Mayhem in Miami

I find it pretty dope that sneakers and the sneaker culture has grown at a pace that is almost unreal. But here we are, sneakers are a part of everything and have made sure to celebrate the significance of several holidays and special occasions whether they be globally, country-side or even locally recognized.

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This takes us down to Miami where Art Basel was celebrated from December 5th to December 9th this year. When it comes to Art Basel and sneakers, the crowds come in capacity level numbers. Such numbers are brought not only because of the sneakers that are beautifully crafted often with a great story behind them, but just overall clean sneakers that will forever have a space in Art Basel history.

For the second straight year, an Air Jordan 1 was the center of attention. Last year for Art Basel, the Air Jordan 1 was presented in two different Artsy colorways that included one Rust Pink, and the other Igloo Blue with a color-block design that is in the mold of the OG Black Toes. As of December 2018, both of those shoes go for over $2,000 so you could see why this brings out the crowd for the 2018 version.

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This year, Miami based sneaker boutique SoleFly were called to bring to life their version of a classic Art Basel Air Jordan 1. Right away, the hype for the shoe was in full force when DJ Khaled and store owner Chino hit social media to let the people know what was coming! And from there, it was a race to Miami, not only did residents of Miami want these, but people all over the globe who are into sneaks.

Fast forward to the day of release, anticipation is of course all over the place for the limited shoe that was to be released at a secret location. Word was mistakenly leaked of the location before SoleFly was able to let the public know and all hell broke loose. Eventually the police were called and the release had to be cancelled as it was seen to have unsafe conditions. With people who wanted the shoes for the wear and others wanting them for the flip, mayhem was all but destined unfortunately. Truly does suck for the individuals who traveled to get these shoes for self though, but that is part of this culture, you can’t please everybody.

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Personally, I wanted these shoes as they brought back a special theme to myself, a kid from Michigan. The Jordan 1 with Miami Hurricane colors brought me back to the time I started watching football, college football in particular. It was the 2000 Miami Hurricane team that made me fall in love with the sport of football. Seeing that type of swagger on the football field was all I needed to be hooked on the sport. While I was not able to travel to Miami due to work, the cancellation of the Miami only release still bummed me a bit because I know the work it took for others. But like I said before, in this culture it is impossible to please everyone, Supply and Demand.

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The weekend comes and goes and many suspect a drop online for this special shoe, tons of us dreading this because of the possibility of bots eating up the drop. So Monday, without notice SoleFly dropped a raffle link via Google that opened at 3:05, the famous Miami area code that is also embossed on the backside of the tongue for the left shoe of this coveted pair. The raffle was a shock and ended in about 15-20 minutes but was at a capacity making it rather difficult for the people who caught the tweet to sign-up, luckily for me, I caught it right away and was able to sign up! Others were upset that they missed the raffle but I thought this was as fair as it could be considering the demand for these bad boys. Winners were to be notified throughout yesterday and even earlier Tuesday but in the between time, they released the clothing piece of the SoleFly x Art Basel x Air Jordan capsule. This too caused a commotion on the net as people hoped it would be the shoes, thankfully for the clothing piece, I was able to cop some pieces that I wanted, on the shoe tip I wasn’t so lucky but I knew I had a chance seeing as I entered the raffle. Salute to the owners of SoleFly for calling out to individuals and informing them of their winnings, that was a nice touch that is greatly appreciated. All in all, they did what they could to make sure this was a safe release and that is what matters, but this definitely will go down as an Art Basel classic!!

The Air Jordan 6, MJ's First Championship

So I ordered a Netmagnetism Series I lego set which consist of pieces that form an Air Jordan 6.  Anybody who is truly interested and follows sneakers the way I do can understand the importance and impact of the Air Jordan 6 model.  Michael Jordan helped lead the Chicago Bulls to their first championship in this iconic shoe and for my first Series I, I picked the Black and Red colorway.  

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While I thought that this would be a dope project for myself to complete, it was my 12 year old cousin who jumped in to save the day and wanted to make this a project for self lol.  She is indeed a lego fanatic and has been for years!  Understanding that she loves legos and her knowing I love shoes we just used this time as a great bonding and education path, if I do say so myself.

Take a look at the pictures of the completed process and special thanks to Netmagnetism and my young cousin lol.

PG2 Playstation

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As someone who plays basketball and who is certainly about their fashion, I have a great appreciation for bold collaborations that are executed beautifully.  The latest installment for that has come in the form of a collaboration between Nike and Sony.  Nike signature athlete Paul George of the NBA is the self-proclaimed biggest gamer in the league and his console of choice is the Playstation.  With Paul George coming off one of the hottest signature shoe introductions in a long time, Nike and PG-13 were certainly looking to bring out the new silhouette with a bang and by hooking up with Sony to break out the PG2, they did just that. 

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Now this release of the PG2 Playstation was extremely limited and only came out in just over a handful of locations.  Releasing on February 10 via Nike SNKRS App and a couple Foot Locker stores both by like of the draw style, chances were definitely slim.  As for me, I struck out just like the majority but then can another chances with the release at Nike ATL.  After entering an in-store draw and winning I was able to secure a pair.

