Air Jordan 11 Retro Low ‘True Red’ – Release Date.

When the Jordan 11 Bred originally came out, I drove all over town and ended up finding a 10.5.  I bought them and shoved my 11 size feet in them for a long time.  Hopefully my dogs will be more comfortable in a true size 11 with these lows.  They release on May 23, 2015.


Source: Air Jordan 11 Retro Low ‘True Red’ – Release Date.


Kobe X ‘Fundamentals’ – Release Date.

Is this the best Kobe X colorway so far?  I believe so but the verdict is out until we see the flyknit lows.

Find release dates and info for the Kobe X ‘Fundamentals’ on Follow all new releases with the Nike Launch Calendar.

Source: Kobe X ‘Fundamentals’ – Release Date.

Nike Kobe 9 -  Elite Maestro / Allstar / Gumbo

Shoebiz – Nike Kobe 9 Collection

Well the Nike Kobe 9 is upon us and I’d like to chronicle the ins and outs of this new collection which is sure to please.  We are set to see an elite hightop version and two low versions (engineered mesh and flyknit).  Since the Kobe 8 was such a huge success, I sure hope Nike can top it with the Nike Kobe 9 series.

Nike Kobe 9 Collection

BACKGROUND – Behind the Nike Kobe 9 shoe design (from Nike):

The provocative KOBE 9 Elite embodies Nike’s singular focus on delivering innovation that makes athletes better.  Evidence of Nike’s passion to simultaneously push the limits of design is best proven in the details.  In this exclusive look at the KOBE 9 Elite Masterpiece we decode the creation of this striking shoe by sharing nine design details from Nike designer Eric Avar.  More than two years in the making, Avar worked closely with Kobe Bryant on the design and development process and estimates the two met in person 15 times, spending hours obsessing details to create The Masterpiece:


Eric Avar:  “We created a thin web outsole less than 3 millimeters thick, combined with a responsive Lunarlon insert.“

Performance result:  This combination puts the foot in close contact with the court surface, allowing agile cuts, quick response and tremendous court feel.


Eric Avar: “Let’s integrate lightweight ankle support with a Flyknit collar that is barely noticeable.”

Performance result:  Allows a natural range of motion, proprioception and an intuitive fit with the lightweight feel of a low-top.  The collar is high, but there are zero distractions or restrictions.


Eric Avar: “We’ll incorporate nine red sutures stitched up the back of the shoe.”

Performance result:  Toughness. These sutures represent Bryant’s commitment to recover from a torn Achilles.


Eric Avar: “Create a design that acts as a second skin and locks in the foot.”

Performance result: A natural feel of the upper, combined with sole that “moves with you,” allows basketball movements that mimic the footwork you see in a boxing ring.


Eric Avar: “Flyknit, Flywire, Lunarlon and carbon fiber are outstanding for performance.”

Performance result: The combination of high-performance materials are lightweight, responsive, strong and durable.  For a player like Bryant who runs more than four miles in the average game, shedding weight without compromising strength makes a significant impact.


Eric Avar: “A quilted tongue and padded inner-sleeve will provide a great feel, with aero mesh in the inner sleeve for comfort and breathability.”

Performance result:  In tandem with the Flyknit, the quilted tongue and inner bootie provide a comfortable, glove-like fit.


Eric Avar: “Evolve the Chaos colorway and feature four distinct shades in the Flyknit’s four threads: red, purple, green and black.  The Chaos colorway began with the Kobe IV in 2008 as a tribute to Kobe’s intrigue with the joker – let’s parlay that into the ‘Masterpiece’ colorway.”

Performance result: Distinction on the court.  Absolutely no pair of the Masterpiece colorway are the same, they are all unique – like snowflakes. The Flyknit creation process weaves a one-of-a-kind upper so that no shoe is the same; the color blend is different on each shoe.


Eric Avar: “An evolved herringbone traction pattern that mimics the foot’s natural pressure mapping – what nature intended.”

Performance result: With an outsole traction pattern that provides maximum grip, no slipping and sliding on the court.


