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Slam SLAM'S Kicks 2017

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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

Twenty years is a long time. In media years, it might as well be 2,000. Over the past two decades, we’ve witnessed so many outlets—magazines, websites, television stations, social channels and god knows what else—come and go that just sticking around feels like a gift in itself. But of course, we don’t want to just stick around. We want to win. Your favorite sneaker companies, naturally, want the same. Lord knows the industry has evolved a whoooole bunch over the last 20 years, and watching and covering that has been a ton of fun. (I can’t really vouch for much before 2010, but I can’t imagine it wasn’t just as fun back in the day as it is today.) So with this issue, our 20th annual issue of KICKS, we figured…

5 min.
took command

PUTTING OUR BEST FOOT FORWARD The only constant in sneakers is change. This may not only seem contradictory, but straight-up untrue, especially looking back at the so-called golden era of the ’90s, dominated as it was by Jordan and Nike. For those who came of age then, it must have seemed as if it would last forever. It wouldn’t. It hasn’t. One only needs to step outside, or into any school. Yes, Jordans are still everywhere. But now, in 2017, adidas has popped off, too. How did it happen? The roots for the takeover were laid in 2013, when adidas did two things. First, in February, they introduced the Energy Boost, a state-of-the-art running shoe featuring an all-new foam—Boost—that looked and felt like nothing else. Then, later in the year, they put…

1 min.
whole lot

During the ’90s, the older dudes around Wilson Chandler’s Benton Harbor, MI, neighborhood caught his attention. They were hooping and walking around in Jordans, Pennys and Barkleys. Young Wilson couldn’t wait to get his hands on a pair of more expensive kicks. But he had to wai “It was, you know, the same story. It was a matter of having the money or not having the money,” he remembers. “I wasn’t able to get shoes. The thought was always there, the love and the passion was always there. But I had to wait until I got a little older before I could afford the shoes. Until then, it was the basics—Forces, all white, all black.” That love and passion led him to build up a collection of more than 600 kicks when he…

1 min.
spaghetti junction

As time moves further and further from the ’90s and sneaker technology advances, brands steeped in nostalgia are having a harder time keeping up with the Joneses. The formula of updating retro looks with new materials that FILA is bringing to the table, however, is a smart way to appease the brand’s loyalists while introducing its classic looks to new consumers. In 1995, Jerry Stackhouse was drafted with the third overall pick by Philadelphia. A talented shooting guard coming out of North Carolina, Stackhouse was hit with the impossible expectations of the “next Jordan.” Stack inked a deal with FILA before his rookie year and was blessed with the timeless Spaghetti model and the classic “FILAdelphia” ad campaign. Stack, who graced the cover of SLAM and was a twotime All-Star in his own…

3 min.
loud mouth

He never won an MVP award. He was a minor role player long past his superstar prime when he finally found his way to a championship team. He spent most of his career in less-glamorous markets, where his game was overshadowed by higherflying foes on higher-profile teams. For all those reasons, fans today probably don’t fully appreciate just how incredible Gary Payton was. The same could be said of his 1995-96 season in Seattle. It was his sixth NBA season, and by almost any statistical measure, it wasn’t his best. He had better years as a scorer, rebounder and playmaker, seasons in which he was more efficient and more careful with the ball. But there was no season in which Payton’s all-around excellence—especially as a smothering defender—translated more directly into team success. Coming…

2 min.
show out

FIRST TEAM RUSSELL WESTBROOK Russ’ hybrid Air Jordan 30.5 and its many, many colorways were along for the ride during one of the greatest individual seasons ever. PJ TUCKER Tucker’s got a stable of rare Air Jordans and Nike Basketball sneakers that reportedly runs 2,000 pairs deep. He makes full use of his collection, bringing heat to the hardwood every night. JAMES HARDEN Built to match his polarizing style, the lowcut Harden Vol. 1 told different stories about the Beard’s life with varying materials and colors. PAUL GEORGE The PG1’s unique flavors made the silhouette an instant classic. Guys all across the League started rocking the sneaker, making it the most popular sig of the season. MONTREZL HARRELL The high-flying big man solidified himself as an elite NBA sneakerhead last season when he pulled out old LeBrons, KDs and retro…