There are some NBA All-Star game traditions that seem likely to stick around. The dunk contest and skills challenge. No defense being played during the game itself. A lot of "stars" who can't play a lick of basketball in the celebrity game.
And of course, new shoes!
That's right, new shoes. These days, NBA stars debut new shoes being created by their sponsors. Often flashy, sometimes ridiculous, never boring, these offerings stray slightly from the standard fare the athletes wear.
Here, we're going to break down those new offerings. Spoiler alert—most of the shoes are pretty absurd.
To start, let's get one thing clear—the Nike shoe designed for LeBron James is the worst thing ever. EVER. Look at these monstrosities.
This looks like the glitter that guy from the Samsung commercial wanted to put on the unicorn's mane. This shoe should be called the "Everything that made the '80s suck" design. If this shoe was a painting, it would be called "Alien Vomit on a Cosmic Background."
If this shoe is modeled after "black diamonds," I pray that diamonds aren't actually forever.
While we're at it, Kobe Bryant's design sort of reminds me of the classic combination of a creamsicle and a spaceship. Wait, what?
Were these shoes dipped in liquid hot magma? Probably.
And don't get me started on Tony Parker's shoes.
What is this, Tron? Did I miss the "Cubism is back in vogue" memo? Will "If I Only Had a Heart" play every time Parker scores a bucket in these shoes?
Then there's Russell Westbrook's kicks.
We're not going to rip on these—even though they look like something that Spike Lee was probably wearing in Do the Right Thing—since they promote his charity, the Why Not? Foundation.
Nor will we rip on his teammate Kevin Durant Nike's kicks.
I like these bad boys. They're quirky, hip and, most importantly, aren't gaudy.
Whereas LeBron's shoe looks like it should be something even David Bowie would dismiss as excessive, and Kobe's kicks seem best suited on a poster at a Grateful Dead concert, I can actually picture young jock-hipsters in Brooklyn rocking Durant's new shoe.
I almost feel the same way about the sneakers that Dwight Howard will be wearing...
...and those that Jrue Holiday and Tim Duncan will be sporting...
...except I really can't get behind the whole camouflage thing. I'm sorry, but I find it tacky. You aren't a solider just because you sport camouflage, that's not how it works. Plus, there's always the inherent irony that real soldiers wear it to remain clandestine, whereas civilians wear it to stand out.
You might as well just wear a t-shirt with "LOLZ" splashed across the front in huge, block letters.
OK, OK, so the camouflage thing is just my own opinion, and some people dig the style. And honestly, outside of the camouflage aspect, I like this look a lot. So Adidas mostly got these right.
Those are the main players at this year's All-Star game, folks. I'm sure you'll be able to see them, especially the glistening glitter diamonds on LeBron's feet.