By Sam Rubenstein

Our friends at AND1 sent us a DVD with some early looks at the new Monta Ellis ad campaign. As you must already know, AND1 has been the sneaker company that embraced Latrell Sprewell and streetball players, not the ones you would call sacred marketing cows like LeBron, Iverson, Shaq, Kobe, and so on. Their latest campaign is titled “Who Is Monta Ellis?”

The answer to that question can be found in a series of really entertaining videos of Monta chilling and relaxing with his family, friends, and old coaches. No gimmicks. It was shot at the Ellis Family Reunion that took place in Monta’s hometown of Jackson, Mississippi this summer. Monta talks some NBA trash, explains where his speed comes from, talks about his streetball roots, other sports he dominated at (like tennis. TENNIS!), some commentary on his eating habits. His aunt and other relatives jump in for thoughts of their own on young Monta, they re-live his 72 point game in high school, there’s lots of other cool stuff. In this world of pre-packaged star making, it’s nice to just see a family being a family. One guy just happens to be an NBA star, last year’s NBA Most Improved Player, and the self-proclaimed fastest man in the NBA. I suggest you go to the And1 site and watch. The videos are all there.

The AND1 Monta site went live today, and the timing is, shall we say, not great. His injury is just a sprained neck, so he’ll be running around at dangerously high speed in no time. He’ll be doing things like this.

Enough talking. Here’s a look at the shoes, all of which are available at and1.com.

Monta will be wearing customized versions of the Wonder and Unmistakable Mids on court this season. A shoe designed for fast, aggressive guards, as it’s extremely lightweight.

Monta will be wearing the Downtown Low off court this season.