What Sneakers Mean To Me

What do sneakers mean to you?

If you ask that question, I’ll give you the most dramatic, but honest answer. That is, to me, sneakers mean everything, and I mean that. There isn’t a thing I cannot tie a certain sneaker to.

And I’m not saying that just to say that I truly mean it.  My earliest memories in life are of me as a toddler rocking Jordan 8s and being able to relate the design to Bugs Bunny.  I’m talking me at 4 years old fresh as hell in AJ8s.  It’s a wild image to remember because I truly don’t remember anything else at that age unless my mom recorded it.  But that image of me in a baby windbreaker and some Air Jordan 8s walking down the stairs at my Aunt and Uncles house for a family party will never leave.

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At that point, a monster was certainly created and my mom lets me know all the time she loves/hates that she built that in me lol.  Crazy thing is my mom has always had fresh shoes.  Not limited to just sneakers but she certainly had those to, so without question I got it honest as hell.  So like I said, for as long as I can remember she made sure that my kicks were fresh.

Growing up and going through school I always was the kid with nice shoes, at that time it was more so Jordan Brand of course but see, I’m a basketball connoisseur and have tremendous respect for the history of the game from the actual art of playing to the shoes, outfits that the players wore.  Outside of Jordan’s, you would certainly catch me in my favorite players shoes including Penny Hardaway, Allen Iverson, Pippen’s, hell Shaq’s, Barkley’s, Grant Hill’s and I could go on!  There was no doubt that my love for sneakers stemmed from my love for basketball.  And like that, before I could hold full conversations, I was engulfed into this passion for sneakers.  

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This passion continued to grow of course and at the time my fashion sense was more of full basketball outfits with the sneakers to match.  A much more basic approach lol.  But, the beauty of sneakers is it opens you up to a world of different things you had no idea about.  So via collabs and the early stages of the internet brought the introduction to the now more so prevalent streetwear culture.  Because my obsession with sneakers and wanting to know more about the what’s going on in sneakers, I was able to find out about these different streetwear brands.  My style definitely is built from the ground up, I start all of my outfits with shoes lol.  To some it may be a weird concept but like I said before, my shoes represent a lot more to me than just being fresh, they are actually my mood for the day.

The quests!  The long searches!  The building of bonds!  One of the more under-appreciated arts of sneakers and the craze to attain them is how they bring tons and tons of people together, all for a common theme.  It’s crazy the amount of people I’ve met and connections I’ve made with awesome individuals.  Having to look into sneaker releases and see when and where releases might take place are some of the more enjoyable moments for me.  Things are a lot easier to find out with social media and that part is love/hate because I remember you didn’t know unless you knew somebody.  It’s a bit different now with the bot evolution and resale of sneakers being mainstream but I still enjoy it.  And this quest never gives, no matter how rich you are or even your access I think there’s always a pair that you are hunting for and that’s the beauty of it all.

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Personal brand building from sneakers is also a great highlight. Building a brand of self happens whether you are a known reseller or a Shoetuber or just have been known to talk cash shit at big releases and/or are a source for release information etc. etc. etc. Individuals such as Foamer Simpson and HesKicks are the reason I started watching YouTube for shoe reviews and it has grown to these individuals having tons of opportunities outside of YouTube. They aren’t the only people I watch but they certainly changed how review videos go. A reseller such as 23Penny is someone who is well respected and it comes from the footwork he puts in and some of the most fair after-market prices that you will see. I enjoy this because what often ends up happening is they release merch or introduce me to different brands that otherwise I would have overlooked. Hell, I rock Asics because of Foamer and they are now one of my favorite shoes.

This sneaker game has come a long way, both good and bad but I’m happy to be a part of it and look forward to the continued growth.

LLC Out


Basketball Season Is Here!!!

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Anticipation of the next basketball season is certainly heavy in my household, I make sure of that lol. Whether we are talking College Basketball, the NBA or my favorite, High School basketball. This time of year where the expectations are high for everyone is one of the most exciting times in the season because of the unknown.

Let’s take a look at the college level. For someone as myself who is not a Duke fan I have to admit I am anxious to see these freshmen ball. Vandy will be a team that I certainly watch because I have been watching Darius Garland for the last few years. Expectations for Kentucky are still there and their roster includes some Ga talent I am familiar with. And even with all of this said, I am and have always been a part of Tar Heel Nation, so let’s get it!!

Next, we take a look at the NBA level and the biggest elephant in the room is LeBron in a Laker jersey. I must admit, a few preseason games in and I still can’t believe it. Boston looks destined to run the East but I’m sure the 76ers have something to say about that. Teams I’m looking forward to watching include the Bucks, Suns, Cavs and many more. Oh, and I still believe that Dub Nation will win again with Boogie.

