Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:58 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 4:04 pm

Shoe fans riot at release in Orlando

The Nike Foamposite One Galaxy shoes caused a riot? Really? (NiceKicks.com)

The 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend got started off on the wrong foot Thursday night when what has been described as a small riot broke out at a shoe release for the Nike Foamposite One Galaxy at a mall in Orlando. The release was not associated with the NBA in any way, but Nike had obviously planned the event around All-Star Weekend, and things got scary eventually. From CBSNews.com: 
The Orlando Sentinel reports the crowd was asked to wait across the street when the mall closed. However, one person ran toward Foot Locker and others followed. Authorities formed a line and use shields to protect themselves and push back the crowd.Store employees became concerned and called 911.

"I saw hundreds of people running toward me. I thought I was going to get trampled," said Amanda Charles, 20, who was among a group of a half-dozen friends who drove from Jacksonville to try to buy the glow-in-the-dark Nikes.Witnesses said more police officers quickly arrived, decked out in riot gear and fortified by still more deputies on horseback, on motorcycles and in patrol cars. A helicopter with a spotlight hovered overhead."

Due to the overwhelming turnout at the midnight shoe release, and with everyone's safety in mind, Foot Locker canceled the shoe debut," Florida Mall General Manager Lydia Gilmore said in a statement.

Nike followed suit by canceling the shoe release at several stores."Due to safety concerns, we are canceling the All-Star releases this weekend at the following Foot Locker House of Hoops stores: Florida Mall, Pembroke Mall, University Mall in Tampa, Southlake Mall and PG Plaza. Our priority is the safety of the community," Nike said in a statement.
via Nike Air Foamposite One Galaxy shoe release Spurs riot at Florida mall - Crimesider - CBS News.

Well, that's totally insane.

NiceKicks.com reports that the shoes have a listing for $70,000 on eBay, and that there's a week-long camp-out going on for them in NYC.

It's easy to get on the high horse about this; they are just shoes, after all. But it's no different than the way people go nuts over Black Friday, or a new car, or a new CD, video game, hunting gear, television, concert tickets and the like. People want things, and the want them more if they are rare, and they want them even more if they happen to devote their hobbies towards those objects. The problem is not shoes, here. It's people, and people being nuts when put into large groups with the pressure of a situation like this one.

At least the violence was contained and there are no reported casualties. 

All-Star Weekend off to a great start.

(HT: Nice Kicks
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 11:53 am

Video: Under Armour 'Are you from Here?' campaign

By Matt Moore

Under Armour has launched its first real campaign with its new stable of basketball players including Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams. The concept is built around "Are you from Here?" with "Here" being that mystical place where competition is all that matters, dribbling is poetry, and the journey is more important than the destination. "Here" is also code word for "getting your face kicked in in practice so you can be the best you can be." The ad features the new stable (Williams, Walker, along with signature athlete Brandon Jennings, and without Greivis Vasquez) in a series of grueling practice sessions in various training centers. 

It's not bad, even if it's low on brand exposure for the athletes themselves. Maybe that will come with subsequent spots. It's not bone chilling, but it got a little frosty.  

Here's the ad, via Dime. 

Posted on: July 20, 2011 4:53 pm

Derrick Williams signs with Under Armour

By Matt Moore

2011 has definitely been a huge step forward for Under Armour as a basketball brand. Coming into the draft, Under Armour had only Brandon Jennings and Greivis Vasquez in their stable. They added Kemba Walker soon after the draft for a huge addition, the first major "star" coming into the league (without having played a game, of course). Walker's a named name. Now they've added a new one as the brand announced today that they have added the No.2 overall pick in the draft, Derrick Williams, to its stable. 

From an Under Armour press release:
“Derrick had a terrific college career and emerged as an absolute force on the sport’s biggest stage,” said Matt Mirchin, Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing, Under Armour. “We love Derrick’s passion and hunger to play better every time he steps on the court. He’s a great representation for the Under Armour brand and a terrific example to all young basketball players who are dedicated to becoming game-changers.”

After winning the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award in 2010, Williams raised his game to the next level in 2011, receiving finalist honors for the John R. Wooden Award and a second-team All-American selection. He exceled in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, helping the Arizona Wildcats reach the Elite 8 with a 32-point and 13-rebound performance in the regional finals.

“It’s exciting to join a young brand that brings such a strong, new voice and look to the game,” said Williams. “Under Armour is a great fit for me because they are just as passionate as I am about working hard and striving to be the best.”
Yes, exciting stuff, but still, it's a presser. It's an interesting development for Under Armour, which has experienced in full-effect the domination of Nike in the market. Interestingly, as Rufus on Fire notes, Walker plays for Michael Jordan, the face of Nike Basketball. Now Derrick Williams becomes the highest drafted player Under Armour has signed. It's unlikely anything will touch Nike for the next, oh, several decades, but Under Armour's approach is pretty solid. Go after established names coming out of college, instead of high-upside guys. Those are players that are more marketable off the bat. 

Williams' attitude alone is worth investing in. Now we'll have to see if they can transform that... whatever word you like better than swagger... into a platform that gets traction. 

(Photo via Under Armour PR, HT: IamaGM.com)
Posted on: November 24, 2010 10:30 am

Kobe's Christmas Grinch Shoes are gross

Posted by Matt Moore

It won't be the first time people alledge that Kobe Bryant has a heart two sizes too small, but it's the first time he'll look the part. Leaked yesterday were Kobe Bryant's "Grinch edition" shoes which he'll be wearing on Christmas Day against the visiting Miami Heat. They are ... ahem ... Grinch-like:

So that would make LeBron little Cindy Lou Who, that's who.

