or 16. Let’s take the wide-open three and the post-up at the nail. Those are good apples. Let’s throw out the pull-up three in transition and the step-back fadeaway. Those are rotten apples. The three at the top of the circle — that’s an in-between apple. We only want the very best on the tree.”

Nike has run with that thought with a new colorway of Durant’s signature shoe, the KD7. The colorway is called Good Apples, and has hits of red and green. In this new spot below, Durant explains his philosophy. Also, he eats an apple. A good one, I suppose.


VIDEO: Good apples

This guy really likes Kevin Durant’s Nikes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A rumor built over the last week or so that Kevin Durant was considering leaving Nike to wear Under Armour sneakers. UA had made a huge offer, and it was up to Nike to match that offer. After a few days of considering the options, Nike matched KD’s deal, which made KD happy…

By now, Kevin Durant has had seven different signature shoes, and almost every shoe has come in not only a colorway that matches the Thunder’s uniforms, but then also several other colorways. Last year’s shoe, the KD VI, came in a bunch of colorways. And one man in Oklahoma City, Chris McCord, bought them all. Twenty-five designs released, twenty-five pairs purchased. Check the video below to see how it all came about, and read the full story here.

Can he kick it? Yes, he can…

Buy a pack of NBA cards, get a piece of a game-worn shoe?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Basketball cards have long been more than just photos and text. Years ago companies started inserting cards with little authentic game-worn keepsakes built-in to the card — swatches of jerseys, a piece of a court, etc. But this season cards are going where they’ve never gone before.

In Panini America’s 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball collection, releasing on Friday, they’ve managed to incorporate cards that have pieces of game-worn shoes from everyone from Kobe Bryant to Kevin Durant to Larry Johnson inside the cards. Panini wrote about the genesis of the idea on their official blog

“The idea to create the Sneak Peek memorabilia cards came while we were looking at a pair of Kobe Bryant game-worn sneakers in the Panini Authentic memorabilia room,” said Jim Stefano, Panini America’s Senior Director of Product Development. “NBA players, more so than any other athletes, wear sneakers that reflect their personalities. Their sneakers are an extension of who they are. It’s all about the swag.”

That swag, of course, takes various forms. Shaquille O’Neal’s Reebok Pumps. Blake Griffin’s Jordans. Kobe’s Kobes. Larry Johnson’s Converse Reacts. LeBron’s Nike Lebron Xs. It was one thing to create a wishlist of game-worn sneakers to target for Sneak Peek; it was another thing altogether more complex to actually acquire them and then figure out how best to incorporate them into a trading card.

But Panini America acquisitions officials worked their relationships with exclusive and non-exclusives athletes alike to turn a wishlist into a checklist; from there, the game-worn sneakers made their way through Panini America HQ, with each department — Product Development, Production, Design — helping shape the masterful finished product.

“This was truly a great experience to develop and execute with the various departments within Panini America,” Stefano said. “It was a true team effort that resulted in one of the most singularly spectacular sets of trading cards ever created. The sheer amount of different swatch colors, materials and patterns is a unique and exciting development for the entire trading card category. We believe these cards will not only be sought after by basketball collectors but by sneaker heads as well.”

To see some examples of the cards, check below…

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