Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 4:43 pm  |  4 responses

Nike Basketball Plus Recap (PHOTOS)

SLAM’s Ed. gets pro-level workouts in the LeBron Xs.

by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17

Over a six-week period (extended due to Hurricane Sandy) and two locations (Basketball City in Lower Manhattan and St. John’s University’s Carnesecca Arena), myself and some other NY-based media members were invited by Nike to take part in an “elite, elevated basketball training” experience.

With LeBron X+s on our feet and iPhones or iPod touches in our hands, we were given, as Nike’s original invite stated, “a platform to track your personal game—minute-to-minute and week-to-week—and take the feedback of our top-tier coaching and training staff into your game between sessions and in the future, wherever else you may hoop. We will also integrate insight into some other elements of athletic training for optimum performance—nutrition, flexibility and more.”

Like pretty much every shoe in the LeBron line, I—a “player” who favors support versus light-weight, and happens to be a massive fan of the shoe’s namesake—loved the Xs from the first moment I saw them. I was given the Olympic colorway, which look great and are very comfortable to play in. I don’t think I’m exactly the guy the Nike folks had in mind when they devised the technology that tracks players’ vertical leaps, but the game tracking function is cool, and, as SJU head coach Steve Lavin said to me when he reviewed my stats at the last training session, “looks like your hustle numbers are really good.” Translation: at least I was running around the court a lot.

Coach Lav was just one of the guests who graced the training sessions. We also got a visit from longtime friend of SLAM’s and current Knicks shooting coach Dave Hopla, while each session was led by ace trainer Dary “D-Trained” Smith and capped off with a healthy meal prepared by Chef Max Hardy.

The above pics, provided courtesy of Nike, give a taste of what the fulfilling sessions were like. By the way, I was given #0. Not sure if they were trying to tell me something : ).

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Great experience from start to finish. Big thanks to Brian Strong at Nike for inviting me!

  • Peter Walsh


    Few things: Ben, when you first started working in bball media, did you ever expect to see this level of integration between technology and sneaker? Or such complex sneaker innovation?

    – Once went to a camp where Dave Hopla was a guest speaker. He hit like 60 straight free throws while giving his lecture, one of the most incredible things I ever saw.

    – Sucks what happened to Basketball City due to Sandy.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Peter, I def did not see this innovation coming, but I also still read print newspapers and magazines every single day, and you know about my cell phone, so I’m not the best person to predict tech advancement.

    Hopla is awesome. He gave me a private lesson for a SLAM story I did on him a decade ago. Not that you’d know from seeing me shoot, but he is very cool.
    And yes, very sad about BBall City. Hope they come back strong.

  • patrick

    why an extended training session for journalists and media-members? i dont’ get it,,whta’s the point?? lol