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Slam KICKS 2016

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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

3 min.
sneaker pimp

The sneaker game moves insanely fast. Every day images of new sneakers leak online, events are held to celebrate new drops, shoes are released to retail—so many kicks, so much content. The volume can get a little exhausting. If sneaker writers worked until they were out of material to cover, there’d be corpses in front of laptops in the basements of parents’ houses all over the world. (KIDDING. Love you all.) This, I’d say, is a good thing. I know I enjoy it. More sneakers? More options? Hell yeah. Who TF would want fewer kicks to choose from? But if you’re someone who wants to keep up with all of this—someone who wants to know exactly what’s on shelves, what’s hot, what flopped, who’s gaining steam and who’s losing traction—it’s damn near a…

6 min.
yeezy season approaching

Nearly three years ago, as a Wednesday was slowing down at the adidas Village headquarters in Portland, Jon Wexler’s cell phone buzzed again, with another alert. Wexler, currently the adidas VP of Global Entertainment & Influencer Marketing, has become used to a never-ending stream of texts, Twitter notifications and emails from agents, celebrities and adidas fans alike over the years, but this was different. It was from Kanye West, and the, well, Kanye-esque gravity and boldness of the message has stuck with Wexler ever since. On Wexler’s office wall there’s a blown-up screenshot of his phone’s lock screen, with the declarative 4:14 p.m. message from November 6, 2013, reading: Kanye West: “The world changes now.” Seconds later, a copy of Kanye’s signed adidas contract paperwork popped to the top of Wexler’s inbox. For “Wex,” as…

2 min.
i got the keys

She doesn’t just have 200 pairs of sneakers total— although that wouldn’t be a bad haul. Nah, she has 200 pairs of Kobes. In her 10 years in the WNBA, Chicago Sky legend Cappie Pondexter has racked up a massive stash of Bryant’s kicks. Shoot, she’s barely worn anything else. “I respect Kobe,” Pondexter says. “He’s the closet thing to MJ to me, in terms of their mentality.” Pondexter’s WNBA career has included stops in Phoenix, New York and her hometown of Chicago, and the 5-9 gunner was honored this year—in the WNBA’s 20th season—as one of the 20 greatest players to ever play in the W. Not only is Cappie a killer on the court, she’s also a walking encyclopedia of sneaker knowledge. Her love goes back to eighth grade, when her…

2 min.
kicks on wire

In a scene from the 1997 movie Wag the Dog, a political spin doctor (played by Robert DeNiro) and a Hollywood producer (played by Dustin Hoffman) throw shoes on to a tree. In the movie, it’s a political ploy that sparks a national craze of tossing kicks over power lines as an act of patriotism. In reality, sneakers have been hanging overhead in trees, on power lines and telephone wires since, well, the beginning of sneakers. But unlike in Wag the Dog, shoe tossing in the non-cinematic form lacks a united common cause. What does it mean? Why are there always sneakers hanging up there? Historically, boots were flung over power lines in the mid-20th century at the completion of boot camp, old sneakers were tossed on the last day of school…

3 min.
heart of a lion

It was a long two. People often forget that. The unforgettable, ice-coldclassic frozen moment of Allen Iverson’s greatest NBA season came in June 2001. It happened in Los Angeles, in a building where few thought the Philadelphia 76ers were likely to win a game, let alone steal the Finals opener. It came at the expense of a certain reserve guard whose future as a championship-winning rookie coach was unimaginable at the time. It came with a crisp pair of those oh-so-wavy black and white Reebok Answer IVs on his feet. And it happened right on the sideline, practically on top of the Lakers bench. But the shot itself, the gameclinching OT jumper that AI hit in Tyronn Lue’s eye to set up the infamous step-over? Thanks to years of seeing that sideline…

2 min.
hit the jaccpot

DeSean Jackson is without question one of the most electrifying players in the NFL. He’s got three Pro Bowls, nearly 8,000 career receiving yards and 49 total touchdowns to his name. He’s a threat to take it to the house every single time he touches the football. But until now, he had yet to have his own signature sneaker or cleat. After spending the first sevenplus years of his career on Nike’s roster of NFL players, the Redskins wide receiver thought he deserved one. “Nike promised they were going to start my own shoe and take it to the next level,” Jackson says, “but I was never taken seriously I guess.” So when a childhood friend linked him up with Brandblack founder and veteran footwear designer David Raysse, Jackson says the brand’s…