The Air Jordan XI Comes to Bobcats Store

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Wallace and Augustin to Sign Autographs; Win a Pair of Michael Jordan Autographed Shoes!

I don’t want to seem like a braggart, but I totally saw this coming. Back in October, the Sports Business Journal reported that the Bobcats Team Store would be expanding to a more Jordan Brand centric style. It was a dynamite move and I knew that this was preparing for a release of the ‘Cool Grey’ Jordan XIs.

But let me back up so I can get you up to date.

Releases of sneakers usually leak out months or even nearly a year ahead of time through the internet from some guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows Tinker Hatfield’s gardener. The exact date of a shoe release is mostly speculated or likely to change even up until a few weeks before they’re set to drop.  Word of the release for these leaked January 28 of this year on the popular sneaker discussion site, NikeTalk.com. I knew that the Bobcats were going to drop the ‘Cool Grey’ XIs mostly just because I thought, “They have to.” It’s too big of a sneaker release to not drop at the home of his NBA team. It just had to work out. And it did.

I understand that many of you may not understand the deal with sneaker obsession. It’s somewhat an underground culture, but I’m not going to delve into the culture of sneaker-dom here. However, know this: this Jordan shoe is THE sneaker of the year. I’m not trying to create hype where there shouldn’t be, it’s just a fact. It’s a fantastic looking shoe. This model has arguably the best design of any shoe, of all time. And this colorway is one of the best.

Usually the Air Jordan XI has the “Icy” clear sole. The main complaint is that the “Icy” sole yellows over time, due to oxidation. However, this year, Jordan Brand decided to used a blue tint on the yellow sole, which should impede yellowing at the least — oh! And it looks nice with the gray patent leather and white midsole.

This sneaker’s “holy” status pushes me back to remind you of the sneaker culture. Sneakerheads, as some like to be called, can be more than a little protective of their favorite shoes. If you’ve seen “Do the Right Thing,” you know what I mean. In fact, most sneaker enthusiasts won’t wear these ‘Cool Greys’ ever, much less play basketball in them, preferring to keep them “deadstock” (unworn, new in the box). Some, like me, like to wear their sneakers, even if it means risking their value and getting them a little dirty. Regardless, this shoe release will be HUGE.

How huge? Well, last year, the Air Jordan XI ‘Space Jam’ released nationwide. The ‘Space Jam’ XI is the “Holy Grail” for many, and brought droves of people. Desperate to ensure that they have a pair, people formed lines, beginning the night before. I’d expect a similar, maybe marginally smaller, experience this year.

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Pictured: Space Jam launch line in Serramonte, which is basically San Francisco. via JayJunkie from NikeTalk

Normally I’d probably have my friend, who is probably one of Charlotte’s top 3 sneaker collectors, reserve a pair for me through his connect at his local shoe store. However, that store isn’t getting my size (8) so I’ll be one of those guys camping out.

Which brings me to the Bobcats.

The Bobcats Team Store will be releasing the Air Jordan ‘Cool Grey XIs on December 23 (national release date). According to an email the Bobcats sent out, the line for the shoes will begin at noon (yeah, right. See y’all at midnight. I’m getting them come Hell or highwater).

And to make it even better (or to make it worth going, if you’re not a sneaker fan), Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin will be making an appearance to sign autographs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Also, the Bobcats are currently running THE BEST PROMOTION EVER. So, remember those shoes I was talking about? The ones that people will be lining up all over town to get? The Bobcats are giving a pair of those away – and they’re autographed by Michael Jordan. My instinct tells me to be selfish and not share because the more people who enter, the less chance I have to win. But, I can’t deny our readers this opportunity. HERE IT IS. I JUST HYPERLINKED THAT SENTENCE WITH THE LINK, AND THIS ONE TOO – AND HERE’S THE ACTUAL LINK, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY: http://www.facebook.com/bobcats?v=app_10442206389

So, good luck everybody! I hope one of us wins the coveted shoes! (But mostly me)

Love,

Cardboard Gerald, Senior Baseline Footwear Correspondent

Kicks on Claws: Footwear of Charlotte Bobcats Players

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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