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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 10:40 am  |  37 responses

KICKS 16 is On Sale Now!

Cover 2 of 2: Under Armour’s got a growing roster of good players and dope product.

by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17

portraits by Atiba Jefferson / sneaker shot by Tom Medvedich

As I say in my “Sneaker Pimp” letter and the cover 1 post, there’s no arguing that Nike is still the brand for superduperstars. Besides exhibit A for that, Kevin Durant, this issue also looks at the shoes Jordan Brand endorsers Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook will be wearing, and features Jrue Holiday and Iman Shumpert, who proudly wear adidas.

As we’ve mentioned in past KICKS, though, Under Armour just keeps nipping at the other guys’ heels. What UA lacks in superstars they make up for in…superheroes? Not exactly, but the crazy licensed Alter Ego tops that Brandon Jennings (Iron Man), Raymond Felton (Batman), Greivis Vasquez (Spider-Man) and Kemba Walker (Hulk) are rocking on our cover do give off that vibe. Everyone in this crew of four starting NBA point guards is approaching the new season with something to prove, on and off the court. Brandon, who was philosophically weighing the pros and cons of the likelihood that he was done with the Bucks on the day of our shoot, is hoping to accomplish much more in Detroit than he did in Milwaukee. Raymond, who is constantly overshadowed, even on the Knicks, wants to get New York one step closer to a title. Greivis is looking to show the Pelicans they never should have traded him, and Kemba, who had a quietly tremendous ’12-13 season, is hoping that a new coach and a legit big man can stop the stream of losses in Charlotte.

These guys carry the underdog vibe they feel in the NBA into the shoe game, too, knowing that by rocking a brand that is still so new they are going against the grain. Armed with superhero gear and a fresh new shoe, the Anatomix Spawn, they all feel this will be a big year. They also don’t take opportunities like being on a KICKS cover lightly, which made the day I spent with them in Baltimore fun…and hopefully the story I wrote in the issue fun to read!

Nike, Jordan, adidas and UA just scratch the surface of what’s in this year’s KICKS. Between our First Step section, feature well and always thorough product sections, we also cover the likes of Above The Rim, AND 1, Converse, Li-Ning, Puma, Reebok and more.

So…who are your friends at KICKS rooting for? All of ’em. For real. We will always have amazing respect for Nike, which has outfitted the most players during the SLAM Era and was the sole sponsor of KICKS 1. But we like variety, too. As consumers, and observers of the culture we helped explode, we love seeing different brands do cool stuff. We also dig all the creative folks who are turning sneakers into a way of life—this issue alone features articles on a collector, customizers, museum, playwright, photographer, professor and retailer who have skin in the game.

Us? We’ll just keep being the “Sneaker Bible,” in all that encompasses. Please look for our latest effort on New York City newsstands today and nationally/internationally next week.

Brandon Jennings, Ray Felton, Greivis Vasquez and Kemba Walker

Click here to see our other KICKS 16 cover, featuring Kevin Durant and the KD VI.

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  • Jack Daniels

    Fun fact: when Greivis Vasquez was in college at Maryland and the team was sponsored by Under Armour, he was the only player on the team that opted to practice in Nikes. (He was probably the only player on the team that had the power to do what he wanted in this manner.) He said the Under Armour basketball shoes sucked. Anyway, just thought it was funny that he’s now paid to wear UA shoes haha.

  • logues

    love the idea.. just not sure about having the words “fantastic four” and Raymond felton being in involved in that haha.

  • logues

    SLAM staff: who do I talk to about ordering back issues? I went on the website to order the 170 issue with kobe on it, which it shows a pic of ONLY the kobe cover on there. So I order it and I get the LeBron cover in the mail, which I already got with my subscription. I emailed your customer service, but still haven’t gotten a reply.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Extremely fun

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    logues hit me up on email or Twitter we’ll figure this out

  • logues

    ok thanks, what is your email?

  • Dfrance

    Money talks!

  • JML-G

    this is such a dope cover with four underrated players! this >>> KD cover anyday

  • don

    great concept. lovin UA shoes

  • LakeShow

    Why does Raymond Felton have to be batman damn it…..

  • spit hot fiyah

    is deandre jordan pissed now that he didn’t get to play a super hero?

  • ChosenOne

    Wait, how do you order back issues?
    Have you got a link to whereabouts on the site because I can’t seem to find it.

  • logues

    bottom right corner on this site next to the pic of the most current slam mag… where it says “buy back issues”… it’s too bad they only have a small list of back issues to buy.. wish you could buy all the way back to ish 1.. i’d be buying lots of them!

  • ChosenOne

    Thanks man.
    It’s unfortunate you can’t get the first ever issue, but I’ll check out what they have anyway, hopefully one issue catches my eye.

  • Andy Baldwin

    also UA’s first year in the hoops shoe game…as with everything things get better with age.

  • Ugh

    Apparently I’m the only one who thinks the super hero outfits look like the pyjamas little kids wear to bed before they start grade school.

    Seriously, grown men wear this stuff?

  • Max

    I bet he’s holding his belly in.

  • Guest

    .

  • danpowers
  • underdog

    This cover was supposed to be funny, but it turned out ridiculous.

  • Dylan

    Kemmmmmbabababababa!!!

  • Ugh

    Well played, sir. :-)

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    I don’t want to put it on here. I’m out of office now but I’ll get yours from our sites back end and contact u next week

  • logues

    ok thanks! I appreciate it.

  • Peter Walsh

    The greats always get hated on.

  • bike

    Next challenge for SLAM: get Bill Russel, Jerry West, Hubie Brown, and KAJ to dress up in the same outfits and do a cover.

  • BEAST

    Deandre Jordan is probably Superman

  • Da Real

    UA is supposed to stand for elite fitness and the lead guy, Jennings, looks like he can’t do 50 straight push-ups. Even though he is washed up now, they need a physical specimen like Corey Magette to be the face/body of the brand. These guys just don’t look brand right. Maybe Paul George?

  • Marvis Irwin

    All the shoes on the first picture at the top are nice. Raymond’s are ok but the others are legit. I would wear Kemba’s shoes, the colors are different.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Behind the Scenes of KICKS 16 Cover Shoot (VIDEO)

  • Aric O.

    Ew whatever u knw nothing!

  • Bobby H.

    Correction: YOU know nothing. Clown.

  • JZ

    Easy now, fellas.

  • Ricardo

    LMAO…

  • Revolt Mike

    What retailer can I pick up this issue of Kicks?

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » SLAM 172 is On Sale Now!

  • Brian j

    Does anyone know how to subscribe to this magazine?

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