Finally, let’s talk some High School basketball. There is a ton of good talent in each class and the incoming freshmen class has nothing but good reviews. For me, I will be paying close attention to the 2020 class as I think it is certainly a special group. Being here in Atlanta is a benefit when it comes to this because the Southeast area host several of the top tournaments in the country such as Holiday Hoopsgiving, Chic Fil A Classic and City of Palms to name a few. Also, as far as the Senior class I see a ton of unfinished business as the #1 spot is certainly up for grabs amongst about 4 or 5 players. Just a FYI, I’m going with Cole Anthony.

Like I said, this time of year is hopeful not just to the teams participating, but even for those who love to analyze and breakdown the game like myself. And the cherry on top? The sneakers!! Cheers to basketball season!!

Social Media's Impact on High School Basketball Pt. 1

One thing that I have noticed over my years of watching High School basketball is the dedication that these young individuals have put into their craft.  Maybe it's just social media, but it certainly seems that these young individuals are will to put in the work to get to the next level.  

Don't get my wrong, I know that there have always been young talented players who have put in the NBA level type of work on their way to being future All-Americans, Division 1 athletes, NBA All-Stars but it definitely seems to be at a higher rate than when I was in High School.  I did attend HS and played basketball with one of the top players in the country across all recruiting sites and believe me that same work was not the case back then.  In fact, I get kind of upset knowing that I did not suggest and push him (us) to be in the gym more to actually get reps that would imporve our game as players!  I'm not saying we didn't hoop at all, we did and it was more so in open gyms 5v5.  This helps for conditioning but does not necessarily tend to your solo gains as a player.  The one thing I do know is if I pushed my brotha and went to the gym with him, he would be in the NBA no doubt!  But hey that is a post for another time.

What I do know is I definitely respect and am encouraged by these young players based on their dedication to get better.  It's funny because for better or worse, social media has had an impact on what we see from the players.  As a teenager who strives to be one of the top players in the country, you would be hard-pressed to sit at home relaxing while you see even the most elite of players in the gym, daily, early as 5 AM improving upon their craft.  So for as much as social media may have hurt our youth talent, this is a part that I truly appreciate!  

Apply Pressure!

 

LLC OUT

Miami Vice: For the Travelers

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Take trips, when your schedule allows and to wherever you would like to go.  Be spontaneous and be open to new adventures.  This mindset has helped me for the last three years of my life and from time to time, because of my work I am able to travel on the company dollar lol.  

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Recently I visited Florida, Miami Beach to be exact on my way to a company event in the city.  This was my second time in Miami and still, going to some of my go-tos spots in the city felt just as refreshing as the first time and having a chance to soak up the sun on the beach with my beauty was awesome as well.  

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During my first trip I was not able to visit the beach because of TOA, but this time I did and quickly understood the love and infatuation with being in such an environment.  And one thing I never miss a beat on is finding new food spots to try.  As a solid recommendation, visit the Bodega in South Beach if you enjoy Mexican food like I do!

With love, see you again Miami!! 

A Dreamer's Dream

What does it mean to follow your dreams?  And when I say follow your dreams, I mean go all in for what you truly believe is destined for you.  What does this mean?  It's more than just a dream, it is the effort, it is faith, it is willing to endure the pain of failure and knowing that you have to keep on pushing forward!  

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Effort:  This is something that I wrote about in a previous blog.  Your effort is something that should never be questioned.  Understand that to go all in on your dreams requires the utmost attention and grind.  Put forth your best efforts to bring your beliefs to life.

Faith:  You have to believe in something other than yourself.  Something that will keep you focused and your spirits at a high!  Faith that when you do fail, that will not be the end of your story.

Keep Pushing:  When you go all in on your dreams, you have no backup plan.  This shit is all or nothing and you must continue to push.  

I was inspired to write this blog post because someone that I call my brother is taking a leap that has motivated me!  This upcoming Friday, June 29th he will be leaving his place of employment in corporate America to follow his dreams.  Migrating from the corporate world to a full-time entrepreneur will not be easy and he knows it, as scary as the journey will be I think it refreshing to find someone who is willing to take the risks on themselves.  I couldn't be more happier for him because as long as I have known him this has certainly felt like a long time coming.  He is one of my many motivation pieces and watching him turn into the millionaire is only making me pick up my pace to do the same lol.  They say you are an average of those who are close to you and to have him on my team helps because I know we all push each other for excellence.  My brother, my dawg, tear this shit up and I will meet you on the road to success!

To those dreamers, never give up and continue to push thru!!

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LLC Out