Can They Kick It?

Chris Paul always wanted to be a fireman

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Foot Locker has been dropping hilarious commercials all season long, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised that this latest spot is just as good. In this ad for Kids Foot Locker, Chris Paul admits that he always wanted to be a fireman and we get to see his skills driving a fire truck. He is great at handling…


VIDEO: CP3 Fireman

Damian Lillard approves of Nick Cannon as Portland’s signature celebrity

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you watched last night’s Super Bowl, you may have noticed at least one face familiar to NBA fans: Portland’s Damian Lillard, who starred in a Foot Locker commercial along with Nick Cannon, Joey Fatone, Bobby Brown, Ian Ziering and Shock G.

What do you think Portland fans? Are you cool with Nick Cannon as your signature fan?


VIDEO: Lillard Super Bowl

Nike introduces the Kobe X, Kobe Bryant’s new signature shoe


VIDEO: Kobe X

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERKobe Bryant may be out for the season after recent shoulder surgery, but he’s got a new pair of shoes to wear while rehabbing. This weekend, Nike introduced the Kobe X, Kobe’s newest signature shoe.

According to Nike, the shoe “comes alive with hybrid cushioning, an advanced traction system and a seamless textile upper. These technical innovations, combined with an inspirational narrative based on transparency, separates the KOBE X from the competition.”

From Nike…

The KOBE X hybrid cushioning combines Lunarlon with Nike Free-inspired siping grooves to enhance natural movement, along with a new Zoom Air unit in the heel. This trio leads to a responsive ride that is a great combination of firm, soft and flexible.

Both the midsole and outsole are encapsulated in a translucent rubber casing to visually showcase the inner-technology. This transparent approach was also inspired by Bryant’s recent willingness to personally open up and reveal more of himself at deeper levels without reservation.

The KOBE X features what could be considered the most effective traction system in the 43-year history of Nike’s basketball shoes.

The outsole features hundreds of “nodules” that grip the court, similar to the intricacy of the treads on performance racecar tires, which grip and splay at high speeds. This new traction system works in tandem with the midsole cushioning to splay, flex and grip the court for zero distractions and maximum grip, similar to tires on a racetrack.

The outsole is finished off with a gold Roman numeral “X,” a hand-drawn design detail from Avar, embedded beneath the Zoom unit; it’s another example of the detailed design obsession brought to each Kobe shoe.

Advanced textiles offer lightweight breathability and are more durable and strong than traditional mesh. The KOBE X introduces a new open-weave textile that is inspired by the pattern and strength of sharkskin.

Inside the shoe a mesh bootie enhances ventilation and provides a comfortable, snug fit. Nubuck fabric on the shoe’s tongue features a mamba-inspired snake scale pattern, while the tongue’s underside features unique graphic prints symbolic of each colorway storyline.

The left heel in each pair features four red lines representing Bryant’s resilient return from injuring his left Achilles tendon. To repair the tendon, doctors used four feet of stitching thread in surgery. The Kobe sheath logo adorns the right heel of each shoe.

Nike says “each KOBE X colorway reveals something new about Bryant’s drive and determination. The lead colorway, 5 AM Flight, takes inspiration from Bryant’s 40-foot, early morning leap from a diving platform in August 2013 as he recovered from surgery on his Achilles. The jump is symbolic of Bryant’s perseverance to overcome the odds and face fear head-on. The shoe’s blue palette represents the pool water of Bryant’s 5 AM flight.”

If you missed Kobe’s dive, here it is…

For more images of the shoe, check below…

Stance introduces official All-Star Game socks

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks ago, we saw the official 2015 All-Star Game uniforms from adidas. Today we find out how the uniforms will be finished off, as Stance Socks and the NBA unveiled the official socks of the 2015 All-Star Game.

From a press release…

“The best sock minds on the planet have been intensely focused on creating an unrivaled basketball sock,” said Clarke Miyasaki, EVP of Business Development at Stance. “We’ve paired the technical geniuses behind this sock with the creative sock artistry that Stance pioneered, and we hope the world’s greatest basketball players will be as happy as we are with the socks.”

Masterfully blending art and science, the limited-edition Stance Fusion Basketball socks feature distinct blue East and red West tie-dye designs to complement each conference’s All-Star uniform, while the innovative sock technology ensures optimal fit and feel for the league’s biggest stars. Stance’s Triniti Technology keys in on moisture management utilizing a mesh venting system, traction control with strategically-placed grippers on the footbed and targeted cushioning in the areas of the foot that take the most impact.

“Our goal is to always provide our players with the best apparel and equipment to play the game,” said Lisa Piken Koper, NBA VP of Licensing. “Stance continues to focus on developing products that maximize oncourt performance and the NBA All-Star design is a key example of their commitment to producing innovative products.”

