by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam

Attention sneaker-heads and basketball junkies: Yes yes, the SLAM Official Footwear Database is back!

OK, no reason to get dramatic. The footwear database never really went anywhere, as the hyperlink permanently lives on our homepage, but as a whole, it was dormant for quite some time. And now, it’s back.

What started as somewhat of a “test run” last winter has returned for its second installment, with the same unprecedented accuracy and authenticity. In case you’re unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, allow me to give you a brief overview.

In short, SLAM connected with all 30 NBA teams to obtain the shoe brand, model and size for every player in the NBA. From inception, we ensured that every ounce of data was verified and came from the most legitimate of sources; team equipment managers, media relations personnel, and, in some cases (the Knicks, Bucks, Pistons and Nets, for example), we went inside the locker room and obtained the info directly from the players themselves.

That was the process.

This is the result: A (nearly) complete, straight-from-the-NBA mega-database, with 30 individual team charts containing the most authentic and up to date sneaker information available on the Internet (and for that matter, pretty much anywhere else).

With the compacted ’11-12 NBA schedule, updating the database required circumventing several obstacles, far more difficult than last season, and probably more difficult than it ever will be. For the 30 NBA teams—the ones enmeshed in this hectic and muddled sprint of a season—the past six months have been an arduous, fish-out-of-water frenetic effort to develop players, team chemistry and a formula for success, with approximately zero days to go through the motions. Teams had no choice but to “learn on the fly,” and I mean that quite literally. For example, earlier this season, the Philadelphia 76ers had a total of two practices over the course of a full month. Two practices in 30 days! To put that in perspective, if it were a normal, 82-game season, the Sixers would’ve held something to the tune of two practices per week. This is no secret; it’s merely an externality of last summer’s labor dispute, something that certainly wasn’t exclusive to Philly.

My point is this: With such a busy, no-chance-to-exhale schedule, and with so much other, more important stuff to focus on, compiling sneaker information for SLAM wasn’t exactly a pressing issue for teams in the League. Messed up, right? Kidding. But on the real, obtaining the information in a timely, efficient manner was something I took for granted and didn’t strategize well enough for.

So, in one word, sorry.  Sorry for the lateness, for the lack of PSAs keeping you abreast on the situation, and sorry for a brief period of outdated sneaker information.

On the flip side, you’re welcome. Aside from an inevitable ounce of human error, we’ve assembled the ultimate reference point for what players around the NBA are wearing on their feet. The database lives under the “Kicks” tab of the homepage, and will be consistently updated throughout the summer and into next season, so if you ever need it, you know where it’s at. If you’re a hoop fiend, sneaker aficionado or anywhere in-between, take a moment to peruse, because if you do, you’ll soon realize this wasn’t just for kicks.


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