Kicks on Claws: Footwear of Charlotte Bobcats Players

Standard

Gerald Wallace Exclusive Jordan Icons

After we released the eye-popping news that I would become a new writer for the Baseline, I got a request via Twitter for an article on the kicks that our players would be wearing on the court this year. As a sneaker lover, I was more than happy to oblige and to teach the Bobcats followers about one of my other passions.

Before we delve into what the players are wearing this year, I must complain about something and then teach you some basic shoe stuff.

Upon hearing about the Jordan-centric renovation of the Bobcats store at Time Warner Cable Arena, I got excited about the possibility of having a Jordan store that sold Jordans. Why, you ask, when there’s so many Footlockers and Finish Lines that sell Jordans? Because I hoped that the affiliation of Jordan Brand with the team would bring about some Jordan shoes in Bobcats colors. There are no shoes in the world in that greyish-blue that I can find. However, to my dismay, I found out that they don’t even sell any shoes there at all. Opportunity lost.

Anyway, on to the learning!

  • PE – Player Exclusive. These are shoes made for a specific player, usually with their team’s colors. These are occasionally available for public purchase and if then, only in limited quantities
  • GR – General Release. Shoes that are GR’s are available for purchase by anyone at most shoe stores like Footlocker or Finish Line. Shoes that I don’t note as PEs are most likely GRs, which you can buy.
  • Here’s the lowdown on how Jordan-sponsored players choose what shoes they wear throughout the season, as told by D.J. Augustin:

    At the beginning of the season, Jordan Brand sends you a package. In that package, you receive four shoe models. If you like them, they send you 10 pairs of each model to wear through February. After the All-Star break, Jordan Brand gives you two more models with 10 pairs of each to finish out the season. They let you practice in them and if you like them they will give you more. If you do not like the shoes they give to you, then they will give you something else to try. Basically, Jordan Brand wants to make you comfortable and make you feel good. They also give you the choice to have your personal logo, your name and/or your jersey number on the shoes. First, they show it to you on paper and if you like the shoe that is when they send you the package.

    via NikeTalk via Nice Kicks (P.S. read the whole interview. I love the part about Sean May)

The Jordan Brand Members

This select group includes only the Bobcats players sponsored by Jordan Brand: Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin. Each of these guys will wear Jordans on the court for every game this year, just like last year. As part of the Jordan Brand Team, D.J. and Gerald are privy to special PE colorways of their shoes. Last year, Gerald mostly wore Jordan shoes like the Jordan All Day and the Jordan 16.5 while D.J. also wore the 16.5 and the Jordan ‘Six Rings,’ just to name a few.  However, the real interesting shoes that they wore were their Air Jordan XII and Icons PEs.
Wallace in the AJ XII PE

Personally, these Jordan XIIs pictured above, are my favorites. I love the colorway. If I could buy these, they’d be on my feet all the time.
D.J. in his AJ XII and Icons PEs
Crash even got his own player exclusive version of the Jordan Icons, complete with an awesome logo, made especially for his All-Star appearance.
I want to go to there.

As for this year, I expect more of the same. So far, Gerald and D.J. have both been wearing the Jordan Team 2010 in the exhibition and regular season games. I expect them to wear some of the other generic Jordan basketball shoes as the season wears on. After the All Star break, you may even see them in the upcoming Air Jordan 2011. Also, be on the lookout for some fantastic PE colorways of dope Jordan retros.

The Jordan Wearers

This group of Bobcats are players not signed by Jordan Brand and it includes Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Dominic McGuire (and maybe Sherron Collins). As far as I know, Stephen Jackson is not a part of the Jordan Brand team but he wears them for every game. Last year he wore the Icons, including a special playoffs PE, as well as a number of Jordan retros. Most notably of these were the Jordan XI “Space Jams” (below) and the Jordan XII “Rising Sun.”
Stephen Jackson in his Air Jordan XI

Last year Shaun Livingston wore Nike shoes, including the Nike Zoom Soldier III. However, so far while playing for the Bobcats, Shaun has worn the Jordan Element. I couldn’t even tell you if Dominic McGuire even wore shoes before, but he has been wearing the Jordan Spizike “Grape” during training camp and exhibition games (upon further research, he wore Nike Hyperdunks before). I am hesitant to include Sherron Collins here, but he wore the Jordan Icons in the summer league and I can’t make heads or tails from the whopping three pictures I can find of him playing in exhibition games.

