Takeover In NYC, Nike Edition
MSG, Rucker Park, and Fresh Kicks…
by Eddie Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
As announced on Wednesday, Nike will be hosting the World Basketball Festival in New York City, bringing together the world’s best basketball teams and top musical performers in a four-day celebration of the performance and culture of the game, this is an event Nike has committed to reprising every two years.
Nike gave us an opportunity to do a tour of the three venues where the festivities will be located: Times Square, Rucker Park and Madison Square Garden. And Nike used the three venues to setup our review of the new 2010 Nike Zoom Hyperfuse with their brand new Hyperfuse technology, along with the Nike Hyper Elite performance apparel.
We took the new kicks and apparel out to the Rucker for a test run, got to get a couple of good games in on the court, and talk some trash too. (Sidenote: I think I only scored once but got at least 4-5 good assists off. I got court vision, what can I say.)
I’ll say this first off about the new Hyperfuses, they are dope. With the mesh application to the shoe itself, I felt like I was hooping in my socks. (Not in any fashion like Gerald Green did in the Slam Dunk Contest, but I digress…) Plus the shoes weigh less than one pound (12.5 ounces for a size 9) and still offer great support to hopefully prevent a twisted ankle or three.
We were also able to get a pair of the Nike Hyper Elite shorts, and they were about as light as some pixie sticks I used to eat back in elementary school. Extremely light. Almost too light, one of the Nike presenters even made the point that for many of us hooping back in high school or college, the weight of the basketball shorts served as a validator of making “the team” so to speak. Nike has eliminated all of the excess material and will be providing a short that is very ventilated and still durable for all athletes.
We started off our day at the Rucker with Chain Link Fundamentals, who has partnered up with Nike to provide their top-flight basketball clinic who specializes in basketball training and instruction to boys and girls age 10-17. But on this day, they did a great job of making me feel like I was 16 again and going through basketball practice back at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, OK. There was just one problem…I’m definitely not 16 anymore, I’m 26…and your boy eats a little better than I used to at age 16. Again, I digress.
I give Nike credit though, one of the big things I noticed is that the shorts did an amazing job of wicking away sweat, because at 6-1, 200-and-a-lotta pounds that’s something I can do, sweat. But the shorts were virtually bone dry after hooping at the Rucker for over an hour. That, my friends, is an amazing feat in basketball history. The shorts still follow the styling of the 2009 version, that being extremely long, while using lasers to strategically place ventilated holes on the side panels of the short to keep me cool.
The Hyper Elite uniforms will be worn by teams USA, China, Brazil, France and Puerto Rico during the four-day extravaganza will be interesting to see, especially since Brazil’s Anderson Varajeao will be in attendance. Andy might not know what to do with himself with the lighter clothing. He’ll start taking charges like never before, and will hit the ground looking oh so smooth. I wonder if Nike can use any of their technology to do something with Andy’s hair…but I digress.
The World Basketball Festival will definitely be live, and if you get a chance to get to NYC for the four-day event in August (12-15) then you’ve got to check it out. Check out some of the photos we took while we were there.
Eddie Maisonet is a freelance sports writer, blogger and big time hoops fan from Oklahoma who currently resides in Cincinnati. Keep up with Eddie at SLAMonline as well as his blog Ed The Sports Fan and on Twitter.