NBA fans can now purchase NBA All-Star socks for $25 at Stance.com, NBAStore.com and various Stance retailers worldwide.

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adidas launches Damian Lillard signature shoe the D Lillard 1

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERDamian Lillard is midway through his third NBA season, and the Portland Trail Blazers point guard has already piled up accolades — Rookie of the Year, All-Star, as well as a collection of game (and Playoff series) winning shots. And now, thanks to adidas, Lillard joins the select collection of NBA players with their own signature shoe.

From a release from adidas…

The D Lillard 1 features the new Damian Lillard logo which consists of his initials, “DL,” fusing together to create a “0.” The “0” is Lillard’s number on court, which he chose to represent the letter “O” for the three places he’s called home: Oakland, where he grew up, Ogden, where he attended Weber State University, and current home state Oregon. Affixed to the left side of the logo is a wing comprised of three stripes, a nod to the nickname of his group of closest friends and family, the “Fly Guyz.”

“We’re inspired by Damian’s elite work ethic and dedication to the game so we designed every aspect of this shoe to compliment Dame’s play on the court,” said Robbie Fuller, Basketball Design Director. “We’re lucky that Dame lives in Portland and is able to talk with us all the time. We can bounce ideas off him and really see what he’s interested in and what he wants in his footwear. When it came time to design the D Lillard 1 we were able to deliver a shoe that really speaks to him as a player and person.”

To compliment Damian’s fast, confident and complete game, the D Lillard 1 midsole features full length adiprene+ cushioning for enhanced responsiveness and superior heel to toe transition. Lillard’s versatile style of play is supported by a TECHFIT tongue and inner booty that provide heightened comfort and fit. The D Lillard 1 features a new low-cut, yet stable design, allowing for optimal mobility, comfort and versatility on the court.

In addition to performance elements, the D Lillard 1 features details reflective of his personality and style. These details include the Damian Lillard logo featured prominently on the heel of the left shoe, while “Dame” is written across the tongue of the right shoe. The insole of each shoe features a unique rap lyric written by Lillard that relates to each colorway. The lyrics featured on the shoes tie to Lillard’s social media freestyle rap challenge, @4BarFriday. The D Lillard 1 is finished with premium nubuck and leather textures for a sophisticated look and plush fit.

The D Lillard 1 launches at adidas and Foot Locker on February 6 for $105 in three different colorways. Additional colorways will launch throughout the year.

You can customize your own colorway of the D Lillard 1 on miadidas.com beginning January 31 for $105.

For pics of the kicks, check the gallery below…

Under Armour introduces first Stephen Curry signature shoe

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ALL BALL NERVE CENTERStephen Curry is having quite a season. He seems to be in the mix regarding MVP talk. His Golden State Warriors currently have the best record in the NBA. He’s currently leading the Western Conference in All-Star voting.

And now he has his own shoe. Yesterday, Under Armour introduced the Curry One, Steph’s first signature kick. According to a release from Under Armour…

Inspired by Stephen’s journey from unheralded prep player to NBA superstar, the Curry One commemorates his journey and belief that with hard work and commitment he could break through every barrier in his path. The shoe’s precise and sharp design lines reflect Stephen’s unflappable on-court demeanor and electrifying style of play.

Two new innovations, Charged Cushioning and Anafoam, provide Stephen with performance benefits that his game demands.

Charged Cushioning: The ultimate advancement in energy. The new cushioning system absorbs impact and converts it into a responsive burst to give your first step and change of direction unmatched explosiveness.

Anafoam: After studying a pressure map of the foot to identify where to distribute support, EVA foam and mesh were molded together to anatomically fit essential pressure points.

Additional performance benefits include:
· An external heel counter that eliminates sliding and keeps your foot locked in place.
· A midfoot TPU shank underfoot for maximum stability.
· A multi-directional herringbone outsole delivering superior traction and control.
· A padded mesh tongue with synthetic suede offering protection and increased breathability.

The colors tell their own story about Stephen’s life on and off the court. The “Home” and “Away” colorways represent his love for the Bay area, his team and their fans. The Curry One “Home” features a Royal upper with Taxi and White accents. The Curry One “Away” has a Black upper with Taxi accents and a Camo print.

Additional launch colorways, “The Underdog,” “Candy Reign,” and “Father to Son,” tell their own unique stories that define Stephen as a husband, father, son, brother and on court game-changer.

The Curry One “Home” launches worldwide on February 13, 2015 at UA.com/CurryOne and select global retailers. The global release date for the Curry One “Away” is February 28, 2015. A collection of Curry One apparel and accessories will also go on sale this year. The Curry One will retail for $120.

For detailed photos, check the gallery below…

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…