Eric Avar: “Let’s include the Kobe code.”

Performance result: Small details matter, both in basketball and design. The Kobe code is featured on each shoe, both on the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) sides of the midsole.  Code on lateral side translates to: ‘Masterpiece.’ Code on medial side translates to ‘Veni, vidi, vici,’ an inspirational Latin phrase that translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

BACKGROUND – Behind the Kobe 9 Flyknit low design:


Kobe Bryant demands provocative design innovation. Aesthetics aside, his appetite for the most revolutionary footwear technologies, materials and fit have fueled a special connection with Nike designer Eric Avar.  The two have pushed the limits for a decade, with their vision coming full circle with the KOBE 9 Elite Low and special muses inspiring each colorway.

Reverting to a higher cut for the first time since the KOBE 3 in 2007, Bryant’s ninth shoe challenged convention when it launched last December.  The KOBE 9 Elite Low version debuts in new colorways beginning July 12, with innovation and inspiration that will change summer basketball.


The KOBE 9 Elite Low is Bryant’s most innovative shoe to-date, featuring three leading technologies: Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon.  Flyknit provides a lightweight, breathable solution for a summer basketball shoe that performs equally well indoors or outdoors.

“Nike Flyknit acts as a super skin, giving athletes articulated strength similar to the engineering of a spider web – tension and strength just where they’re needed,” said Eric Avar, Nike VP of Innovation.

Flyknit and Flywire technologies are a one-two punch, leading to a dynamic fit for intricate, on-court footwork.  Eliminating bulk and distraction was a focus for Avar with disciplined design in a low cut with no distractions.


Flyknit technology introduces a new way to create a shoe upper out of what is essentially yarns. It drastically reduces waste from the upper with a low cut and efficient production process compared to traditional methods.


The KOBE 9 Elite Low brings Bryant’s muses to life.  The artistry of music and its ability to move and inspire people has always intrigued the athlete.  From classical to pop, he has appreciation for multiple genres.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape is linked to music and its ability to transcend the decades, with artists, songs and dance moves that stand the test of time.  The purple upper pays homage to pop music and includes a moon surface graphic on the outsole.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Beethoven pays tribute to the German composer and pianist, and more specifically the power of his Ninth Symphony from the early 1800s.  The grey color of this colorway represents Beethoven’s timeless quality.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape releases on July 12, while the KOBE 9 Elite Low Beethoven debuts August 16; both globally at and select retail locations.



Nike Kobe 8 WTK

Shoebiz – Nike Kobe 8 Collection

The Kobe 8 is one of the best basketball shoes ever made both from a hoop and a casual wear point of view.  I know my opinion is biased because of my appreciation for a low cut hoop shoe but I know I’m not alone.  Nike hit it out of the park with this line which combined performance, innovation, and creativity all into one great shoe.  This was the lightest shoe to date at 9.6 ounces which is always a good thing in my book.  This line also ran for a extended period of time.  The Nike Kobe 8 launched in Dec 20, 2012 and ended around January 2014.

Here is some of the background from Nike on the inspiration for this great line…

The Kobe 8 System is the result of a close collaboration between Nike Performance Footwear Creative Director Eric Avar, his team and Kobe himself. For his latest creation, Kobe wanted a shoe that acted as an extension of his foot, mirroring his quick performance while staying lower to the ground.

“I’m always focused on improving my game, to perform at my best.  I want my shoes to mimic the speed of my game,” Kobe said. “By shaving fractions off the height and weight, it allows me to play faster with more control so I can maneuver across the court – I want to feel like I’m moving at the speed of light.”

In response to athlete feedback, the design team incorporated an innovative textile — Nike Engineered Mesh — for the first time in a basketball shoe. This created a dynamic and ultra-lightweight fit that is 90 percent mesh for 360 degrees of breathability and tightly woven for strength and flexibility to bend naturally with the foot. Additionally, the no-sew, synthetic overlays on the toe and lateral quarter panel provide support for even the toughest games.

