Media Day didn’t only update us on what we should expect from a basketball standpoint, but also what we should expect from a sneaker standpoint. Judging from the photos below, it looks like Nike and Kobe have agreed to wear some Laker colorways of the already classic Nike Hyperdunk for the rest of the calendar year. Since they are Los Angeles exclusive colorways and/or Player Exclusive colorways, they might only be available in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Kobe is wearing the Home version of the Laker Hyperdunk (below).
Here are some pictures of the Away version of the Laker Hyperdunk.
Now those were basically General Release kicks that someone in LA could get at a local Footlocker. However, some may even be more limited in release. The type of limited release where you have to sleep in line outside a store for a week to get. The type of release where people will actually use their “sick days” to cop a pair either to enjoy or flip on the internet.
The shoes below will be available in very limited numbers at the new House of Hoops by Footlocker at the Beverly Center. It is set to open in early October sometime and will finally give eager Californians a chance to cop exclusive shit without having to go to the only other House of Hoops in existence in Harlem. I know the rest of the world is sick of being ripped off by New Yorkers on ebay just because of lucky proximity. Now we Californians can do the same.
The “Snake Pool” Hyperdunk
The “Making History” Hyperdunk
The “Ronaldinho” Hyperdunk
The “Lower Merion Aces” Hyperdunk
So what next? The shoes above will probably stop being worn by Kobe himself at the end of 2008. The business model of releasing one model, but in a million different colorways is basically just a ploy by Nike to milk everything they can with this Kobe/Hyperdunk connection. Remember, this is not a signature Kobe shoe. Nike did an excellent job of breaking this new shoe’s technology to the world by using the image of the best basketball player in the world. Pat on the back to the retards over at adidas who let Kobe get away from them because of the rape case. Even Charles Barkley agrees that “KobBryanisbesplayerindaworl.” While most sneakers have one storyline that lasts for a few months, the Hyperdunk has had many lives.
It exploded on the scene with the Aston Martin video. Nike quickly released limited Kobe versions of the Hyperdunk at the House of Hoops in Harlem. These were quickly snatched up and sold on ebay for upwards of $3,000. Then, Nike rode the “Olympic Game wave” to market the Hyperdunk the shoe on a global scale. Numerous colorways could now be purchased at local sneaker shops, while fans could see other Nike athletes like Deron Williams and Yi Jianlian wear their versions of the shoe. Now, it looks like Nike is using the first part of the NBA season to market more colorways of the same shoe. I’m sure at some point next year during the playoffs, they will release the Hyperdunk 2 and continue this cycle.
Starting in 2009, Kobe will unveil his next actual signature sneaker: The Nike Zoom Kobe IV (below).
The shoe is a drastic departure from past Kobe models because of the low-cut and its cheaper price at $120. The Zoom Kobe II and III were both priced at $130. Nike has gone the same route with the Lebrons this year as well. Therefore, I would assume that Nike is trying to hit a more broader market this year due to lackluster sales of both the Lebrons and Kobes, their two biggest signature lines. The Kobe III looked almost alien, while the Lebron V looked and felt about as bulky as a cement block. Perhaps Nike is trying to promote these shoes to be worn in a more casual setting with jeans and shorts on. In any case, I cannot imagine Kobe wearing these shoes in a game setting because of the lack of ankle support. However, nimble players like Steve Nash can do it, so perhaps Kobe has okayed Nike that he will give it a shot.
Boo Yah! Prepare for the Year of Bynum, I mean The Lakers. Well, today was the annual Media Day for the Lakers where the media ask the same things over and over and expect a different answer each time they ask them. Media Day is always refreshing because to the players and staff, it is almost like the start of school again. Everyone looks a bit different and everyone usually has on a smile because the players are meeting each other for the first time since the exit interviews.
Though everyone basically looks the way we last remembered them, there are some noticeable differences that must be noted. For instance…
Phil Jackson used to resemble the likes of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
However, Phil went ahead and chopped his mustache off and cleaned up a bit. Now he looks 15 years younger. Look out for the leaner, sleeker, faster Phil Jackson this year.
In terms of Laker players, Andrew Bynum is looking yoked and cut the fuck up just ready to fuck up Amare Stoudemire, Shaqueer O’Neal, Dwight Howard (That’s right Dwight muthafuckin’ Howard), Meow Ming and especially Kevin Gaynett. All Bynum has been talking about to the media for the last month is not his role in the Laker offense, but his commitment to defense. Sounds a lot like Garnett and the Celtics last year. Though Kobe has everything to prove this year, the most heated matchups this year will be between Andrew Bynum and the rest of the league’s bigs. You will see a passing of the torch this year as the young Bynum battles the league’s older bigs like Shaq, while testing his skills against his younger peers. Just remember those Shaq, Hakeem, David Robinson bouts of the 90s. So, out with the old and in with the new. As you can see, Bynum followed through on my prediction that he will grow out facial hair. One for one, baby. Check his interview below.