The Hyperfuse Herd (Ain’t Alliteration Awesome?)

Derrick Brown in the Nike Hyperfuse

The Nike Hyperfuse released this past summer to rave reviews. They also have a huge following among NBA players. Kevin Durant wore them in the World Championships and Rajon Rondo wore them in the NBA Finals. My guess is that DeSagana Diop wants to emulate Rondo so he picked up a pair. And then, upon seeing Diop, the fashion trendsetter that he is, Matt Carroll and Derrick Brown knew they had to follow suit and get their identical pairs.

Some Kind of Nikes

These are the rest of the guys and they all wear Nike basketball shoes. Last season, Tyrus Thomas wore the Nike Zoom Flip ‘N and this season it looks like he’s wearing the Nike Hyperdunk Team. I have no clue what model of Nikes that Boris Diaw or Nazr Mohammed wear. I’ve stared at them for a while and still can’t think of what they may be. They may be the Nike Hyperchild. Moving on, Gerald Henderson wears the Nike Hyperdunk and if Kwame wears the same model as he did last year, we’ll see him in the Nike Hyperize. Oh, and I nearly forgot about Eduardo Najera! He wears shoes. I don’t know what brand but I know they’re shoes.

Until next time, Bobcats fans, enjoy knowing that Mike Conley will be making at least $40 million over the next 5 years.

- Cardboard Gerald

Party City Donates Lady Cats’ Costumes

Standard

It appears that Party City donated all of their leftover “sexy costumes” to the Lady Cats. The  photos popped up on Bobcats.com and Facebook last night.  I believe the donation occurred on November 1 and Brandii McCoy promptly organized a photoshoot.

The outfits are an exceptional sampling of the most predictable women’s costumes of the past decade. Here is a countdown:

5. The Sexy Vampire

Brittany is really “owning” this shot by extending her arm so far that it shows her double-jointedness. Also, the use of a “Bump-it” under the bangs is a nice touch.

4. Sexy ‘Risky Business’ Outfit

Is this really a costume?? It was my understanding that women dress like this around their homes throughout the year.

3. Sexy Playboy Bunny

Kudos to Amber for taking this shot from behind. It wasn’t clear how sexy this costume was but once you see the sexy bunny tail, there is no question.

2. Sexy Cop

I’m kinda confused by the use of pink in the cop outfit and the tan is technically the color of a Highway Patrol uniform. Nevertheless, Ashley is employing the use of a “visual metaphor” by holding a nightstick.

1. Sexy French Maid

Tia and Dawn both went for the #1 sexy costume of the past decade: the super-innovative sexy French Maid outfit.

This duplicative costume leads me to beleive that each LadyCat was responsible for her own costume. Why didn’t Tia and Dawn correspond via text messaging?

Which one of these awesome costumes is your fave?

I personally think that the Lady Cats should’ve all dressed as the Charlotte Sting like this bro…

The Bobcats Superhero Treatment

Standard

marvel-bobcats-detail

Marvel and ESPN The Mag Create NBA Superheroes

If you didn’t know by now, ESPN The Magazine teamed up with a sister company (under the ABC/Disney mega-corp) to create some very cool and geeky comic book style superhero illustrations for the publication’s NBA Season Preview. There are some pretty interesting takes on the concept of blending fantastical heroes of the Marvel universe with the on-court superstars of the NBA.

Of course, our first impulse was to check out the Bobcats “cover” treatment. It’s interesting to see Air Jordan as the centerpiece, imagined as second-tier Marvel hero Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson in the Iron Man movies). While I’d like to see Gerald or Jack sketched into some turbo-intense action, it’s probably safe to say that Jordan is the most recognizable and influential figure of the organization.

marvel-bobcats-cover

You can take a look at a preview of all the team covers here. I think the Bulls, Thunder, Rockets and Nets are pretty sweet ideas. The Cavs concept is just too true.

If you’re bored of staring at your computer, you can grab the newest issue of ESPN The Magazine, featuring this NBA Geekfest on your newstands this weekend.

NBA Jam for Nintendo Wii; Bobcats Images

Standard

nba_jam_profilelarge

I honestly never thought I’d see the day. I have had SO many dreams…vivid, colorful dreams with the words BOOMSHAKALA and KABOOM being shouted by a fantastically predictable announcer.

Today is the day my dreams come true. Tyrus Thomas, Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson all appear on the newest installment of NBA Jam. The Midway arcade hit was purchased by EA Sports and released on the Nintendo Wii console today.

