NBA General

No. 23’s shoes turn 23!

Has it really been 23 years since the first edition of Air Jordan shoes hit the shelves? It seems just like yesterday we were raking leaves, mowing laws, washing cars and even selling off our prized Garbage Pail Kids collection just to get a piece of the action. Well, some things never change because later this month Nike is releasing the 23rd edition of the kicks and, yes, they still cost a small fortune.

The Air Jordan XX3 will be released in three hyped-up rounds from January to February, starting with a limited edition to be sent to only 23 retailers to be sold for $230 and concluding with the national launch at $185.

There had been talk at Nike about retiring the shoe at No. 23, because of his iconic jersey number. But company officials won’t say whether this will be the last of the line. Neither will Jordan.

“You’ll just have to wait and see,” Jordan said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

We probably shouldn’t do this, but we’re going to let you in on a little secret. There is no way that Jordan lets this cash cow be led into pasture. His Airness didn’t become a one-man walking bank by quitting while he was ahead.

And while we’re sure the Air Jordan XX3 will be some sweet kicks, you won’t be catching us pawning our prized possessions again just to get a pair. It took us years to come across another mint condition “Adam Bomb.” That’s why we’ve been selling our blood and plasma for extra cash. While the latest model is always packed with all the bells and whistles, for us, nothing can top the classics.

The Air Jordan remains the pinnacle piece for shoe collectors. The original Air Jordan 1 can sell for thousands of dollars, depending on various factors.

So, does anybody need a fresh pint of Type A+?


[]: Nike releases 23rd edition of the Air Jordan

All Other Sports

$15k for Turtle’s Air Force 1s

Remember when Vince forked over an envelope full of cash so that Turtle could get his pair of Fukiyamas in season 3 of Entourage? Well, you’re going to have to fork over just as much money if you want to get that actual pair of sneakers on ebay.

This Specific Pair was the actual shoe that received the coveted prime-time airtime on the episode also known as the prop shoe (no size tag). The shoe designed by Fukiyama in the episode but was actually designed and lasered by Nike designer Mark Smith. The wood box is a 1 of 1 lasered creation by Mark Smith and is different from the box in the episode specifically because that box is sitting on display at HBO offices on 6th Ave. in Manhattan, NY. I assure you this is a genuine article and to prove it the item can be autographed by the starring cast of Entourage (Vince/E/Drama/Turtle as well as Fukiyama!) with a certificate of authenticity and photographs of them signing the winning bidders choice of box and/or shoes.

I’m not sure that 15k for a pair of sneakers is reasonable unless they were worn by Michael Jordan as he hit his game winning shot over Cleveland or Utah. Entourage is a great show but it’s not going into the television hall of fame or anything. But if you have Vinny Chase money, what’s 15 grand? Ain’t shit. You can pay straight cash, homey.



Odds and Ends: Now John Daly’s wife accuses him of assault

Man, it’s a regular soap opera at the Daly household. A couple of days after John accused her of attacking him with a steak knife, Sherrie Daly is now claiming that he was drunk off his ass (must have been filming another Maxfli ad) and attacked her and scratched himself to cover it up.

John denied her account of the story but said he was not planning on filing criminal charges. The scratch marks on his face are a little too conveniently placed. We need a CSI: Golf Channel to solve this one.

In other news…

[Indystar]: A massage therapist is suing Nike because of their reps beat his ass

[Sign On San Diego]: Victoria Beckham will do anything for publicity

[Fox]: The Orlando Magic offer to refund season tickets sold after Billy Donovan was hired

[Baltimore Sun]: Ethics trial begins for Duke lacrosse prosecutor

[Yahoo]: Jamaican police say Pakistan’s cricket coach died of natural causes, not strangulation

[10,000 Takes]: Most Overrated Things In Minnesota Sports

[Rivalfish]: Sports logos and their celebrity lookalikes

[Our Book of Scrap]: Throw The Bonds 756 Ball Back?

General Sports

Odds and Ends: Amanda Beard Playboy cover

The fine folks at Playboy were nice enough to send us this pic of Amanda Beard’s Playboy cover. The cover is standard stuff, nothing too provocative or over the top but you can still see that killer body, even with a strategically placed forearm over the goodies. The blogosphere is going to be exploding with the actual scans of her nude shots soon but we’ll probably just point you in the right direction instead of posting them.