Meanwhile, Pau‘s beard is still patchier than ever, while Kobe looks a million times happier than he did during last year’s Media Day. Last year’s barrage of questions revolved around Kobe’s future with the team. This year’s barrage of repetitive comments towards Kobe seems to be about his age, since he turned 30 this summer. Phil also entertained the fact that he will try to limit Kobe’s minutes this year. Newsflash geniuses…Phil tries to do this every year with every player. If he is playing Kobe 40+ minutes, it’s not because he wants to, but because he has to. It’s just that Phil probably thinks that those scenarios will be more rare this season because of the Lakers’ insane depth. Just as Sasha would say, “We have a very dip tim [deep team].”
Probably the most interesting thing Kobe lets us know is that because of people’s disbelief in his abilities now, he was drug-tested after he windmill dunked in the layup line before an Olympic game. Not too sure if he was joking or not though. You be the judge. Don’t matter: 30’s the new 20.
It’s official! Last week, Sun Yue chose to sign with adidas and today he officially signed with the Lakers. He will be joining fellow Laker, Jordan Farmar, Gilbert Arenas, T-Wack, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Dwight Howard at adidas.
In other news, true old school Laker fans will realize that the number on Sun’s jersey is #9, the jersey number of the most badass point guard the Lakers ever had – Nick “The Quick” Van Exel. This is for all you 90s babies who think rap music these days is cool and who haven’t grown up in the Golden Age of Civilization.
During the mid-90s, when Kobe still had a boy’s body, when Shaq was the Laker noob, there were a group of sickass talents who were never bigger than the sum of their parts. Never great, just sick. Cedric Ceballos, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, Vlade Divac and Elden Campbell were the main pieces of that Laker team I believe. And the coach? Well, it was none other than Del Harris, who is now an assistant coach with the Mavericks I think. Back in the day, Nick and Del Harris were the perennially quarrelsome couple. Just think of the relationship between every coach and Ron Artest/Stephon Marbury or the relationship between Amy Winehouse and husband Blake Fielder-Civil. Something like that. Then, Del Harris gets fired for obvious reasons and then Nick Van Exel gets passed along from team to team like a blunt at a Bone Thugs concert.
So why is Nick Van Exel so important?
1. Did sick little dances after sick plays. He even shadow-boxed.
2. First to do the 90s slit through the front of the flat-top hair cut, but to his eyebrow. Badass.
3. Shot free throws from in between the free throw line and the 3-point line. Distance didn’t matter to Nick.
4. First to attack a referee. It was more of a shove, but hey the referee ended up flying onto the scorer’s table. Again, badass. Most players are so afraid of David Stern’s fines and punishments they wouldn’t even think to do this, so they resort to complaining. Weak.
On that note, here is a good mix of Nick’s nastiness to the very fitting score of “All Eyez On Me” by 2Pac. Sorry, but much of this is him in other team uniforms, but hey it was the 90s, there weren’t cameras everywhere and the internet was still in infancy. Again, I digress. So, yea…Sun Yue, do #9 right!
Yes, that means 3 days for the United Colors of Benetton (LA Division) to enjoy their last days of rest before the grind of yet another long season of whooping the shit out of every team in the NBA. So what might our multicultural basketball team members want to fit in before the ring of Phil’s whistle sets in their ears for the next 8 months?
Kobe Bryant: Rest? What rest? Kobe is practicing his pull-up J as of this writing. I would not be surprised if he pulled out a sleeping bag next to the free throw line, peed into a catheter between drills, and ate freeze-dried astronaut food to squeeze in as much practice as possible. Yes, that’s what MVPs do.
Pau Gasol: Quickly shredding the receipts to his ballet and dance lessons before the guys find them and make fun of him. You didn’t think he played dainty for no reason did you? That free throw shot technique of his was taught by Mademoiselle D’Aubigne not Kurt Rambis.
Andrew Bynum: Finishing off the last week of his mean lean fighting machine summer workout regimen. He might also start growing out facial hair to separate himself from his long lost twin “Little Foot” from Land Before Time.
Jordan Farmar: Consulting with the most famous plastic surgeons in Hollyweird to somehow pin those ears back…but not look too fat at the same time.
Trevor Ariza: Still trying to get the stench of Grant Hill out of his groin area that’s been lingering since last Christmas. I wonder if Hill is doing the same for his facial region…
Derek Fisher: Multi-tasking his life away. Can’t figure out whether he wants to run for mayor, work for Green Peace, help blind kids, help negotiate for player salaries or just play basketball. Can’t knock D-Fish.
Chris Mihm: Begging the Lakers to keep him around for some reason even if not for basketball purposes. Life-sized paper-weight? Door-stopper?
Lamar Odom: Doing strength and conditioning drills, so he does NOT beat his record for the most trips and falls in an NBA game ever by anyone ever this year.
Vladimir Radmonovic: Visiting his mnemonics coach for the final week of his class called, “How the fuck to remember how to play the game of basketball for periods longer than 2 days.”
Sasha Vujacic: Hair appointment, manicure, pedicure, the whole nine. Also, trying not to associate himself with the other guy whose last name rhymes with his, so he doesn’t get his ass kicked off the team.
Sun Yue: Watching the Rush Hour series to study what a Chinese guy needs to do to fit in with black people.