by Abe Schwadron / @abe_squad
Think Melo’s motivated to #PlayForNY?
On Sunday, while you were watching hoops or the NFL Playoffs, Jordan Brand and Carmelo Anthony teamed up to host hundreds of young kids and high schoolers at the Cipriani Club 55 on Wall Street for the Melo M9 “Lock & Launch” event.
In celebration of the release Melo’s latest signature sneaker and the launch of JB x Melo’s #PlayForNY campaign, Jordan turned Cipriani into an interactive space including a full-court basketball court, food, drinks, photo booths and more. Plus, Melo’s “Playing For the City That Made Me” spot was featured on several big-screen TVs around the space and exclusive colorways of the M9 were on display, too.
In the building for the event was Knicks legend Bernard King, along with Carmelo himself. Melo, fresh off his annual 15-day fast during each NBA season (“No meats. You can do carbs. No fried food, no bread, no soda”), was asked what the first thing he’d like to eat would be. “Maybe some chicken, maybe a steak. I don’t know,” mused Anthony.
What about, say, Honey Nut Cheerios? “I’m definitely going to get a bowl of that, for sure,” he said with a smile, though Melo, for the most part, brushed off talk of his recent spat with Kevin Garnett.
As for the kicks, Melo said he’s pleased with the new look and feel of the M9. “It’s way lighter. This is the lightest shoe that I ever created, that we made. Once you put it on your foot, you’re locked down. Sometimes, when you put a shoe on your foot, it loosens as you play, as you sweat. This one is a total 100 perfect lockdown. It feels like you’re…walking on pillows out there. I think by far this is the best one we’ve created.”
Melo wouldn’t give away what his All-Star sneaker plans are, but he walked in wearing a black-and-white, “Oreo”-themed edition of the M9. Later, he and King did a Q+A with King and Anthony, hosted by MTV’s Sway Calloway with all the kids watching, during which Melo talked about his respect for King’s career—even going so far as to pine for his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile King, a New York City legend in his own right, heaped praise on NYC’s newest basketball superstar, drawing cat calls and applause from the kids in attendance by proclaiming that “I’ve never seen” LeBron James outplay Anthony.
To cap it all off, New York rappers French Montana and Fabolous took the stage to entertain the crowd. Check out a sampling of photos from Melo’s appearance above. #PlayForNY.