Anyway, if you’re in the NYC area next week, Amanda Beard will be signing her July issue from noon to 2:00 at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. We’ll try to get some candid shots from that event as well.

In other news…

[Rocky Mountain News]: The Braves manager who went apeshit got himself a 3 game suspension.

[CNBC]: Nike re-signs Kobe to a multi-year extension

[]: Sheffield’s words just plain racist

[SBS]: Why the UFL will fail

[Larry Brown Sports]: Hmmm… the London Olympics logo does look like two people having sex

[Randball]: How would a riot caused by 10-cent-beer night in 1974 be covered today?

And finally, we really can’t make heads or tails of this post but you can’t deny the sheer entertainment value of two blogs titled “Arcade Fire Stole my Basketball” and “Arcade Fire Didn’t Steal Dude’s Basketball“.

Boston Red Sox

Matsuzaka marketing mania starts today with new Nike commercial

It’s Dice-K day in Boston as everyone is gearing up to watch Matsuzaka’s first start. Part of us wants to see him do well, but part of us always wants to witness the meltdown on Boston sports radio if he throws a clunker. Pressure? Just a little. And that’s the theme of this Nike commercial that’s only being aired in Japan.

It’s pure genius by the way. Nike and MLB are creating a huge legion of fans in Japan who will love the Sox and, almost as importantly, hate the Yankees. The ad takes a bit of artistic license. The opponent today won’t be the Yankees, but the lowly Royals. You see MLB working?

New York Knicks

Stephon Marbury verbally pimp slaps Lebron james

When asked whether he could endorse a $15 sneaker like Marbury does, Lebron said, “No, I don’t think so. Me being with Nike, we hold our standards high.” That’s a nice little dis but probably not meant with as much derision as it seems.

Yet, Starbury being Starbury came up the best retort we’ve heard in a while:

I’d rather own than be owned.

Nice shot, Stephon. Who knew he could think that quickly on his feet.


[Newsday]: LeBron steps up sneaker war

[SC]: Stephon Marbury’s shoes

Cleveland Cavaliers

We want to see you risk $90 million, Nader

I hate high priced shoes.

Ralph Nader is sick and tired of Nike and their damn sweatshops, so what does he do? He goes to Nike endorser LeBron James and asks him to shift the balance of power at corporate headquarters. In the second letter from Nader since LBJ joined the league in 2003, he asks the Cavs superstar to stand up for the workers in developing nations.

Mr. James, as someone who enjoys unsurpassed commercial influence and with it, great negotiating power, you are in a unique position to stand up for the people who make the products you endorse. We urge you to let Nike know that you support the rights of those workers by demanding that:

– Nike insist its contractors pay a living wage, under safe working conditions, that allows workers to meet their basic needs, and that Nike pay contractors enough to do this;

– Nike insist its contractors recognize independent unions and that factory management collectively bargain with these unions in good faith; and

– Nike agree to a program of factory monitoring through international unions and human rights organizations that are credible and completely independent of Nike.

You have a chance to make an impact around the world not just with your basketball playing ability, but for your generosity as a human being in helping to improve working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.

Sounds great, and all James has to do is bite the hand that is feeding him $90 million for simply smiling at the camera. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a good deal for King James’ empire.

But the best part of the letter is when Nader says that it’s cool for Stephon Marbury to benefit from “sweatshop factory conditions” because he is selling his sneaks for $15 instead of $150. Is it also all right for some coffee company to exploit workers in Columbia as long as you can get a cheap cup of joe?


[]: Nader asks LeBron James to help workers in Nike factories

College Basketball

Does Kevin Durant already have a Nike shoe deal on the table?

Already sporting Nike

If there’s any question whether Kevin Durant is going to go pro this season, a phone call from Kobe might have sealed the deal. According to Chip Brown of the Dallas Morning News, Kobe Bryant called Nike on behalf of Nike to pitch a shoe deal between $30M to $50M. (“Hey Kevin, I can’t wait till you come into the league so I can elbow you in the head. Oh, by the way, Phil Knight wants to give you $50M. “)

Based on the NBA rookie salary scale, Durant will make about $11M-$12.5M his first three years in the league. And here comes Nike throwing three times that just for promoting a shoe. It’s not LeBron’s $90M deal but it’s almost a guarantee that he will leave Texas.