Right off of the back I was highly impressed with the precision and smooth outcome of this pair.  The navy blue and black combo hits perfectly along with the Playstation details within the shoe.  Patent leather surrounds the heel of the shoe with signature Playstation controller triangles, circles, squares and Xs embroidered in.  4 Playstation color themed Nike checks are on the outside and inside of the midsoles of the shoe.  Also included on the outsole are glow-in-the-dark pods and a Playstation voucher with special Paul George themes on the heel tab.  Not to be outdone are the tongues on the show that light up with the press of a button.  While I'm not quite sure of the battery life within this feature I have heard around 150 hours.

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Overall I must say that the execution is top notch and actually am excited to see what is next between the trio.  As an owner of an off-white PS4, could that colorway be up next?

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Thank You Kobe

Kobe retired 2 different jersey numbers tonight.  Did y’all hear me?  I said Kobe just retired 2 different jersey numbers tonight.  That’s right, both #8 and #24 hang up high in Staples Center.  For twenty years of my life, I watched Kobe literally pour blood, sweat and tears into this game of basketball.  He did it with only the type of grit and grind that could be initiated by thee Kobe Bryant himself.  Coming up as a kid who played the sport of basketball myself, I remember watching Kobe come into the league as a rookie and wow the world with an awesome Dunk Contest championship.  Remember those airballs against the Jazz in the playoffs.  So many moments, so so many.  

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If I can be honest, and people think I am crazy but I still have not seen a basketball player like the #8 Kobe.  Fearless, athletic, fundamental and a straight up monster on the court.  There were no friends, there was no buddy ball, hell he didn’t even like his teammates lol.  The fact is, he was great though.  And not great because it was just God-given ability, but great because he worked at it.  Each season coming back with a different component added to his game.  Oh, and he managed to come up with 3 titles while playing with the great Shaq.  And if you say these were his Robin years, check the damn stats!!  With no Kobe, there were no rings and truth be told his intensity and push to be great pushed Shaq to stay on tip as well, it will never be said but I can guarantee it.

A little bit older, a lotta bit wiser, Kobe returns growing with the name “Mamba,” but this time he is wearing the number 24.  There is no Shaq, the winning seasons have lead to disappointments and early playoff exits and this is without question his team.  So what does a great do, he gets in the lab to work on his game, even past the physical, he knows its now mental.  The Mamba can see why the grind is so important, I mean a young Kobe has had championship success, but the challenge is now getting THIS roster to understand the grind.  A few changes to the roster but Kobe finds a way to challenge everyone on the roster from 1 to 15, in his way, the tough love way.  Killing teammates in practice so they go home and have to think about it.  Forcing them to compete at the highest of levels in practice only paid benefits when the Mamba got this team to add two more championships to his already legendary career.

In between these short paragraphs are a ton of details that are left out but I’ll leave that up to you all to read study and watch YouTube on.  Just know that if you got to watch Kobe Bryant compete, whether it be KB8 or The Mamba or maybe both, you watched one of the Greatest Of All Time.  And even more important, he did it his way.

 Thank you Mamba

 
 
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It’s Gotta Be The Shoes

If you know me, then you know that I have always had a special, special love for shoes.  My biggest vice has and will probably always be shoes.  I have always been considered a collector or the knowledge guru when it comes to shoes.  And it doesn’t have to be the shoes that I purchase for myself, but those rare pieces that I know may not be commonly attainable as well.  There is art and appreciation in the concept, build, precision, look etc., etc. that shoes bring to me personally.  Something that I have always valued. 

Background 

For me, the storyline behind why designs and specific colors are selected is always awesome to learn.  This is a great way to take a look at the thought process in the creation of a shoe.  For those into the engineering aspect of things of course this provides you some satisfaction.  And then colors, why are certain colors picked for this shoe or that shoe.  All of this is something that interest me.

Culture

The overlooked benefit in this seems to be the aspect of building relationships, meeting new people and the overall fellowship that takes place.  Today, the sneakerhead culture is as known and prevalent as it has ever been thanks to the growing interest in the likes of social media and non-direct marketing from the consumers.  But for me, an old school guy who has been in this sneaker game a nice while, I appreciate the going in to a store or boutique or waiting outside in a line with dozens of other people where conversation is key!  You get to talk to the people who sell these shoes to you, meet them while meeting others that share the same passion as you do.  All in all, these are the moments that make the culture is as great as what it is.

Rockin’ The Footwear

The reason for all of the build up, or anything else involving the shoe, is to actually rock the shoe.  And for me that is the crowning moment, being able to put on a shoe and have it be an attention grabber, or have the shoe display how you are feeling at the time.  That energy knowing that your shoe is grabbing attention is something I can’t explain.  So I use the shoes I have as a display of emotions and feelings.  Looking at my shoes can say a ton about how I may be feeling at the time.  

LLC Out

 
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