SPORTS DRIPS: The most iconic sneakers in basketball
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We will be looking at the latest sportswear trends from sports around the world and from time to time we will drop into the past to give you that nostalgic feel on some of the legendary sports gear from all the brands that have been dominant in the market across various sporting codes from running to basketball to football. The focus will be on how the technology and design impacts each sport and we will also be letting you know which icon uses these items.
Today we will be discussing some of the most iconic and expensive sneakers in the world of basketball. The NBA players have been raking in millions on sponsorship deals with various brands for years as their sneaker style is so versatile and can be worn daily by fans around the world.
Fresh off the 2020 NBA season – We would like to wish the Los Angeles Lakers on their incredible season in the BIO Bubble and LeBron James on a true leadership role displayed as MVP…Kobe must be smiling down on all of you CHAMPIONS!
We will be looking at Nike’s Iconic Jordans made famous by Michael Jordan from the Chicago Bulls, Le Bron James Nike collection and much more including Under Armour, Adidas, Converse, Patrick Ewing and Fila.
Growing up in East London in the Eastern Cape which is about 15000 km from the USA…we grew up in the 90’s watching NBA basketball and dressing like ballers with baggy Jeans and the latest baskeball sneakers – Nike Air Uptempo, Reebok Shaqnosis or Kamekaze, Nike Air Penny or Air Jordans, Adidas Crazy 8’s, Patrick Ewing’s, Fila’s Grant Hill and more. Great marketing by the Americans. I still don’t know how my parents afforded some of my demands so that why we are forever grateful for their sacrifices.
The NBA merchandise industry is booming with annual Jersey sales over a Billion dollars. In 2017 Nike has taken over from Adidas as the official provider of apparel and uniforms for the NBA and that means new uniforms for all 30 teams. This deal alone rakes in over 4 Billion dollars in merchandise revenue annually.
So what is the latest Basket Ball Drips: The Lakers 2020 Jersey is the most sold item this year – Not only because they are the champions but many fans flocked to get a Kobe Bryant jersey after his fatal air crash earlier this year and Lakers fans all over the world wanted to get their hands on some memorabilia.
The Michael Jordan 23 Chicago Bulls jersey is still on of the most ever sold jerseys and still sells around the world. Well MJ is the GOAT! He changed the game – if you are NBA Fan do yourself a favour and go and watch The Last Dance – a series on Netflix.
After this series aired earlier this year the sales of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers has gone through the roof especially in the very first Air Jordan 1 retro which has been re-introduced by Nike in various colourways. The most expensive drip this season must have been the Dior/Nike Jordan collaboration which sold for over R170 000…yes this not a TYPO. 13000 pairs made and only 8000 were made for sale to the public. I have a few pairs of Air Jordan’s in my collection – Air Jordan 1 low – Blue/Grey/white, Flight Club 91 Grape, Jordan 4’s Grand Prix (Blue/White and Black) and Air Jordan 8’s Retro.
Growing up I was not really brand loyal as I liked a few designs – The Reebok Shaqnosis and Kamekaze was really cool – Its great to see Reebok are currently restocking the old school classics.
Adidas had the Rivalry which was made famous by Patrick Ewing who then created his own brand – PATRICK EWING which was popular but not as popular maybe due to marketing constraints – I managed to get my hands on a pair of Patrick Ewing Rogues in the Jamaican colourway in 2018, Patrick Ewing was originally from Jamaica.
Fila has also brought back the retro collection with the Grant Hill and Cage restocked in SA. I have to say Fila has come back with a bang in the market and the kids are dripping their FILA gear in every mall.
The technology in these basketball sneakers have improved drastically over the years – In the early days The NBA players started off with Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, these must have been so uncomfortable us South Africans know this as the All Star is a kasi favourite. Converse started making the One Star for Michael Johnson from the LA Lakers and Larry Bird from the Boston Celtics. Adidas had Patrick Ewing in a Hightop Rivalry in his famous New York Knicks Blue and Orange. Nike changed the game with when the created the Air Jordan for Michael Jordan in 1984 , they introduced the air bubble in the Air Jordan 3 and Charles Barkey Phoenix Suns CB94, Jordan’s teammate Scotty Pippen was one of Nike’s biggest signing with the Air Uptempo – These were recently re-launched in various colourways. Reebok had the big man Shaquille O’Niel in a his famous Shaqnosis or Kamekaze, my favourie Reebok was the Reebok Blacktop Alternate.
New brands like Under Armour and New Balance have entered the market with some really amazing technology advanced shoes – Steph Curry and Africa’s Joel Embiid are the brand ambassadors of Under Armour and have been showing their worth on the court by having a few amazing seasons these look so comfortable as Steph Curry looks like he just glides across the court.
2020 has been the year of the LA Lakers with Nike selling our on all Kobe Bryants range and LeBron James being the MVP for the season his range has been flying off the shelves. I must say Lebron’s Nike range is really stylish and the designers have created a masterpiece.
The South African market has mimicked the US trends in fashion and we have seen a spike in Basketball sneakers and jerseys across various retailers. The official Nike NBA jerseys are available for around R1500 and the sneakers range from R1500 – R3200 on reputable retailers like Shelflife, Streetfever, Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Under Armour stores. Please be careful when purchasing as there are plenty of fakes available which can be very hard to tell the difference.
Keep an eye out for our next edition coming soon!
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