This game is insane. I had forgotten how addictive it is…the dunks; the shoves; the elbow throwin’. Incredible.

I was excited to see that a few Bobcats “signature visuals” made it into the game including the infamous Gerald Wallace mouthpiece that inspired our SarcophaCrash t-shirt.

Gerald’s Mouthpiece

photo1

Larry Brown’s trademark “crossed arm stance”

photo3

Rufus looks weak but, let’s face it, Rufus is pretty weak in real life.

photo2

Needlesstosay, Bobcats Baseline highly recommends the new NBA Jam. We won’t even mention all the throwback players (Dennis Rodman) you can unlock.

In other NBA video game news, the Bobcats received a mention in the IGN review of NBA 2k11

I know we toss around the phrase, “It looks like a real game” too often, but this time I mean it — dynamic crowds that slowly fill in during the first quarter or don’t even show for a Bobcats’ game and you have the most accurate portrait of the NBA to date.

The entire gamer community is flipping out over NBA 2K11 because it recieved a 9.5 by IGN…the game is being dramatically touted as “The Best Sports Video Game of the Millenia” and features a generous helping of Michael Jordan game modes…

The highlight of NBA 2K11 are the Jordan Challenges…Can you average 11 assists in the ’91 series against the Lakers? Or drop six treys and score at least 35 points in the first half against Drexler and the Trail Blazers to earn the famous Jordan shrug? Or light up the Knicks for 55 points in Jordan’s return from retirement?

2K Sports created each of these 10 memorable moments with a surprising level of detail. The commentary for every game is custom-fitted with discussions on Jordan’s potential in “The Arrival” game and talk of how much John Starks has frustrated Jordan in the “Double Nickel” game in Madison Square Garden.

With both NBA Jam and NBA 2k11 focusing so heavily on nostalgia, I wonder; are we entering a NBA Renaissance? Is the NBA on the up-swing to achieve the level of popularity it enjoyed during the 1990’s? Does Michael Jordan gracing the cover of NBA 2K11 mark the beginning of an NBA resurgence in pop culture?

Does it make you sad that the Bobcats are not a “vintage team” from the ’90s like the Hornets? If the Bobcats had a throwback player on their NBA Jam squad, who would it be?

Fun With Media Day Portraits

Standard

Gerald Wallace
Amidst the death rattle of the complex Carmelo trade (that would have netted us a legit starting point guard), the Bobcats began training camp with Media Day on Monday.

Media Day is a chance for the team to herd all the players together in order to take pictures, film video promos and bumpers for broadcasts, and give the local media ammo for puff pieces.  Maybe ammo isn’t the best choice of words…

Anyways, the best part of Media Day is the often ridiculous pictures that get taken.  The Bobcats official site has a quick gallery of some behind-the-scenes candids that probably deserves its own post (check out #13 featuring an inexplicable Stephen Jackson pose and #14 with an unfortunately chunky-appearing Sherron Collins), but what I’m more interested in are the portraits taken by the Charlotte Observer’s Jeff Siner, available here.

Portraits like these are inherently awkward; there’s a reason we gasp at our old school photos and snicker at others “Glamour Shots”.  The fact that these are grown-ass men in tank tops just makes it all the more awkward.

Lets go through these one by one.  Up above is Gerald Wallace — nothing to snark at here.  A solid photo befitting of the heart, soul and face of the franchise.  One of the few pleasures of being a Bobcats fan has been watching Gerald Wallace grow not just as a player but also as a professional comfortable with being promoted as the face of the franchise.

Jack

Stephen Jackson:  Again, nothing to snark at here, except for that souvenir ball from the team store.  Would it have killed them to use a game ball?  Also, note the not-so-subtle change to the collars on the jersey this year (compare to last years in the website banner above).  I’m guessing the all-orange is supposed to “pop” more or something like that.

DJ

DJ Augustin:  The likely starter at point guard gets the old “gimme a smile and a circus pass” treatment.  Probably also had to add “the trade fell through, you’re still the starter!” to get that smile.  Again, that ball — the UPC barcode is a nice touch.  Also a good look at the side vents showing the new material being used in NBA jerseys this year (click here for more on that).

Diaw

Boris Diaw:  Jeff Siner is truly a skilled photographer — Boris doesn’t even look fat in this pose!  Orange glow makes its first appearance in a big way.

