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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 at 2:28 pm  |  44 responses

The Big Elemental

Your chance to win one of four K1X basketball art pieces.

by Chris O’Leary / olearychris

Back in September, we let you guys know about a collaboration that K1X was doing with four different and prominent graffiti artists and designers. They used a basketball as their canvas, with each artist tackling one of the four elements (you can read more about this in SLAM 135).

With all four elements now complete, the balls will go on sale on Jan. 22 in Europe at Colette in Paris and Overkill in Berlin (note: if you’re in Berlin, check out the release party at Overkill on Thursday night). They balls are also available online at kickz.com. if it’s hip, it’s here has a nice in-depth post on the entire project and we’ve got some video of the final artist in the series, MODE2, via K1X. I think out of the four balls, this one is my favorite. As an artist, the guy’s skills are without question. But judging from the video, I’d leave him on the sidelines when it came time to play ball.


Anyway, let’s get to the meat of it: K1x has supplied us with one of each basketball to give away. You guys have always been great in sharing your stories in these giveaways, so I’m looking forward to reading what you’ll come up with for this contest.

Tell us which one of the four elements (earth, air, water, fire) best describes your game and why. The four best entries win the ball that matches up to the element they’re writing about. Keep your story to around 200 words. I’ll close the comments on this post at 2 a.m. ET Saturday morning. Good luck, people.

**Comments are now closed. Winner will be posted the week of Jan. 24**
**Second update: winners have been chosen and are being contacted. They’ll be announced by Monday, Feb. 1.**

K1X Four Elements

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  • Ken

    The white and orange balls are the best. Cool contest too.

  • Kevin

    My game is most like the element Water. Water has the ability to adapt to its environment and take the form of its surroundings. Just like my game, I have to adjust and adapt to each new opponent I face. If I don’t change it up, I’ll be too predictable and be stopped every time. Water can be calm and non-threatening, but given certain circumstances, it will come crashing down on you taking you out. It can be an unstoppable force taking everything out in its path. I feel that, when my game is on, I AM that unstoppable force. Spinning off defenders, backing people down, and finger rolling the ball in the basket like George “Iceman” Gervin.; my game takes many forms and water is the perfect analogy for it. Water can freeze and turn into ice signifying the phrase “ice in your veins.” All the best clutch performers have been tagged with that line and it’s only fitting. Just like Bruce Lee said “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. “

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Water is the element that best describes my game, and not only because the corresponding basketball looks, by far, the dopest of the four. Water was an easy choice because when it comes to my game, fluidity is what comes to mind. I play point guard, and although Iverson is my favourite player, my game is definitely not patterned after his. When I step onto the court, my strength is going along with the flow of the game, and that could mean shooting 15 shots a game or two. Like water, I consider my game to pretty much fit in any mode of game, whether it’s uptempo or a long hard grind. I have great handles but I don’t overdo it with over the top dribbling displays, isolating on a guy. Instead, I use my handles to deftly navigate my 5’8 and a half (yes, us small guys count the half inches), 160lb frame into the paint and through the trees, finding the open lanes for myself or for a teammate. That’s my game — two part Hydrogen, one part Oxygen. Smooth and fluid!

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Earth is definitely the element that describes my game. This is mainly because I will not be leaving it when I play. The term “above the rim” is only used in conjunction with my name if I am sitting in the nosebleeds of an NBA arena. But, although I may not be on any highlight reels or dunking anytime soon, I have a game to be reckoned with. Good defense, smart passing and a knowledge of where to be on the court all make me a player who’s game can be described as ‘grounded’ in the fundamentals. Oh, and if you are running up the score on my team, you might just find yourself introduced to Mother Earth (Mother of the element earth) when I foul you hard on the way to the rack. Other ways that my game is like the element earth: It is ever changing yet stays the same, sometimes I might explode violently for a bunch of points/assists/etc. but usually I am steady and can be counted on for consistent production. My game is earth because I am a solid foundation for any crew…I am the rock that wins are built on. I am the element that plays stage to the other three. Without me, other players drift through space, cold and useless. With me and my earthy game they have a place to stand when they need to be carried. Some may call my game “dirt”…and they will be right when I ‘bury’ them.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Sh!t, that was 250 words…ooops.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Nice read, Albert.

