The superstars of the NBA and the shoes they wear to battle will always be connected forever. Sure, to some they may be nothing more than a hot pair of sneakers to beat up. Yet to others, they are so much more...
Do you know what shoes Michael Jordan wore during "The Last Shot"?
Yep, the Air Jordan XIV.
Guess which pair Vince Carter rocked when he dunked over the 7-footer from France?
No doubt, it was the Nike Shox BB4.
Do any of you know what exactly those are that KryptoNATE is holding up?
A special pair of Nike Foamposite Lites. You'll be lucky to snatch a pair of those lime green joints for $600 or $700. Infact, your even lucky if you can even have the opportunity to shell out your money on them. Seriously, average price of those run around $1000.
I can only imagine what exactly the hardcore sneaker heads at Niketalk are thinking right now. Seriously, this stuff is the equivalent of talking Birds and the Bees to Jamie Lynn Spears or Bristol Palin.
But since most of you are normal folks that don't spend rents money on sneakers or camp out overnight for some kicks , I'm sure this breakdown will do just fine.
So how do we judge which shoe is better than the other? Well there is no one single rule or criteria, rather a combination of style, substance (how the shoe performs, and yes, I've worn all the shoes about to be mentioned), and what exactly the player accomplished while wearing their respective shoes.
So who exactly had the hottest shoes this season?
Here we go, the best signature sneakers worn by the best players in basketball during the 2008-09 regular season.
A player's career is often parallel to their shoe line's success. It's no coincidence that the greatest basketball player of all time also had the greatest signature shoe line of all time.
It's also no coincidence that Vince Carter's Nike Shox and Amare Stoudemire's Nike Air Force S.T.A.T. signature shoe lines were terminated after just five and two years, respectively.
Kevin Durant has certaintly proven himself to be more than worthy in the NBA, as Nike has rewarded him with his first signature shoe, the Nike KD1 (also referred to as the Kevin Durant 1s).
Kevin Durant's kicks are currently available on the market for all to buy. In fact, Durant's newest shoes are one of the easiest on the wallet compared to most signature shoes this season. At a shade below ninety dollars, these joints run cheaper than 85 percent of any other newest release - including retros and non-signature shoes.
Yet, they perform as well as any other shoe on the market.
I've worn these for three months, and they are truly the best buy for price vs performance. They incorporate arguably Nike's greatest technology, Zoom Air.
They fit well right off the bat, requiring no break in time whatsoever. The shoe has great court feel for guards and small forwards, yet at the same time offers maximum ankle protection for power forwards.
If Kevin Durant's career keeps escalating, it's no doubt that his sneaker line will follow as well.
Until then, Durant and his KD1s represent the sixth best signature sneaker in the NBA.
Officially pronounced the Jordan See-Pee-Three-Point-Two, this was the sneaker that Chris Paul had been wearing all year.
This is the second installment of his signature series, and without a doubt Chris Paul's line has stepped up considerably with this sneaker.
The colorway above is inspired by New Orleans and the flavors of Mardi Gras.
A bit more hefty in price than the KD1s, these kicks certaintly do not hide themselves for how much their worth.
The shoes themselves perform as well as they look, combining style and performance without compromise.
These shoes play very congruent with the KD1s, except that I found the traction to be that much better. Every shoe has it's strengths and weaknesses, and without a doubt the traction on the CP3.II is better than most on the market. The cushioning has a somewhat firm-, low-profile feel to it.
If your a slashing guard, then these sneakers are pure crack waiting just for you.
Dwayne Wade's first signature sneaker, these shoes have already cemented themselves in NBA history.
Wade wore these when he went on his 2006 NBA Finals run. This single sneaker put Converse on the map again as a true performance basketball company.
Converse would go on to follow with the release of the Wade II, Wade III, Wade IV, and pictures have already showed up of the Converse Wade V (releasing next year).
So why is he wearing these shoes when the Wade IVs released?
Well nobody knows for sure, but it's claimed that Wade is trying to gain his 2006 NBA Finals form, and obviously it's working.