Can we go ahead and get this out of the way? The Lakers are going to kill the Heat on Christmas. Even if the Heat get it together over the next month, there's simply no way they'll be able to deal with the Lakers' size, cohesiveness and overall talent. The Heat's Big 3 are better than the Lakers' Big 3 (as in, take Kobe, Pau, and any of their other five solid star players), but they also haven't learned to play together and the Lakers' Big 2 seem to be a might bit better.

Stealing this win for LA, in LA, is going to be easier than taking candy from ... you know what? Nevermind.

(HT: Sole Collector via The Basketball Jones )
Posted on: October 19, 2010 6:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 8:19 pm

NBA bans shoes for the first time ever

Posted by Royce Young

A little over a month ago, I remember writing about this pair of shoes that make people jump higher. But not because some ad campaign says so or because you pump up a basketball on the tongue of the shoes. Like these kicks literally make you jump higher. How? Because there's a spring in the sole.

The company Athletic Propulsion Labs has developed the shoes called the "Concept 1's" and they're going to retail at a cool $300. The technology is what they're calling "Load n' Launch" in the forefoot of the shoe that is basically a springboard. APL claims it will increase a vertical leap by three and half inches and in some cases, more.

And treating the shoes like they're vertical leap steroids, the NBA has banned them. From a press release:

For the first time in its 64-year history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned a new line of shoes based on the league's rule against an "unfair competitive advantage" that increases a player's vertical leap. The league's ban on Athletic Propulsion Labs' Concept 1 confirms the company's claims that the shoe, with its Load ‘N Launch (TM) Technology, performs as advertised. No professional player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season.

This action comes on the 25th anniversary of the NBA's ban on Nike's Air Jordan shoes, albeit for reasons of their colorful appearance rather than any performance advantage.

Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) was notified by a senior NBA official who stated, "League rules regulate the footwear that players may wear during an NBA game. Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game ‘that creates an undue competitive advantage (e.g., to increase a player's vertical leap).' In light of that rule...players will not be permitted to wear the APL shoes during NBA games."

Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard tried the shoes in September and based on his highly non-scientific lab results, they work. Well, to some degree. Ballard said he felt like maybe he got a little extra, but the other test subject said he felt a significant difference, saying that he's never been able to dunk with two hands before using the Concept 1's. So it's possible they really do enhance a vertical leap.

Ballard said he played in the shoes five times and tested them out on a wide range of other players. Some jumped higher, some didn't. The results were a little mixed. And likely mixed enough that might make someone hesitate in dropping $300 for a pair of sneakers.

The concept of the Concept 1's isn't anything new. People have been trying to figure out how to make athletes jump higher for forver. Everyone remembers the Seinfeld episode The Jimmy (two Seinfeld references in one day? Yep, and I apologize) where a guy named Jimmy wears some pretty funky looking shoes that force you to walk on your tippy-toes. And in the show, he claims the kicks have made him jump through the roof.

A friend of mine is a workout junkie and he's tried wearing a form of strength shoes to attempt to strengthen his legs and calves. Just like any other weight training program, it works some, but increasing vertical leap typically comes from a lot of hard work. You can buy some vibrating stomach wrap that's supposed to give you six-pack abs, but really, you're only going to get what you want by working hard in the gym. And it's likely these shoes are in that same category.

And while the APL's won't be appearing in the NBA, you'd think a ban from the premier jumping sport on the planet would be devastating for business. But in reality, this is the best endorsement the company could get. Because by banning the spring-loaded shoes, in some way the NBA's acknowledging the shoes might actually work. Already on the company's website, that's exactly how they're marketing them - "Banned by the NBA" it says.

Ballard's feature doubted the new shoes because of some very non-conclusive results. (If you read Ballard's story, he even called the new tagline of "Banned by the NBA." Impressive.) That might've been a bit of a PR hit for the company, but today's ban is a godsend. The NBA probably did the shoe company the biggest favor it could by telling its players they weren't allowed anywhere near them. How ironic.
Category: NBA
Tags: APL, NBA Rules, Shoes
Posted on: October 18, 2010 3:39 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 3:42 pm

John Wall's new signature shoe is... interesting

Posted by Royce Young

Reebok released pictures of John Wall's new signature shoe the ZigTech Slash Limited Edition Gold Colorway and well, let's just say the reaction has been mixed. Mixed as in most people think they are hideous.

Have a look:

Wall signed a reported $25 million deal with Reebok this summer to be one of their top endorsers. So his signature shoe is definitely one of the prized releases by the company. But as savvy NBA business-head Nate Jones said, the key to a signature shoe is both style and substance. It's got to be a shoe somebody doesn't just want to run a couple of pick-up games on, but also a pair of kicks that you can wear with some jeans and a t-shirt. I don't know if Wall's ZigTech Slashes are something you want to be seen in off the blacktop.

Reebok has a pretty good history with good shoes too. For instance, Allen Iverson's "The Question" model is one of the most famous pair of sneakers ever. They were simple and cool. And now, we have this. Quite a difference.

Now obviously this isn't the only shoe Wall has. It's just the gold colorway. But still, the whole design isn't wonderful. I'm no Russ Bengtson or Lang Whitaker, but still, I can tell a shoe that isn't something the masses will love. Paired with the Wizards blue and gold uniforms? Yeah, they'll look good. On you going to a movie with friends? Not so much.

But at the same time, if you want to pay me $25 million to wear these shoes, I'll totally do it Reebok. Just letting you know.

Via Dime
Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com