“We’re always pushing the limits of Kobe’s shoe to be faster, more precise, and to be modern,” Avar explained. “Kobe’s big on being bold, aggressive, provocative and making an impact. Working together, we’re on a never-ending quest for the perfect shoe for him.

“Nike Engineered Mesh creates a dynamic fit that syncs around Kobe’s foot to mimic the natural biomechanics, delivering security where he needs it. As the design team began working with the mesh, it took on this scale-like snake pattern that really brought the black mamba inspiration to life in compelling way.”

The shoe’s full-length Lunarlon midsole delivers lightweight, low-profile cushioning, and is low to the ground allowing for greater stability.  A one-millimeter rubber outsole – combining classic herringbone with a snake scale-inspired traction pattern – uses less rubber than traditional outsoles for lightweight durability and excellent multi-surface traction. The 3-D anatomical heel counter provides a sleek, locked down fit.

Beginning December 20, 2012, the black/sulfur color of the KOBE 8 SYSTEM will be available in stores globally, on and through NIKEiD. The python-inspired color launches in Greater China on January 12, 2013, and in North America on February 2, 2013.

Nike Kobe 8 Colorways


Nike KD VI Meteorology

Shoebiz – Nike KD 6 collection

History of the KD VI I am a fan of low top hoop shoes… that is really all I collect and wear anymore.  I wore high tops back in the day but a trainer once told me the high top actually weakens your ankle muscles because you aren’t using them as much when they are strapped up.  I don’t know if there is any scientific proof to that notion but it stuck with me and it is what I’m comfortable with.  Now if I try on a pair of high tops, I feel like my ankles are being strangled… no bueno.  Besides, in a casual setting, low top hoop shoes are more versatile and look better with shorts or pants. That leads me to my interest in the Kevin Durant line of shoes for Nike and more specifically, the current line… KD 6.  This is a very unique shoe and to be honest, it surprised me after I tried on the first pair.  The shoe fit my foot very well and was much lighter than I was expecting.  After I saw a few of the rumored colorways with their distinct style, patterns, and colors, I became even more intrigued.  Lastly, I respect Kevin Durant for his skills on and off the court so I decided to collect this line.  My only regret was making this decision after the DC Preheats were released so I ended up missing out on that limited shoe… oh well, on to the next one. Here are few other key insights behind the design of the Nike KD 6:

  • Designer: Leo Chang found inspiration in the precision craftsmanship of a wristwatch.
  • Tongue logo: optical illusion logo revealing the “35” and “6” in negative space.
  • The style of the tongue is somewhat diagonal and lends for a great fit.
  • Ultra-thin two-layer upper with Flywire
  • Nike Zoom in the forefront
  • Max Air in the heel
  • Hexagonal pattern on the sole – paying homage to his sixth shoe.  The pattern is take from a pressure map of Durant’s foot.
  • Depending on the colorway, the logo on the heel of the sole varies.


photo credits go to Nike, Simon5302, KicksOnFire (let me know if any of these photos are yours and I’m happy to remove or give credit)

D.C. Preheat June 29, 2013 The upper features a map of Washington, D.C., overlaid with a white graphic pattern inspired by machining lines of a wristwatch, all in a bold, bright color pattern. This shoe pays tribute to Durant’s hometown roots.  Very limited release.  I decided late to collect these and missed out.

Seat Pleasant     July 3, 2013 Durant was born and raised in Seat Pleasant, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.  He honed his game after spending countless hours at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, his home away from home. The rec center’s trademark teal and yellow colors, spotted on the center’s doormat by Chang on his first trip to Seat Pleasant in 2008, inspired the lead KD VI colorway.  My first KD in this line… definitely a head turner.

Meteorology     August 3, 2013 If Durant was not playing basketball, his dream occupation would be tracking weather as a meteorologist. Atomic red, olive and black are featured in a custom graphic mimicking Doppler radar mapping.  The Meteorology is my favorite colorway of this line.  This shoe uses the 3M technology which offers a unique reflective visual… take a picture with a flash and you’ll see what I mean.  You’ll see different weather pattern signs, stars, etc.

