Converse Changed The Game, But Not The Shoe

Converse hasn’t changed the aesthetic and simplistic perfection of their first and most iconic shoe, but they have adapted to the future FINALLY after 98 years.

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Sneakerheads around the world (if they’re being honest) will all agree that the shoe game began with the Converse Chuck Taylor, it’s like the holy grail of sneakers.  If you consider yourself even a little bit old-school, then you own at least one pair of Chucks.

But what’s the real-world issue with Chucks?  The simple yet perfect style has always been there, but the comfortability, stability and cushion have always been a problem.  Seriously, how did dudes EVER hoop in these shoes!?!?

Converse (Nike) fixed the issues and managed to keep the integrity and classic-ness of the shoe.  It took almost 100 years and Nike buying Converse in 2003 to do it:

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Technical shoe-talk: Designers concentrated on improving the shoe’s comfort and feel. They inserted a cushy Nike Lunarlon sock liner into the shoe, added a padded non-slip tongue, and a perforated micro-suede lining for moisture-wicking breathability.

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The Converse Chuck II are made with a thicker premium canvas, an embroidered All Star logo on the inner heel, and debossed, painted eyelets.  But other than that, it’s the same classic style.  From a distance it’ll be hard to tell they’re anything but the original classics, except the person wearing them won’t be limping in pain.

They’re priced decently, $75 for the highs and $70 for the lows.  Although, a $5 difference between the two seems a little off to me, but maybe I’m being too picky.  They will be available July 28th.

2015-2016 NBA New Uniforms Leaked Early

The latest uniform leaks via Uni-Watch for the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season has lead me to one final decision:  The non-tanktop, long-sleeved uni’s are the worst thing the NBA has EVER done, even worse than the one year attempt at changing the game ball.  The NBA loves to kinda, sorta do things correctly sometimes….but not really.

“Never half-ass any two things, WHOLE ASS one thing.” — Ron Swanson

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This lasted one whole season

Before we get deep into the nerdery discussion of assessing shirts and shorts that other men younger than us wear to work everyday (when you say it like that it gets creepy).  Let’s jump off with the atrocious rec-league, free t-shirt out of a shirt cannon crap that the NBA keeps jamming down our throats.

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From left to right, “Buzz City” (Charlotte), “Bulls” (Chicago), “C” (Cleveland) and the “Mining Picks” (Denver).   Putting the terrible long-sleeved BS design to the side, let’s examine further:

  1.  “Buzz City” is just a dumb name.  It sounds like a fictitious town in a Pixar movie where a lonely Bumble Bee who never really reached his full potential meets a beautiful wasp and falls in love.  Even though bees aren’t supposed to date wasps, their love is bigger than any pre-existing stereotypes or prejudices.  “Buzz City” starring Chris Pratt as “Bartholomew”, that red-head secretary girl from “The Office” as “Penny” and Christopher Walken appearing as the wiley-old June Bug City Mayor, “Mr. Furthermore”.  Coming to a theater near you.
  2. The Bulls jersey is fine.  Except that it’s long-sleeved and totally dumb.
  3. The “C” jersey for Cleveland is plain and simple, which usually I am ALL FOR when it comes to jersey design.  Old School is the only school when it comes to uniform design, let’s not get too cute with it.  Nobody wants wing-dings font on their chest, we’re professionals here…..I’m talking to you Houston (you’ll see later).
  4. The Denver Nuggets have been in need of a complete identity overhaul for about 5 years, both ON the court and OFF the court.  The colors are outdated and 90’s looking, the writing and font are almost 70’s cursive and the design is similar to a uniform I wore in Junior High (Go Webber Panthers).  Having said that, I really like the “Mining Picks” logo that they’re starting to use on their gear.  This isn’t a bad looking uniform, it’s simple yet to the point and it has some deeper meaning to the city of Denver and the history of the franchise.  Now if they just cut off the sleeves like professional jersey should look, we’d be all the way there.  Good job Denver.

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  • “Clutch City” refers to Houston?  Am I the only one who has NEVER heard that reference before?  I’ve been watching basketball, playing basketball and eating and breathing basketball since I was old enough to hold a ball……I’ve never heard Houston called “Clutch City”, maybe I shoved it into my subconscious or completely missed that one time someone referred to the city of Houston as “Clutch”.  According to Wikipedia (so you know it’s true):

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***Sidenote: So lemme get this strait, Houston is “Clutch City” because they won two NBA championships in the mid 90’s WHEN Michael Jordan wasn’t in the league?  Winning 2 TOTAL championships gives you the right to be called “Clutch City”???***

  • “Nola” is always a great logo and name for the New Orleans alternate uni, but again these look ridiculously similar to a 80’s St. Louis Rams football jersey with those long sleeves.
  • The blue on purple creative FAIL uni is apparently Sacramento?  I got nothing on that one, it’s an eye-sore.
  • The last one is the Washington Wizards alternate, although at first glance it looks like a Portland Trailblazers alternate.  Did a freeway run through the middle of the jersey and shorts, creating an optical illusion of terrible and ugly?

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As for the rest of the leaked jerseys, even though the photo isn’t great and totally clear, I can tell the alternates and new colors for several teams that actually worked out are:  the black alternate Los Angeles Clipper unis, the throwback “Sixers” jerseys for Philly,  the RED OKlahoma City Thunder jerseys (although I’m confused where red comes in), and all the “hardwood classic” unis are always great.

My one other critic would be about this constant cross-cultural and multi-language trend in several NBA jerseys over the past few years.  I’m all for expanding the game and reaching other continents, even though the league poses it as camaraderie and human interest but in reality it’s more about money and expanding the NBA’s brand name.

  • Houston has a Chinese language uni:

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My real question with this is why Houston?  Is it because Yao Ming played there like 10 years ago?  OK it was actually only 5 years ago, but anyway, why ONLY Houston?  Why not several teams?  Why not a team WITH an actual person of Chinese decent on the roster?

  • They’ve added two more teams that make no sense this season to the Chinese language unis:
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Spurs and Nets??

Why not do it league wide all at the same time rather than random teams on random occasions??  Then maybe it could mean something significant.

  • The Spurs, Suns, Lakers, Clippers, Bulls (might be missing some) all have adopted the “Los” whatever team idea in celebration of Mexican heritage month.  While I applaud the NBA for trying to seem like less of a corporate white-owned and managed operation, they need to hire someone/anyone who speaks Spanish to help the situation.  “Los Bulls” is a combo of English and Spanish, or Spanglish which is more commonly known as white-person jibberish.  Again, the league should go for it all the way with correct spelling (Los Toros for example) and with all the teams being involved or none at all.  It’s a little offensive the way it is now right?

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Good advice for the NBA: