NBA 2012: 15 Freshest and Flashiest Kicks of the 2011-2012 NBA Season
Let's be honest; the one thing that all NBA fans were worried about most in the face of the NBA lockout was the possibility of not seeing NBA stars wear their signature shoes.
Without the 2011-2012 NBA season, we would not have seen LeBron's Miami Nights, Kobe's Zoom VII Supreme, Durant's Cool Grey KDIVs or Brandon Jennings' Young Money Kicks.
I'm sure the reason the players decided to give in to the owner's demands was so that they could put their awesome 2012 kicks on display, and for that NBA players, we thank you!
Here is a list of the freshest kicks of the upcoming 2011-2012 NBA season.
Honorable Mention: 361 Degrees of Kevin Love
These shoes are hideously awesome.
The best part of these shoes is the 361-degree logo on the side of it. I know that 361 degrees is a Chinese logo, but I have no idea why they picked 361 as the number to go with.
The shoes perfectly match the T'Wolves uniforms and the player who wears them, Kevin Love. They scream fundamental, which is the basis of Love's game.
Honorable Mention: Monta Ellis' Signature And1 ME8 Empire
I'll be honest with you; I thought And1 went out of business a long time ago.
I had no idea that they still made shoes, nevertheless made a signature for Golden State Warriors star Monta Ellis.
The M8 Empire isn't the coolest shoe around, but it is flashy and it fits Monta Ellis perfectly. The yellow and blue match perfectly to the Golden State Warriors' uniforms, and the contrast between materials used on the shoe helps the blue stand out.
I'm just impressed that And1 is still in business, and, for that reason alone, they make the list as an honorable mention.
15. 2011 Reebok Blast
The Reebok Blasts are pretty awesome, and it's not because of the sweet blast graphic on the back of the shoe.
What makes the Reebok Blast so fresh is that it features the same honeycomb bottom that Iverson's questions did. The overall look of the shoe is very sleek, with the blast graphic just the right size.
I sure hope when Iverson returns to the NBA this year (Miami Heat?), he laces up these bad boys.
14. 2011 Nike Zoom Hyperdunks
The 2011 Nike Zoom Hyperdunks will be worn by the lower echelon of Nike-endorsed players, but they still look absolutely awesome.
The bright colors make the shoe stand out, and the way the top tapers off to the back of the shoe is very sleek.
These colorways are perfect for the Charlotte Bobcats' Corey Maggette, Sacramento Kings' J.J Hickson and Minnesota Timberwolves' Wayne Ellington.
13. Kobe Bryant's Nike Zoom Kobe VII Supreme Black/Tour Yellow
While I think these shoes are a step back for the Kobe line as compared to last years classic Kobe VI, there is no doubting that they are still pretty nice.
Kobe and Nike took a page out of Derrick Rose's shoe design team's book at adidas by adding a weird ankle strap/support to the shoe that can be removed if wanted.
What makes this shoe so nice is the detail that is put into them with the cool fiber-optic look to the lining that goes around the laces and tongue of the shoe.
Nike's Kobe VII proves what we all know about Kobe: He is getting old and needs to start wearing ankle braces.
12. John Wall's Reebok Zigg Encore PE
I'm not a huge fan of Reebok Ziggs, but they at least made John Wall's signature shoe look pretty cool.
The amount of color contrast on the shoe really helps it stand out, even in spite of the cheaper looking material that Reebok used around the heel/ankle part of the shoe.
John Wall is undoubtedly one of the most exciting young players in the league and his shoes mirror that.
Here's hoping that John Wall is able to bring the Reebok basketball brand back to its glory days of creating absolute classics like Allen Iverson's answer iv and the question 3.
11. Brandon Jennings' "Young Money" Under Armour
I'm not a huge fan of all-black shoes, but these ones are absolutely fresh.
The change between the two materials makes the contrast really stand out, especially with the huge Under Armour logo perfectly placed in the center of the shoe.
Under Armour has finally produced a shoe that doesn't look like a prototype. Well done, Under Armour, well done.
I know that this is Brandon "Young Money" Jennings' shoe, but it also could be worn by Lil Wayne if he ever decides to enter the NBA.
10. Kevin Durant's Nike "Cool Grey" KD IV
The Nike "Cool Grey" KD IV is a nice addition to the growing colorways of Kevin Durant's soon to be ultra popular shoe.
The cool grey looks amazing in person. The shine that the grey plastic produces on the toe of the shoe really is a difference maker. The flywire mesh creates a nice contrast with the yellow behind it on the side of the shoe.
While the cool grey isn't the best KD IV colorway available, it still is deserving of being on the list.
I would be okay if they did without the huge K/D on the back of the shoe. Just saying.