NYC 66  August 17, 2013 When Durant scorched the Harlem blacktop and scored 66 points on Aug. 1, 2011, the world took notice. Despite the lockout, basketball didn’t stop for a 22-year-old Durant who’d play anyone at any time.  I passed on these initially but when I saw them with jeans and on feet, they looked great and I picked them up.

Flash Lime (aka Sour Patch, Candy) (GS) August 27, 2013 This release somewhat came out of nowhere and nearly went straight to release mode.  Rumored to be KD’s favorite snack the bright colors resemble those used on the packaging of the Sour Patch Kids candy.  Only grade school (GS) sizes available.

Paris – Nike ID September 6, 2013 For Kevin Durant’s first visit to Paris, France, NIKEiD customized a commemorative KD VI to celebrate the US basketball superstar. With a French flag on the customized box, the Nike KD VI iD takes the best of Paris to celebrate Durant in the French capital.  The final Nike KD VI iD design inspired by Paris will be showcased at the Nike Les Halles store in very limited quantities on Sept. 6.

Bamboo September 14, 2013 The power of nature and patience comes to life in Chinese bamboo. Typically after four consecutive years of delicate care, bamboo undergoes a transformation in its fifth year. This story parallels the growth of Durant’s game this past season, his fifth in the league playing for OKC. This special green shoe debuts during a summer when Durant will visit China.  There is a version with a limited wood box.  The medial side of the shoe with the green and brown color is a great contrast.  I also like the bamboo print flowing through the shoe.

Texas (aka Mint Glows, Halloween) October 10, 2013 Durant has fond memories of his days playing in Texas. Inspired by the state’s magnificent stars and big sky, the shoe includes a burnt orange, black and mint color palette.  The swoosh and stars glow; although, there have been some who report it isn’t very bright.  I didn’t like this colorway at first and then later Nike tied this to Texas which didn’t make a lot of sense but it grew on me and looks good on foot.

PB & Js October 19, 2013 Aunt Pearl would always bring a young KD his favorite childhood snack, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, when he was away from home. She would drop off the sandwiches at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center while KD was busy developing his game. His appetite for hard work continues to this day, with PB&J as an ongoing reminder.  The PB&J is one of the most controversial colorways of this line.  You either love it or hate it… I’m talking about the jelly swoosh.  Many sneakerheads had hoped it would be textured but it ended up looking like a vinyl transfer and many think it looks like garbage.  I didn’t think I could pull this off so I passed but got a GS version for my boy.

Away (aka Road Thunders) October 31, 2013 The road is where teams are tested. Playing away in hostile arenas is where KD feels his game is tested and perfected. Whether it’s the front row or last row, KD wants all the fans on the road to be able to see his KD VI Away shoe with his black, orange and blue color combination.  This colorway didn’t stand out to me from a collector’s perspective but a decent colorway, especially if you are a Thunder fan.

N7 November 9, 2013 Nike N7 is proud to announce the third collaboration with Kevin Durant on an N7 version of his signature shoe, the KD VI. Playing in Oklahoma City has connected Kevin Durant to the mission of Nike N7 and the impact it has with Native Americans across North America.  The bold Nike N7 KD VI features the repeating pattern of arrows that first launched on the Pendleton Woolen Mills Nike N7 blanket last month. The arrow print  symbolizes energy and forward motion and has reflective built in for a surprise effect when worn in the elements.  The bold colors used on the KD VI have significant meaning in Native communities. Turquoise is used often as a color symbolic of friendship, and red is one of four colors—yellow, red, black and white—featured on the traditional Native America medicine wheel, representing movement and the four directions. The KD logo appears on the heel and the N7 logo is on the tongue.  Durant is expected to debut the KD VI N7 on Nov. 6 at home against Dallas.  The N7 is probably my second favorite colorway.  This shoe also uses the 3M technology which offers a unique reflective visual… take a picture with a flash and you’ll see what I mean.