  • Erik

    My game is like water because I’m smooth and refreshing when I step on the maple. Too many of the dudes I run with are all about the flash and dash, forgetting one of the staple elements of the game, the jumpshot. Whether it’s from 26 or 13, when I pull up for a shot it’s pure liquid. I baptize cats everytime I play because my game is so out of the ordinary compared to the fire that is the run-and-gun, guys have a new set of basketball beliefs after I wet a couple in a row from deep. Whether I pour in the silky smooth jumper from the baseline or the uncontested 28 footer to ice the game, I’m like water because my game will stand the test of time and keep spectators hydrated.

  • CMoney

    In my mind, I would think my game is most like earth. Earth is constantly rotating on its axis, continuously in motion. My game, accordingly, is steady and consistent. Nothing flashy, nothing to write home about, but everything necessary to survive on the court: defense and mental toughness. The main element of my game is also putting the ball on the ground. I can hit the open J when I’m in the zone, and can play above the rim if absolutely necessary, but I feel at home on the block with the rock. Try to stop me and I will go through you. And when the game of life is done, I will be laid to rest and become one with the earth.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Thank you, kind sir…Oh, and when I get home today I am going to take a pic of that CP3 Jersey and send it to you…keep forgetting to do that.

  • Jordan

    Earth is definitely the element that describes my game. This is mainly because I will not be leaving it when I play. The term “above the rim” is only used in conjunction with my name if I am sitting in the nosebleeds of an NBA arena. But, although I may not be on any highlight reels or dunking anytime soon, I have a game to be reckoned with. Good defense, smart passing and a knowledge of where to be on the court all make me a player who’s game can be described as ‘grounded’ in the fundamentals. Oh, and if you are running up the score on my team, you might just find yourself introduced to Mother Earth (Mother of the element earth) when I foul you hard on the way to the rack. Other ways that my game is like the element earth: It is ever changing yet stays the same, sometimes I might explode violently for a bunch of points/assists/etc. but usually I am steady and can be counted on for consistent production. My game is earth because I am a solid foundation for any crew…I am the rock that wins are built on. I am the element that plays stage to the other three. Without me, other players drift through space, cold and useless. With me and my earthy game they have a place to stand when they need to be carried. Some may call my game “dirt”…and they will be right when I ‘bury’ them.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    ^^^^^WHAT!!!!…Plagiarism and a half!

  • doyouwantmore

    I play like air. I don’t try to be flashy on the court and burn every opponent every time. I try to be the oxygen that ignites the fire in my teammates and fuels them to the win. You can’t leave air behind like earth, because air is all around you whether you like it or not. You can go a day or two without water, but you can only go a minute without air, just like a team can go a few games without playing solid defense before they suffocate and die. Basketball is a metaphor for life. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in…

  • http://slamonline.com Chris O’Leary

    And Jordan jumps out to an early lead…just kidding. I’m blaming some sort of posting glitch on that, don’t worry Albert.

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    I am sure you are right Chris. Jordan is actually probably more peeved than I could ever be. I am sure his actual post was brilliant and he is weeping over its dissolving into the ether of the internets…(screams to the heavens) “Damn you, internets!”

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    And SLAM is not unfamiliar with strange posting glitches. Usually it is the name that is wrong though…never seen it where it is a re-posting of an earlier post, just with the different user name. Odd.

  • Ali Saadat

    The element to best describe my game is fire. My game is like fire because, like fire, I can be mellow and let the game come to me like a candle. But when it’s crunch time or my team is falling behind then I heat it up into a blazing inferno. My game can be in so many different states (shooter, post player, play-maker, rebounder) just like fire (tame candle, warm camp fire, or uncontrollable forest fire). Fire is my game because of its ability to be versatile with its power.

  • Homie

    Damm, I was going to say Earth for the same reasons as Albert. I even played on a Hoop It Up team named “Bound by Gravity”. Nice work.

  • TheMagician10

    My game is like Fire, and let me tell you why. Being a shooter, I can give my team the spark it needs with a clutch basket down the stretch. With each shot, it not only sparks my team to play better, but a spark lights a flame within me. The basket seems to get bigger and bigger with each bucket I convert. That flame grows and spreads, along with shots from the field that range deep into 3-point territory. After blazing off of screens and picks, the net combusts with the swish of my jumpers. It is with an assassin’s mentality that I want to destroy my opponent and bring home the victory for my squad. Fire represents my competitive spirit and burning passion for the sport of basketball.

