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Slam SLAM Kicks 2018

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Slam is the fastest way to bring home the entire world of hoops from playgrounds to high schools, college and the NBA.

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United States
SLAM Media Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the sixth man

I realize I say this every year now, but the sneaker media game is officially insane. It used to be a matter of which platform was slowly taking over—websites upended magazines, then blogs upended traditional sites, then social media upended blogs—but now a new social platform elbows out whatever was previously popping every few months, and sneaker-company owned apps are creating content and selling sneakers at the same damn time. It’s fun! Or it’ll drive you mad, if you take it too seriously. And it’s doubly fun building a brand strong enough to survive and thrive on *any* platform, even the one that started it all. An actual magazine. So we figured if we’re going to make yet another print edition of KICKS, let’s use this space to do two things. The…

3 min.
sure shot

THEY HAVE BECOME a crucial focus of the job –a “vitally important, must-get on a game-to-game, nightly basis,” according to NBA photographer Andrew Bernstein. He is talking, of course, about kicks. Both Bernstein and Nathaniel Butler have been shooting the League for over 34 years, beginning in an era when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ruled and Converse was the king of sneakers. The NBA would soon be taken over by Michael Jordan and fan interest in what players were rocking on their feet would skyrocket. Bernstein and Butler have had a front row seat as the entire thing has blossomed into a full-blown phenomenon. “Once Michael showed up with those first Air Jordans, that was the end of that,” says Bernstein. “Because that created this whole subculture of shoe maniacs that just lived…

3 min.
cp3 the great

IT WAS ALL about the colors. On a team recently relocated to the most culturally unique city in America, for a rookie whose game was immediately one of the League’s most vibrant, the colors had to pop. It was 2005, and Chris Paul was the new man in New Orleans. You know he couldn’t just blend in. The Hornets’ ’05-06 season is memorable for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that New Orleans’ team couldn’t actually play in New Orleans most of the season. Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast that August, forcing the team into an extended relocation to Oklahoma City. Playing in front of a temporary but enthusiastic fan base in OKC—they regularly sold out the Ford Center—while repping their battered home fans back in Nawlins, the…

2 min.
catch up

NIKE BROUGHT THREE pairs of Nike Air Mags to the New York Giants practice facility back in October 2016. Odell Beckham Jr and Victor Cruz sat down with the auto-lacing sneaker directly inspired by Back to the Future Part II. The mythical auto-lacing concept was officially official, and Big Blue’s two biggest wide receivers couldn’t contain themselves. Their then-rookie teammate, Sterling Shepard, was with them, his eyes wide with joy. Shep, a lifelong sneakerhead, says they didn’t even know they were going to get the chance to see the extremely exclusive joints that day. “We were all walking into the locker room and our equipment manager was like, ‘They want you three to come try on the Mags.’ [We] went ahead in there and shot a video for it.” Shepard says they unfortunately…

2 min.
yes indeed

When Concepts opened the doors to its new flagship store in Cambridge, MA, in 1996, there’s no way its founders could have envisioned what it is now—one of the most respected boutiques in the entire sneaker industry, with spin-off retail locations in New York City and Dubai. As of August 2018, you can add Shanghai to that list. What started as an eclectic shop selling skateboards and snowboards next to Nike and Timberlands evolved into a go-to destination for high-end footwear in New England. In 2008, Concepts started stocking Gucci, Balenciaga and Margiela, which made it the first independent store in the world to carry luxury brands alongside more traditional sports brands like Vans and adidas. That same year, Concepts released the most iconic collaboration in its history, the Nike SB Dunk…

2 min.
who want the smoke?

THE NO. 1 PICK in the 2018 NBA Draft signed with Puma. Not Nike, not adidas, not Under Armour. You read that right: Deandre Ayton of the Suns signed with Puma. And he wasn’t alone. The No. 2 pick, Marvin Bagley III of the Kings, inked with Puma, too. As did fellow first-round picks Michael Porter Jr. and Zhaire Smith, plus Spurs veteran Rudy Gay and budding Celtics star Terry Rozier. Why is this significant, you may be wondering? The last time Puma signed an NBA player was 1998, when Vince Carter entered the League. Two decades ago. But wait, there’s more: legendary rapper and business mogul Jay-Z is signed on as creative director for Puma Hoops. No joke. The way Puma’s burst onto the bball sneaker scene this summer isn’t some…