Maryland Blue Crab November 29, 2013 The state of Maryland is well known for its crab feasts. KD is a big fan of blue crab, which is indigenous to his home state. It is still one of his favorite foods to this day.  With color, graphics and textures mimicking a blue crab indigenous to Maryland, the high performance shoe can double as a showpiece. The details are unmistakable: exact pantone colors matching the legs and pinchers of a blue crab, with textured effects on the shoe’s upper and KD logo matching a crab’s shell. The KD-logo hologram on the outsole brings the theme full circle with crab legs and pinchers.  There was also a variation of this colorway that Nike released in their official pictures which showed a gold KD logo on the heel and outer ridging with more red on the tongue.  However, these haven’t been seen in the public as the “white” logo version was released.

Wheat (aka Gums) December 7, 2013 Reminiscent of a Timberland work boot.  Ready for winter wear.  Gold eyelets.  Introducing the KD VI EXT. This is the first Nike Sportswear extension for Durant adding him to the short list of signature athletes with Sportswear extensions of their performance models. Drawing inspiration from the cold climate of Durant’s hometown in the DMV, the design features metal eyelets and an all-gum rubber upper for a boot-like style. Pops of raspberry red accent the shoe’s outsole outrigger, heel Air-Sole unit, and lining for a vibrant break from the tonal gum rubber colorway. Similar to the recent performance colorway, this KD VI EXT also showcases Durant’s favorite childhood food – Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches.

Precision Timing December 7, 2013 Inspired by the precision craftsmanship of a wristwatch, the KD VI includes both performance and aesthetic cues tied to timing and clockwork. Whether it’s the hidden outsole detailing or radial brushed texture marks on the midsole, this special colorway accentuates details with a metallic palette.

Rugrats (GS) December 14, 2013 Inspired by the Rugrats cartoon series from Nickelodeon in the mid ‘90s.

Christmas December 26, 2013 Kevin Durant takes the court in Christmas red with accents of gold and mint. With a twist on traditional Christmas prints, the KD VI features a Fair Isle style Christmas sweater pattern that incorporates trees, stripes, and his number 35. Christmas plaid adorns the collar lining, with decorative detail worked into the metallic red Nike Flywire technology upper and a mint green speckled sole.  It’s the perfect outfit for this year’s festivities.

I’m fine if Kobe wants to do some modeling but who talked him into these outfits? DDT Black Mamba

Don’t Do That – NBA edition

We all have different ideas of what is cool and funny but sometimes people make decisions that are universally bad for everyone.  Words that should never be said… Clothes that should never be worn… Products that shouldn’t be made… Ideas that shouldn’t be acted on.  I have taken it upon myself to help the world by calling these things out on the interweb with a new series I call, “Don’t Do That” (DDT).

Because the 2013-14 NBA season is upon us, I’m dedicating this first look to the NBA.

We could devote an entire post to Russell’s fashion… I get it, you like attention. DDT Russell

Drew going for that awesome octopus goatee... DDT Drew

Drew going for that awesome octopus goatee… DDT Drew

I’m not sure what look you are going for Lebron but if you were thinking modern pirate you nailed it. DDT Lebron

I’m not sure what look you are going for Lebron but if you were thinking modern pirate you nailed it. DDT Lebron

Please tell me there was only one of these made and Chris bought it for himself. DDT Miami

Please tell me there was only one of these made and Chris bought it for himself. DDT Miami

Hey 2k… I’m glad EA is back with a hoops game this year. Bieber will not be in it. DDT 2k

Hey 2k… I’m glad EA is back with a hoops game this year. Bieber will not be in it. DDT 2k

Look what happens when Bynum isn’t healthy enough to play. Get this man back on the court ASAP! DDT Andrew

Look what happens when Bynum isn’t healthy enough to play. Get this man back on the court ASAP! DDT Andrew

I’m fine if Kobe wants to do some modeling but who talked him into these outfits? DDT Black Mamba

I’m fine if Kobe wants to do some modeling but who talked him into these outfits? DDT Black Mamba

No joke here… Shawn Marion… Don’t Do That!