The shoes themselves were inspired by sharks, as the slits not only give a sleek style but serve to keep your feet cool as well.
The Wade 1 is your traditional basketball shoe, which seems right for a company like Converse. Traction does it's job, the ankle stays locked down, and the cushioning is best described as your typical family couch. Nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary, but does it is job well. The shoe is for the biggest of centers to the best of slashers.
Although they don't have the newest technology incorporated in them like the previous two sneakers, these shoes are the only shoes on this list to have won an NBA championship.
Maybe people don't know now, but these shoes will become legendary as time passes by. The Air Jordan VI anyone? Yep, the first shoes that MJ wore in his first NBA Championship and MVP honors.
If you desire to get a pair of these, Champs retro'ed back the original black/white/red colorway of the Converse Wade 1.
Oh, and the pair you see above is a non-releasing player exclusive colorway, the same exact shoes that D-Wade has rocked in every game against the Atlanta Hawks.
If a basketball PLAYER is not aware of Jordan Brand's Melo line, they are not aware of basketball period.
Carmelo Anthony's shoes have always been labeled with one of the most prestigious logos of all time.
Yet Anthony has been able to carry the logo without a problem at all.
Carmelo's Js are the equivalent of the younger brother who constantly lives in the shadow of the older brother. No matter how good they are at any particular point, they just never seem to be good enough because something else is better.
You see, I never thought Jordan Brand's Melo line ever got the credit it deserves. If you ask many of the hardcore sneaker freaks, several of them will talk down about Melo and his shoes.
Truth be told, the Melo M5 spits in their face. The M5 is a reserved looking sneaker that hides amazing performance capabilities.
Rolls-Royce doesn't need to advertise itself to anybody. Carmelo Anthony does not need to explain his game. The Melo M5 does not need to scream anything out to anyone
Every season, only one or two basketball shoes put themselves above others when it comes to absolute first tier luxury.
Your looking at the most elegant shoe worn in the NBA during the 2008-09 season. In fact, not only is the M5 the most luxurious sneaker on the market, it's also the most versatile.
Full length Nike Zoom Air is incorporated. The grip is more sticky than sticky glue. Best of all, the shoes' heel to toe transition is as if your running on pillows.
Catch Melo in the playoffs rocking various colorways of this sneaker.
Remember when I said that Melo's shoes were the equivalent of the typical little brother?
Well say hello to big brother, because The Zoom Lebron VI marches in at number two.
Now they are available for all to buy, but make no mistake this sneaker is built first and foremost for the King.
The 6'8, 270-pounder needs a strong shoe, and the Zoom Lebron VI is by far the most durable performance basketball sneaker of 2008-09.
If you haven't been noticing each sneaker brings it's element of strength. The Zoom Lebron VI's best asset is in it's ultimate, unmatched protection.
The Six is built in similair construction as a football shoe. Although the shoe may seem bulky, the Zoom Lebron VI is light as any other baksetball sneaker out there.
Although James is rocking a new pair of shoes (Nike Zoom Soldier III) in the playoffs, his Zoom Lebron VIs have left Lebron James stronger than ever to win an NBA Title.
The Black Mamba has the best signature shoe of 2008-09.
Unlike others on the list, it is pretty much undisputed by several that the Zoom Kobe IV is the single best signature shoe when it comes to style, substance, and performance.
And why wouldn't it be? Kobe Bryant was seen once again as the best in the West. His Nike Broken Ankles marketing scheme was the best of any signature shoe in recent years.
Kobe's shoes are strictly designed for players like him, as the lower cut and very low profile feel are attributes designed for guards. They feature Nike's newest technology to date, Flywire.
Flywire allows lateral support by using razor thin threads, therefore not needing excessive leather or other materials to provide support.
What you get is the lightest basketball performance sneaker ever to be created.
The traction is absolutely golden, the cushioning feels quick/responsive, and the light weight makes the shoes even invisible during play.
Kobe Bryant will lead the team with the best chance of winning the title, and he will do it with these shoes.