This year, LEGO and adidas really upped the ante. Just recently, the two turned the Superstar into a buildable set, everything from the sole up made entirely of black and white blocks. And while some would like to, the collectible is not at all wearable; but fear not as the Three Stripes have you covered with this July release.
Though it may lack some of the aforementioned’s charm, the pair is as close to identical as physically possible. The signature LEGO look is still retained for the most part, channelled by way of the side stripes as well as the heel tab and toe. Each, unlike the smooth white leathers adjacent, are ostensibly made up of actual pieces, covered with studs all throughout their exterior. What’s more, though a subtle addition relative to the rest, the energy is matched by blocky stitching and logo windows.
A release is currently set to hit adidas.com on July 15th at a retail of $140 USD.
The estate of Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are no longer affiliated with sneaker giant Nike, as the late Lakers great’s contract with the company has now expired.
“With Kobe Bryant’s five-year, post-retirement endorsement extension with Nike having expired this month, Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate elected not to renew the partnership, she confirmed to ESPN in a statement Monday night,” wrote Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
Kobe Bryant spent his first several years being sponsored by Adidas, even though Adidas was never a big-time player on the basketball shoe market.
Eventually, he joined Nike, starting a fruitful partnership for both parties.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa Bryant, widow of the Lakers legend, told ESPN. “Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”
Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. last January.
His influence on basketball and its culture is still seen to this day, as several current NBA players still wear his signature sneakers.
Interestingly, there are reports that before his passing, Kobe Bryant was planning on leaving Nike to form his own sneaker company and disrupt the entire industry.
That desire may have been fueled by some differences with Nike.
“According to a source, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe product during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash,” wrote DePaula. “There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids sizes, according to sources.
“Nike, sources said, had presented an extension offer that was not in line with expectations of an ongoing ‘lifetime’ structure similar to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”
Nike filed the suit last week against MSCHF after it launched a pair of modified Nike Air Max 97s called the “Satan Shoes” with Lil Nas X. The shoes, priced at $1,018 and decorated with a pentagram pendant and a drop of human blood in the soles, quickly sold out.
The sneakers drew outrage online, and some called for a boycott of Nike, though the company had nothing to do with the shoe. Nike made a federal filing against MSCHF, and a judge granted a temporary injunction to halt the fulfillment of “Satan Shoes” orders.
A settlement was reached in which MSCHF will issue a voluntary recall on the shoes and offer a buy-back program for previously released modified Nike sneakers it called “Jesus Shoes,” Nike confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.
“If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund,” Nike said in a statement, reaffirming that it had nothing to do with the shoes. “Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.”
MSCHF agreed to settle the lawsuit after realizing it “already achieved its artistic purpose,” David H. Bernstein, an attorney for MSCHF, told NBC News. The shoes were “individually numbered works of art that will continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion,” he said.
“With these Satan Shoes — which sold out in less than a minute — MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance” in partnership with Lil Nas X, Bernstein said.
The release of the “Satan Shoes” coincided with Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its accompanying music video. In the video, Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell and gives the devil a lap dance.
Lil Nas X defended the shoes as the single and the video got increased attention. The single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After the release of the song Friday, Lil Nas X put out an open letter to his younger self about coming out. The rapper, who is openly gay, explained that the song was about a guy he met last summer.
“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote.
The music video for “Montero” includes a voiceover with a similar message.
“In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want the world to see,” he says. “We lock them away. We tell them, ‘No.’ We banish them. But here, we don’t. Welcome to Montero.”
In this episode of Signature Shots, ESPN analyst Kirk Goldsberry details how Michael Jordan developed from an inconsistent jump-shooter at North Carolina into the most efficient and most prolific midrange scorer of the mid-90s, thanks to his legendary fadeaway.
Vaporflys (and prototypes of them) have been involved in nearly every major running victory and milestone since 2016, and for good reason: Research suggests the design of their soles gives runners at least 4% more energetic efficiency over shoes from competing brands.
“The runner runs the race, but the shoe enables him or her to run it faster for the same effort or ability,” Geoff Burns, a kinesiology researcher and pro runner, told Business Insider of Vaporflys. “So for two athletes of equal ability on race day, the one with the shoes is going to beat the one without the shoes.”
That has led some athletes sponsored by companies other than Nike to don Vaporflys in secret. In at least three competitions, non-Nike runners have worn “blacked-out” Vaporflys: shoes covered in black permanent marker to make it difficult to spot the Nike swoosh.
NBA 2K21 will have three different cover athletes. Now we know Damian Lillard will be the first.
2K announced the Portland Trail Blazers star will serve as the cover athlete for current-gen systems in a press release Tuesday.
Lillard expressed gratitude for the cover spot:
“This is a special moment for me in my NBA career. I’ve been a fan of NBA 2K for years and love how they represent all aspects of basketball culture. I’m an avid 2K player so I’m honored to join the other NBA greats who have been on the cover. I’m grateful to all my fans and can’t wait for everyone to experience the game later this year.”
Though the Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson has not played in the league for over 10 years, Reebok is still paying him $800,000 per year. The deal Iverson signed years ago is said to have saved the 76ers star from going bankrupt after his NBA career ended. As per Action Network’s business analyst Darren Rovell, Iverson will have access to the $32 million Allen Iverson Reebok Trust Fund when he turns 55 in 2030.
The company is reevaluating its ongoing strategy for releasing Bryant’s signature shoe series, and in the interim, it would prefer to limit resellers’ stockpiling an inventory of existing products, only to sell them on the secondary market at elevated prices.