No joke here… Shawn Marion… Don’t Do That!

I admit I’m not big on Toronto history but a cowboy photo shoot Bosh? DDT Chris

I admit I’m not big on Toronto history but a cowboy photo shoot Bosh? DDT Chris



The Return of the Hornet

I have always cheered for the Charlotte NBA franchise… both during the Hornets and the Bobcats eras.  Now that the Hornets are on the way back, it is time to think of the good ol’ days… LJ – Grandmama, Zo, Rex Chapman, and Kelly Tripucka.  Speaking of Kelly Tripucka, thanks to YouTube, we can revisit the moment back in 1988 when Kelly unveiled the Hornets uniforms for the first time.  Trust me… 15 sec in will blow your mind.


Will the real Pelicans please stand up?

Okay so after this mornings post the official announcement has been made and this is your New Orleans Pelicans



Yes that’s an actual NBA team name now and not a D-League reject, quit yer giggling.

So the earlier leak was on the money with the exception of the colors being a bit off.  My favorite part about all re-branding of sports teams of course is in the description of the colors and how they tie into the city/state they are dubbed to represent.  So directly from the official website of the New Orleans Pelicans I give you:

Primary: Blue – Represents the state flag and liberty

Secondary: Gold – The raucous embellishment and flourish that represents the spirited life of New Orleans.  It’s a color indicative of the City itself.  It ties together this organization (shared color with the Saints), the rich and diverse history of the City, and its culture of celebration.  It’s also a color often found in the “crown” of pelicans and it represents the championships they intend to win…

I said quit laughing

Tertiary: Red – Red signifies fraternity, one blood or union, as with this team of players.  It also represents the legend of the mother pelican pricking her own breast to feed her young in times of need, doing whatever it takes to endure.

Uhh what now?  Are these vampire pelicans because that puts a whole new twist on this thing!

Anywho, no sports  identity in 2013 would be complete without a plethora of accompanying secondary logos and boy have they not failed us here.  Its like they just couldn’t decide which one they like the best so they picked several.  It’s called a secondary logo people, not a Secondary, Thirdary, Fourthary and so on…





Man that is one angry looking vampire pelican…am I right?

I guess I will reserve my final judgement until we see the uni’s and court, after all until then we are just looking at a partial.  I’m guessing we get Blue and White uni’s with a gold alternate but thats just me.

The saddest part about this whole thing?  It makes a unique franchise feel a bit bland in the big scheme of things.  And why on earth did they feel the need to announce this in the middle of January?  Are we trying to make a push for season tickets in 2013-14 already?  Trying to erase the embarrassment that is this season?

After hearing that the team would be changing its name to the Pelicans Designer Blog had a contest asking their users to create their own New Orleans Pelicans logo.  The results were simply amazing (shorty of the sketchy Thunderesque looking one) with no less than 30 different logos that all look worlds better than what we ended up with.

Here is a quick gallery of some of my favorites

jaybee dinoDesigns damichi minus ereng BTGraphicDesign AriPerdana grapiKen freshradiation 666

What impresses me the most about these logos?  Not the awesome designs, colors, etc… no its the fact that everyone took the Pelican theme and managed to avoid putting anything in the dang birds mouth for the logo.  Have you ever seen a cartoon pelican without an over-exaggerated mouth full of objects (fish, seawater, pianos, etc…)?  Bravo designers…bravo!


New Orleans Hornets…err Pelicans?

Well if the rumor mill is to be believed…



That there is your new…New Orleans mascot and logo.  This confirms a long rumored identity change for the Hornets and matches the rumored color scheme of navy, gold and red.   To top it all off this is apparently going to be announced later this afternoon.  While not confirmation, the website is currently a big countdown to a major announcement this afternoon.


Ad love – Jordan Brand CP3.VI

Hoops, kicks, Jordan brand, advertising… all of my favorite things in one video?  Yes please!  Check out this amazing Jordan brand ad campaign for Chris Paul’s new shoe (CP3.VI).  “Cut through L.A.”