terrence ross all-star dunk

NBA All-Star Shoenanigans

chris paul all-star mvp
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA All-Star Weekend usually packs the game's brightest stars into one place to duke it out on the court for bragging rights.  But this may be the first time that what was worn on the feet may have outshone the players, literally and figuratively.  After spending part of his time (OK quite a bit of his time) staring at the kicks on screen all weekend, Ray gives you his take on the All-Star shoe game he observed right here in his non-traditional shoe review … 

OK peeps, so NBA All-Star Weekend has come and gone and with it the latest and greatest of the shoe game.  I’m not sure about you all out there but I was actually pretty stoked to see what was going to come out on the court, and for the most part the game (both All-Star and shoe) didn’t disappoint me.  There were some current ones, some new ones, some odd ones, some Holy Eff ones and some What the Eff ones too.  Check out what I thought about the court kicks from the festivities right here.

First off, there seemed to be a running theme with most if not all the shoes that were being worn at all the events this past All Star Weekend and it’s this – color!  If you take a look down the line of rookies, skills guys and All Star Game players, the trend was to have some sort of bright or eye-catching colorway.  It could have been the primary or accenting hue but it was still bright. 

Looking at the brands in general – Nike, adidas and Reebok kicks were in full force and the force was large enough to blind you if you’re eyes are sensitive.  Kobe’s Kobe 8 Systems, Blake Griffin’s Jordan Super.Fly 2s, Eric Bledsoe’s LeBron Xs and anyone who wore non-Derrick Rose model adidas pretty much could have signaled aircraft from the ocean they were so brightly colored, but I liked them.  The last few years has seen more of a move to have rich and dazzling colorways, which I have always been in favor of.  Though I do appreciate a less obnoxious looking shoe in terms of color, for an event like the NBA All-Star Game the bright colorways and combinations is just want a brand would want.  Call it on-court peacocking if you will.  I would imagine that the tones will darken up for the playoffs, but an event full of basketball stars the shoes needed to shine as bright as the players on the floor.

The second thing that I noticed about the weekend’s shoe game is that there were some space-themed kicks that I liked and I didn’t like.  Nike did a line that launched this past weekend that shoeheads have been itching to get their hands on, the Area 72 line, which has a wild space theme to the shoes that were included in the line.  Also, Reebok had reissued the Kamikaze II in early Houston Rockets colors. 

I loved the Nike Area 72 line.  In fact I liked all five of them from the initial release.  Each shoe, the Blazer, Vandal, Lunar Force 1, Air Force Max 2013, and Barkley Posite Max, was done incredibly well I think, with each one having different accents, upper designs and styling that make each one unique in the package. And some of them had iridescent outsoles and uppers as well.  That is a winning combo right there. 

What I didn’t like was the Reebok rerun.  I was never a fan of the Kamikaze when Shawn Kemp was wearing them in the 90s dunking on dudes, and I’m not a fan of them now.  I think they could have done better with the shoe (or even a different shoe all together).  It was a primarily red colored upper, white sole with a few yellow accents.  The only thing about the shoe I did like was the outsole accent that seemed to give a molten or liquid effect, but it isn’t enough to convince me to like it.  I think RBK is really slippin’ now, FYI.

The third thing I want to mention is that the Chinese brands didn’t disappoint.  In my first entry last week, I mentioned how I was eagerly awaiting what our Far East friends would have for us for the weekend and well, they had some stuff. 

The biggest thing was the news that Tony Parker, a long time Nike athlete, had signed with Peak and he wore his Lightning PEs for the Skills Competition and the All Star Game.  They looked pretty good, though they did look somewhat like a pair of Nike Hyperfuse or Hypergamer. 

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Now I did like the Li-Ning Way of Wade All-Star colorway which was purple for the game.  There were two models that leaked onto the web prior to the start of the game, one being darker powder blue and the other purple, and if you watched the contest you saw Wade wearing the purps.  They were both low-key in their general appearance, but the blue had a suede-like look to them, while the purple ones had bubble-like print throughout the upper. Both had splash details on the outsole which were great.  These were a definite winner for sure.

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Garnett, as I thought, had a very little departure from his in-game Anta shoes.  The marked difference was the noticeable number 15 on the outer indicating the number of times he’s played in the All Star Game over his great career.  The shoes were primarily black, white and silver without anything crazy.  Seems that the older KG is more subdued. 

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Now to end off this novel, I’m going to simply list the players that had the meanest shoe game this All-Star Weekend.  I’m leaving it strictly to cats that were on the court in some form participating in an event.  These are all my opinions so you’re welcome to comment.

Best Shoe – Terrence Ross, Toronto – Nike Max Barkley Posite Area 72

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The shoe is the best of the Area 72 line, in my humble opinion, and it speaks to all the Charles Barkley shoes that I always loved but all in one AND as a posite shoe. PLUS the upper is iridescent!  

Worst Shoe – Nick Cannon, Celebrity Game – adidas x Jeremy Scott

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

The shoes had wings, actual wings.  On the shoe! Jeremy Scott makes great, fun shoes that should not be worn on the basketball court.  Ever.  Someone should have told Nick.

 The Holy Eff Shoe – Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma – Jordan Brand Jordan XX8 

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

These shoes are very comfortable I’m sure and that shroud will keep your feet feeling tight and cozy, but the shroud goes pretty high up on the leg and the colors he wore in the first half …

The What the Eff Shoe – Tie – Matt Bonner, San Antonio – New Balance 8025, and James White, New York – K1X Anti Gravity 

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Bonner is wearing the most basic of the basic basketball shoes but NBs do have wide widths so he may want them for that reason.  Plus he’s not the same dynamic, high-flying guy he was as a young cat.  As for White, I didn’t think I’d see another K1X in the NBA after Ron Ron changed his name and left them.  More a shock than anything and I did like the look of them.

The Most Understated Shoe – Kemba Walker, Charlotte – Under Armour Charge BB Low

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

I liked that they were all a uniform black with the hot pink and neon green accents on top and a really colorful sole when you looked underneath. Great shoe.

The Most Obnoxious Shoe – Tie – Blake Griffin, LA Clippers Jordan Brand Super.Fly 2, and Eric Bledsoe, LA Clippers – Nike LeBron X

(Erik S. Lesser/EPA-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

I really wasn’t sure if one of them had a lighter shade of the uber-popular Volt colorway, but damn they were bright for the festivities.  And that’s saying a lot. 

The Shoe I Want to Have Most – Three Way Tie – Under Armour Charge BB Low, Nike Air Max Barkley Posite Area 72, and Nike LeBron X 

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

The former two I’ve mentioned already, but the LeBron Xs that Bronny wore in the game, the All-Star colorway, are flashy but in an understated way with the colors not so bright but still vibrant.  Better these then the Dunkman Volts that Bledsoe wore (at least for right now).


Ray Bala is an avid shoe appreciator and has been doing so since the short shorts ruled the NBA. Always looking to add to his horde of footwear, he's been know to skip a meal or four to get what he wants, but never wait in a line.  When he's not playing basketball against better skilled players or doing the laundry, you can find this Toronto native trolling Ebay for vintage Nike Flight suits and talking about Canadian basketball in such publications as SLAM Magazine, Hoop and his blog The Can Ball Report.


About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto, The MMA Manifesto, & A Dry Heat.