  • http://www.digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    So, I went to go buy one of these fine pieces of art from kickz.com and the price seemed awesome (40 euros)…then I went to checkout and they were going to charge me 50 euros to ship the thing. LAME! I will pay $57 for one but $130? I don’t know.

  • celtics

    my game is like fire beacuase when i get hot im unstoppable. i got the best shot u need to double team me to get me of my hot spot. when the ball is in my hand u noe ur going to be in trouble.the only way to get rid of th abll from my hand is by trapping me. when im on fire i score easily and get my ass back and play defence which wins u rings.the only way to stop my fire is by getting water. My game is also like fire because the fire in me fuels and gives my team the confidence we need to win. When we down by double digits the rock is always in my hand to give our team a spark and try to get on a run. everytime i make a shot my fire grows rapidly and every shot i take gets easier. The game is about to be ours and so is the win. every rim rattler dunk the crowd goes wild and the opponent has to keep taking time-outs. my jumpers are smooth as a babys bum. The clock ticks down and all i have to do is call for a pick burn my guy by the pick and pop the open jumper and its game over for u.

  • joe

    Ryne! Who won that Larry/Magic book?????? Announce it already man!

  • onions baby onions

    Fire. Get too close and I’ll burn you, step off me and the last thing you’ll see is the spark in my eye that signals an automatic j. That look won’t leave your mind, and by the time you’re on O, the fire has spread to my whole team. We lock you down like a fire escape door before the alarm’s been pulled. And just like that, my team’s back on O and our momentum’s spreading faster than a burning forest. Finally, I am straight up devastating in the same way that fire is. It doesn’t matter to fire whether its burning a log in a fireplace or someone’s kitchen. I don’t care if I’m playing playground dudes or the best guys in my class, I do anything humanly possible to win.

  • Danbury

    My game is like air. When I shoot I chuck up air balls all day a couple feet off from the rim. Every time I dribble I lose the rock. And you can be sure the guy I’m defending is leaving me in the dust, swiping at empty air. So please give me a ball to practice with. They tell me I need it.

  • LOAF

    My Game is like air, because when i shoot its pure AIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRR BAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  • Kaboom

    My game is like AIR because of my defense. I dictate how much room I think I should allow you to operate in or when I decide to suffocate you and lock you down. The ease at which you can breathe dictates how comfortable you are in situations on and off the court. But when you’re on the court, I control how comfortable you are with the rock in your hand. And majority of the time, it’s to make the opposition as uncomfortable as possible. Much like the other elements that are more flamboyant such as fire and water that can capture the eye and amaze, air is low key like defense is to offense. Defense doesn’t get all the accolades, but once you see how difficult things can get with someone playing sound defense, you realize that, just like with air, once it gets taken away, things get much, much more difficult. Just like how the Earth’s atmosphere can be divided into five layers; the basketball team can be divided into 5 players that determine how much pressure there is.

  • Jrooks

    Fire represent mx game i am fast and i have power and i am always hype when i play and everybody is scared to gaurd me

  • J-O

    water can be seen as being boring compare to the other 3 elements however water is always doing work in the world . The best example is the erosion that takes place everyday. water is always doing work while it may not seem like it. when it comes to a basketball sense water is sweat. putting in hard word day in and day out to try to become better. those who sweat understand that it takes a long time to get better and by putting in that hard work slowly by surely your game will erode the competition away just like the ocean.