Nazr

Nazr Mohammed:  Last year, Nazr morphed into a surprisingly competent solution at the 5 for the Bobcats.  This year, he’s apparently morphing into Lt. Worf.  Seriously, Naz, what’s going on with the forehead there?

Diop

Gana Diop:  Borrows the generic “big man pose” from Nazr, adds the orange mood lighting, and unsurprisingly managing to come off looking way more goofy.  Did we ever decide if Gana is Joey Crawford’s Avatar?

Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown:  Looks like he’s posing for a football card.  Could probably give the Panthers a lift at QB, come to think of it.

Gerald Henderson

Gerald Henderson:  Looks way too nice here.  Really needs to pose (and play) with an edge this year.  Maybe should have gone with Blue Steel.

Najera

Eduardo Najera:  Is anyone else getting a “Mexican Don Draper” vibe here?  Love the throwback dribbling posture — go get the ball out of the peach basket now.

Livingston

Shaun Livingston:  Skinniest arms in the NBA?  Skinniest arms in the NBA.  Also, is the clever arm positioning covering up the fact that he doesn’t have a number yet?

Crittendon

Javaris Crittendon:  If I was Jeff Siner, I would have printed out a couple of different pictures for Javaris, then placed them on a chair by his locker with a note that said “Pick One.”  I’m sure he’d think it was funny.

Ty Thomas

Tyrus Thomas:  I saved the best for last.  I love this photo — no joke.  Perfectly captures the potential that Thomas has.  Reminds me a bit of the famous 40 Year Old Virgin movie poster, with the innocence.  Now Tyrus the dude is no innocent — he’s had his share of professional indiscretions.  But his game is kinda raw and innocent.  Let’s hope he is as earnest as he appears to be in this picture when it comes to reaching his potential as a player this year.

Again, check out the full gallery of Jeff Siner’s photos at the Charlotte Observer’s website.

-Dr. E

Bobcats Look To Ride Twilight Vampire Craze

Standard

Bobcats Looking To Sign Another Forward

The Charlotte Bobcats continue their efforts to build depth and find quality role players this summer. The Arizona Republic and The Charlotte Observer have reported that the team has been in contact with Phoenix Suns free agent Louis Amundson. If the team were successful in signing Amundson, this could signal further shifts to the Bobcats roster.

Who Is Louis Amundson?

Okay, so you look at Louis Amundson and the first thing that comes to mind is “Vampire”, right? I expected to run a Google search and find a heartwarming, local newspaper article about how he’s worked hard to overcome the bias and adversity of adjusting to the US since his arrival from Transylvania. Over the past two seasons he’s been praised for his hard work on the court with the Phoenix Suns, but his extensive efforts to wear that mouthpiece and pretend to be a normal human are never recognized.

It appears that the Bobcats may be in line to capitalize on circumstances that will follow Amundson throughout his NBA “life.” The 6’9″ forward/vampire is destined to spend his entire career on the move, hoping no one will notice that he never ages. After breaking into the NBA from the D-League, he played just one game for Utah before heading East to avoid the suspicious eye of Jazz coach Jerry Sloan (estimated to be 95 yrs old).  Amundson  spent the following two NBA seasons working to learn the intricacies of modern human life and the dynamics of a team locker room with the Philadelphia 76ers. This experience prepared him for a more productive role with the Phoenix Suns.

spacejam-vampires

After the November 2008 release of the highly anticipated first Twilight film, Amundson realized that America embraced and celebrated his kind. His new sense of comfort began to show immediately. Over the next few months, he thrived in a more vampire-appropriate pace of offense with Phoenix. It could be argued that as he got more minutes on the court, his teammates actually began to run faster on the break just to get distance from him. It’s been speculated that after his first season, the Suns were forced to trade away Shaq after coach Alvin Gentry reviewed hours of game footage and noticed the way Amundson would watch O’Neal as slow and easy prey.

Now that Louis Amundson is once again looking to relocate and avoid suspicion, Charlotte hopes that he can invigorate their front line or at least give Larry Brown the gift of immortality. In order to compete with the other teams courting Louis Amundson, the Cats could offer him on an incentive-based contract to keep the base salary numbers low, as well as encourage Amundson to avoid biting season ticket holders or Rufus, the team mascot.

Notes : Louis Amundson may not be an actual vampire. My initial guess had him as a big man from somewhere in Europe. That, too, is probably wrong. It looks like Amundson was born in California, grew up in Colorado, and went to college at UNLV.  He was not an actor in The Lost Boys. Who knew?

-Mike