New Unis/Sneak Peak Premiere!
Grizzlies get bluesy, Shawn Kemp gets a remix.
Well, it appears that there’s more NBA teams using the preseason as a means of revealing their new uniforms and the Memphis Grizzlies are the latest team to do so. As has been reported earlier, the Grizzlies are utilizing their lighter Beale Street Blue hue as a contrast to their “Baloo Bear” navy blue (that logo bear does look like “The Jungle Book” and “Talespin”’s Baloo, doesn’t it?). With that famously popular dazzle mesh (albeit with the ubiquitous adidas ClimaCool technology), the new unis look snazzy in my opinion.
Granted, the Denver Nuggets have a somewhat similar look with nearly-identical color scheme, but Memphis does a great job using the navy side panels and golden inserts as accents, without getting totally lame with the design. It’s really streamlined, works well with the primary home and away duds and has a good overall look and theme (it doesn’t hurt when O.J. Mayo looks as if he’s into the look as well—and his Nike player signature Hyperdunks look even more fresh paired with the new threads as well).
Speaking of the Nuggets, I think that their look is nice and everything, but I honestly wish that navy were a bigger part of their overall look. The navy/brick red/metallic gold years were so classy and nice to see in their old on-court attire. They even had lined jerseys, which isn’t that common and was sort of luxurious by uniform standards. The current navy alternates are okay and all, but there’s not enough light blue to balance the navy blue and gold of the look. The cursive “Nuggets” is kind of cool, but the whole outfit seems to lack balance. Unique wordmarks for the names on the back of the jersey would help and removing those stupid neck nape mini-logos would be a great start in minor tweaks to the uni.
In all of the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies seem to have alternate jerseys which are among the better half of the teams’ alternate attire. It’s not just the shininess or the newness of the light blue unis that make it so great—it’s that it’s a believably classic look with some flair and reasonable simplicity, and that’s all that you want in a good-looking uniform—it falls in the Sandy Dover mantra of dressing “classically contemporary”, and again with the mesh, because the primaries use flatback, closed-hole mesh on the entire bodies of the uniforms (save the side panels), that the new versions go in reverse with the flatback on the side gives great contrast.
Whether the Grizzlies will change their ways remains to be seen, but it can be said that the additional look far exceeds the old black alternates/primary away uniforms from the Vancouver/Memphis days. Remember those? The ones that had the aqua and red trim with the elongated “VANCOUVER”/”MEMPHIS” wordmarks? It’s not that those were horrible, but they weren’t ideal in any sense. Shareef Abdur-Rahim famously wore those in Vancouver and Jason Williams wore them when he was traded from Sacramento for Mike Bibby back in 2001.
In other news…
The last Sneak Peak featured Shawn Kemp’s star shoe, the Reebok Kamikaze II, which was a huge hit in the mid-90s. We all know that Kemp’s later shoes were about as great as that (even though it was not so much the same for Kemp the player), but with the special insight of San Dova Speak-Easy reader Andrew, I was able to see the upcoming plans for Reebok to reintroduce the Kamikaze, but in a remade version. In what I am calling a “Sneak Peak Premiere”, the new Kamikaze has plans to implement new technology and an unusual aesthetic into a series that was more or less straightforward in its approach by today’s standards.
With all-over upper contrast stitching and the prominent use of the Vector logo, the Kamikaze 2010 is going all the way in letting the masses know that it is what it is. Making use of the new Hexalite update, called HexRide, along the full-length of the shoe’s base and a more traditional silhouette, there are sure to be some disappointments and surprises about the shoe.
Some features of the Kamikaze 2010 include:
· An anti-friction inner lining
· A traditional herringbone outsole
· A customized stability foot plate
· Impression-molded foam in the midsole
· Leather and mesh in the upper
It remains to be seen whether the HexRide is truly as resilient and comfy as the original Hexalite or whether the shoe will perform with the best of the shoes in production today, but it can definitely be said that the new Kamikaze looks to do something in the Reebok catalog. With the features being noted, the Kamikaze has to be at least a competent sneaker in wear (whenever the shoe is released in the States).
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, fitness enthusiast, as well as an unrepentant Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Associated Content and Twitter.