  • fernando323

    Water, water represents the position point guard in which i play. Water flows like how the point guard controls the flow of the game. A waters tough current is like the point guards crossover it will take you from left to right with no way of stopping. It feeds the K1X ball to the hot shooter and allows them to catch the element of fire. Its what proves that you’re giving everything you got when the sweat is dripping. Its what keeps you hydrated so that you can get back up and continue to ball. Its the great white shark ready to attack the hopeless ball carrier and pick up the steal. Me im water.
    fernando miami,fl 14 yrs old

  • fernando323

    Water, water represents the position point guard in which i play. Water flows like how the point guard controls the flow of the game. A waters tough current is like the point guards crossover it will take you from left to right with no way of stopping. It feeds the K1X ball to the hot shooter and allows them to catch the element of fire. Its what proves that you’re giving everything you got when the sweat is dripping. Its what keeps you hydrated so that you can get back up and continue to ball. Its the great white shark ready to attack the hopeless ball carrier and pick up the steal. Me im water.
    fernando miami,fl 14 yrs old

  • Ian

    My game is most like fire because of my intensity when i’m on the court. I play point gaurd so I need to have the ability to see the floor well, but also can burst away from my defender at the right time. Fire can be small and not threatening, but suddenly explode into flames. Like fire, you never know what you’re going to get when you are playing against me. Fire resembles the way I play on the court because despite my size, I hustle, rebound, and even block a few shots. Fire can be small, too, but if you touch it, you’re going to get burned. A lot of times, my shot is on fire when I am playing. My story may be a little shorter than the others, but I think that I gave pretty many reasons. And I’m only in 6th grade.

  • hibachi!

    My game is like fire. As i receive the ball on the wing from the point guard, i grab it in my hold and give the defender a quick head fake and then slash the ball between my legs. The defender is quickly burnt and tries to stay on me. I then slash the ball back and suddenly feel a fire coming in me as i burst towards the rack and put up a layup as I smack the backboard as I feel a sudden burst of adrenaline. The crowd goes wild as we suddenly are leading the game. My game is like fire because as son as i step on the court i feel a great rush and as soon as I catch the ball to shoot I let loose and my shot immediately catches fire and burns the net.My game is like fire because i never want to stop and almost nothing can put me out.

  • http://slam.online isaac waggoner

    My game is fire, I get the ball I’m hot,I dribble so fast I’ m as quick as fire. i can burst away in a flash Im gone. if someone touches me i’ll burn them and they back off.

  • habeebeereseecup

    My game is in the works. Like the Water Works property in the game of Monopoly, my game is always raising its value. Like the tides in the ocean’s waters it has its highs and its lows. The high points are like the drops of rain falling from the sky; I can drop each bucket, sinking it into the drain. The lows are like dirty tubs overflowing with water; I dribble to much and have no where to go when I take on more than I can handle. Water supports growth, and my game is growing every day.

  • Diego

    I’m fire cuz all it takes to get me going is a little spark. I drop my first shot and it’s over. I rob the rock from you at the beginnig of the game and I’ll be picking your pocket for the rest of the game. Basically your best bet to stop me is to bring ice cold water to the game, pour it on me and hope it does something. If it doesn’t though my fire will have burnt up all the dignity you had left by the end of the day.

  • http://lace Alec Thompson

    My game is like earth because im a solid post player. My team acts as a world of its own with a state championship we had solid post players(earth), quick gaurds(wind), 3 point shooters that chatch fire whenever needed(fire), and we all live off of each other on the court(air). My game is like earth because i got a solid ground, with water flowing on me so my shot can get wet. Put it all together and you got yourself a player.

  • Iman Elbanna

    My game is like water. I’m a necessity to the game. The game would die without me because I keep it alive. When I throw in a swish from my fadeaway, I keep the game going. I’ll throw down a dunk with my fluid movements and get everyone hyped and “hydrated.” Like water, I’m what keeps everyone going. I’m also everywhere on the court, like water is on the earth. I’ll be hitting a jumper one minute and the next, I’m on the other side of the court rejecting a shot from my opponent. I have the ability to conquer all with my mad skills on the court. I’m a tsunami, you can’t touch me!

  • Charlie G

    I bring that moisture to the game that it thirst. My game is like that fresh spring water that cannot be bottled up, i am free flowing. My game, like water has many different looks. I can ice the defender with a quick hesitation or i can steam through the lane and leave the D soaked in sweat. Yet my floater brings a tear to the opponents eye, yeah i take the fluid from their body. I can rain down from the land beyond and splash one through the mesh. Some say they can hold me, i say “Can you hold water in the palm of your hand?”