9. Jordan Melo M8 Anthracite/White-Varsity Maize
If Pittsburgh had a basketball team, this would be its signature shoe.
The Melo M8 is a very sleek and clean-looking shoe, with a nice contrast of black/yellow and a nice use of flywire to accent the difference in materials.
The Jordan logo is placed perfectly to let the yellow gloss really stand out on the shoe.
I could see some Indiana Pacers or Golden State Warriors lacing these bad boys up during the upcoming season.
8. Nike Air Foamposite One "Metallic Red"
Ahhhhhhhhh, the Nike Foamposites make the list.
These shoes are ridiculously heavy, but they are also ridiculously fresh. I could see some Chicago Bulls players like PF Taj Gibson and G Keith Bogans rocking these this season.
This is the boldest Nike Foamposite shoe that I have ever seen and I think it has the potential to be ridiculously popular. I love how the red appears to change shades as it makes its way up the shoe.
The Foamposites are here to stay, and this might just be the year they become the most popular basketball shoe.
I'm sure this won't happen, but I would love to see Blake Griffin wear these bad boys.
7. adidas AdiZero Rose 2.0 "Wolverine"
I love the decision adidas made to ditch the weird ankle-brace contraption that was stitched into last year's Derrick Rose signature shoe.
This colorway is perfectly accented by the amount of grey that is on the shoe. The green and blue set this shoe up to be a favorite for Minnesota Timberwolves non-signature players.
With Michael Beasley under contract by adidas but lacking a signature shoe, I can see him donning these and taking advantage of the 9.8-ounce weight of the shoe to posterize some unsuspecting defenders.
6. Nike Zoom Rookie "Binary Blue"
These zoom rookies are an interesting shoe. On one level they look like a moon shoe, but on another level I just can't stop looking at the awesome binary blue color.
The metallic looking blue contrasting with the matte black on the shoe is absolutely perfect.
I'm sure this shoe will see a lot of court time in the 2011-2012 NBA season by players who play on a team with anything close to blue in their uniforms.
5. Carmelo Anthony's Signature Jordan M8
Carmelo Anthony has always had great signature Jordan shoes, but this year they are just a little bit better than the rest.
The signature Melo 8 is a perfect fit for the Knicks home uniforms and I expect Melo to rock these shoes for a majority of the games played at Madison Square Garden.
The blue across the shoe looks somewhat similar to the black that goes around the Jordan 11 Concords, and I think that is what makes these shoes so special.
The contrast between the grey and black on the shoe near the tongue is a nice touch, too.
4. Air Jordan IV Doernbecher
These fresh Jordans have Nate Robinson's name written all over them.
He debuted the Doernbecher on Nov. 6 at the Rip City Classic and he got quite a lot of respect for wearing them because so many people were buying them and re-selling them.
The colorway of the Doernbecher is perfect to help the little guy stand out. The Superman logo on the tongue will help even more for the man that slayed Superman himself (Dwight Howard) in the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest.
Please lace these kicks up, Nate. If you don't, I'll, well, do nothing, but you really should wear them.
3. Chris Paul's Jordan
CP3's fly arounds aren't necessarily the flashiest shoes around, but they are undoubtedly fresh.
What makes these Jordans stand out is the detail put into every aspect of the shoe. The color contrast really accents the different parts of the shoe and adds to the "classy" factor of the shoe.
The fly around is a sleek and detailed shoe that stands out because of its simplicity in a year where most shoes stand out for their complexity and outlandish colorways.
The CP3 fly around is the classiest shoe on the list, and it just might be the classiest of the entire 2011-2012 NBA season.
2. Kevin Durant's "Nerf" KD IV
These shoes would be perfect for contestants on the old Nickelodeon show "Guts."
Kevin Durant's "Nerf" shoes are absolutely classic, with bright flashy colors that mirrors the way he plays on the offensive side of the ball.
I love the deterioration look on the strap that makes the strap look like one of those beat-up Nerf footballs.
I'm not really sure why these shoes were made, because I highly doubt Kevin Durant is Nerf's official spokesman. Who cares, though, because these shoes are absolutely awesome.
1. LeBron James' Nike LeBron 9 "Miami Night"
LeBron and his shoe designers at Nike finally got his shoe right.
With the LeBron 9, Nike finally got rid of the boot-like feel that plagued LeBrons in the past. The LeBron 9 is a much lighter shoe that breathes easy with a nice mix of flywire mesh and a nice overlay.
The contrast between the absolute black and the semi-grey color is perfect for the shoe, which is beautifully accented by the cherry laces and the purple Nike swoosh on the side.
I think these LeBrons are the best yet, and I hope that the man who suits up in them is the best version of himself, too.
The LeBron 9s are the definition of fresh.