We think they should let players get their own shoe deals in college. This way they won’t have to leave early so that they risk injury in the college game. What would Rick Barnes rather have? A team wide shoe deal for the Longhorns or Kevin Durant for 3 more years?

[Dallas Morning News]: Sneaker deal could be deciding factor if Durant is one-and-done

NBA General

Around the Rim: Christmas Comes Early

1. A Lump of Coal for Boston
Paul Pierce has a bum foot and will miss the next two to three weeks of action. Now, if the Celtics struggled to go 10-14 with a healthy roster, the injury would lead you to believe that Boston will begin to make a serious Greg Oden run without their All-Star and his sidekick, Wally Szczerbiak who is out with a sprained ankle. Obviously this is a hard blow for Boston to take right now. Pierce is having one of the best seasons of his career as he carries an inexperienced team, and it’s tough to see how Delonte West or Gerald Green could adequately fill-in for the league’s 10th highest scorer. Looks like Philly’s going to have some competition for worst team in the Atlantic Division over the next few weeks.

2. Denver’s Stocking Stuffer
It’s finally here. After weeks of waiting, Allen Iverson will suit up in a new uniform at his Denver debut tonight when the Nuggets host Sacramento. Of course, it will still be a while until A.I. teams up with Carmelo Anthony, but all that means is that Iverson gets the stage all to himself until late January. Now, the only things standing between Iverson and the Pepsi Center floor are a physical and the residual effects of a severe snow storm. But once Iverson gets the official nod to join the team, no blizzard is going to be able to keep the Nugget faithful from enjoying their Christmas present three days early.

3. Dreaming of a Green Christmas
Nike appears to be reaping the rewards of having two of the brightest stars in the NBA signed to shoe contracts with them. Thanks in part to the latest kicks associated with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Nike’s quarterly earnings showed an increase in profit by eight percent in the United States and 15 percent in Asia. While eight and 15 percent might not sound like a lot at first, when dealing with a corporation the size of Nike, it can add up to millions. Wade is not directly endorsed by Nike, but he is signed by Converse who is owned by Nike. The juggernaut of the shoe world will be packing quite a punch for some time considering the duo are only in their fourth season and it is merely a matter of time before their faces are etched onto the Mt. Rushmore of the NBA’s newest generation.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Kevin Martin vs. Washington 46 min, 40 pts (FG: 13-23, 3FG: 4-10, FT: 10-11), 4 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch: Houston (15-10) @ San Antonio (20-6) While Yao Ming has been elevating his game to new heights this season, the Rockets have struggled to find wins of late; especially on the road where they have dropped five of their last eight. And no relief is in sight as they go up against the leagues best team and their 10-3 home record. The Spurs have won nine of ten games, including their current five game winning streak, thanks to a deep squad that has seen five different players lead the team in scoring over the last ten games.

Buzzer Beater: The Heat have been inconsistent this year, to say the least. However, they have managed to be consistently poor against high scoring teams. When allowing 100 points or more, the Heat are a pathetic 1-11. Unfortunately, Miami’s next three games are all against teams that average triple-digit scoring. So, even though Christmas is right around the corner, Miami is not going to be in a giving mood.

General Sports

Apple and Nike take over the world

We spend most of our time camped out on the couch watching sports but once in a while, we’ll actually lace up the old asics and go for a run. But if Apple and Nike have their way, no run would be complete without an ipod nano and a pair of Nike+ shoes.

The two companies (along with spokesman Lance Armstrong) announced the Nike+Apple Sport Kit today at a news conference in New York. The $29 kit includes a sensor that fits into custom Nike+ shoes (The $100 Nike+ Air Zoom Moire will be the first Sport Kit compatible shoes released.) and a wireless receiver that plugs into the bottom of the nano. The nano displays and stores a bunch of data during your run and when you’re done, will automatically upload your data to

The iPod will also have a “Power Song” feature that plays your designated song when you need that extra boost at the end. Is there any question it should be David Hasselhoff’s Looking for Freedom?

[Business Week]: Nike, Apple team up on iPod running gear

[]: Nike+Apple Sport Kit product page