  • Sweetness

    My game is all three in a way
    One night it’s like fire, in your face fade away
    So hot you gotta feed the ball into my hand
    Let me burn the court cause that’s what the fire demands
    Other nights it’s like air, something you can’t live without
    Oxygen; exhale, inhale, rock in my hand no doubt
    I can finally breathe, nothing but net it’s like the life in me
    Light like air as break free in the key, can’t go wrong that’s a guarantee
    Some nights it’s like a sea, water rushing through
    Calm but yet powerful, defenders don’t have a clue
    Don’t know what I might do, water never stays in the same place
    Other can’t embrace, this kind of water current fast pace
    But wait, the best way to describe my game is earth
    Because on earth, each element process its birth
    The earth is my body build to play’s this game
    This body is where all three elements first became

  • JayChau

    Hard to pinpoint the single element to describe my game. But what represents me is the fullest is ‘fire’. I cannot admit that I’m a Ray Allen, burning meshes like no tomorrow, nor can I say I have that fire power of the famous Duke’s JJ Redick. What do I possess is the fire of a fallen soldier; fell hard but picked myself up to keep fighting. A fire is constantly is burning in me, because basketball, other than my family, is the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened in my life. It’s kept me strong, confident, assertive, and most importantly, I’ve stayed focused. Basketball taught me it’s more than just a game of putting a ball in a hoop. It taught me about togetherness, unity, and being loyal. You work hard to prepare for the game, and the game rewards you. This basketball fire in me won’t stop burning.

  • Balherett3

    Why I would choose the element of water to represent me is basketball is a necessity I NEED in my life just as the water we drink.Just as water covers 75% of the earth, my game covers just as much of the court. Whether I’m diving for loose balls, weaving through defenders or missing lunch at school to shoot. My play is an abundant source my team uses to compete.And like a tap I keep running.

  • DJ

    Im definitly air. When you guard it will feel like your right next to a fan. I blow by you so fast you stuck standing there looking at your coach saying I cant guard him. My passes are so fast there is no way you could steal them. Finally, my shot. Its so clean it never touches net. Whenever I shoot people go quiet and feel that rush of cool air rushing through them.

  • http://slamonline.com RayintheBay

    im earth because im 6’2 204, a light heavyweight, im like shaq one of the LCL (last centers left) i get good position down low and dunk it every chance i get, im only 18 but my game is fierce. i aint no Big Z or Channing Frye, tryin to shoot jumpers and 3′s, i post up down low crash the boards and shaq my way in. The reason, the reason i should win, its my Fantasy, and thats the way of the world HAHAHA

  • Deepballhard

    The element that describes my game is FIRE. I’ve broken both my legs and I was forced to sit out my freshman and sophomore year of basketball. Yet I still continue to play, I don’t let anything extinguish my passion for the game. Whether I’m on the court or the bench it’s easy to see that I come intense and go 100% all the time I’m always cheering on my team or doing everything it takes to help my team win. I always strive to get better every year, and use the breath of my haters to fuel me; the same way fire uses oxygen to fuel it. It’s easy to see that I’m passionate I play every season and every game like it’s my last. I use my passion like a flame to ignite and inspire teammates to play at a higher level.
    “Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit.”– Mary Lou Retton
    The fire in my heart is for basketball and my passion will never let is extinguish

  • Gannon Rust

    When I think about basketball, I think about the blazing flames that lap and lick in my eyes, spreading throughout my body, and searing into my Spalding. The rock feels like it’s been drenched in kerosene and the net smokes with fear and anticipation. The thumps of my blistering heart beat in unison with the bounce of the ball as the flames border my vision and make losing an impossibility. The hardwood has been drenched in Bacardi 501 and the pounding sends sparks flying. The other people on the court try to break my burning concentration, but it never works. The unnerving desire spreads like wildfire and even if they don’t know that it’s too late, I sure as hell do. The goal, my goal, waits for my next move, waits for me to show it the respect and attention it deserves. The crowd that has gathered have frozen in their positions of awe. All other distractions are stiff from the chill of the moment. I smile. I know what’s coming next. The same thing that happens any other time I pick up the rock. I lose control, lose myself, let the fire take over, let it consume me. From the soles of my Jordans to my fingertips, I feel the sizzling heat take over. That’s when I know it’s time to pay my respects to my calling and let that burning fire help thaw out the disillusioned men and women around me and show them, over and over again, the true meaning of the word desire.

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