Hyper Dunker


by Adam Figman | Photos courtesy of Nike

While fans watch from the stadium seats or their living room couches as Blake Griffin soars through the air en route to completing the poster-providing, gravity-defying rim rattlers we’ve come to expect from him, the vantage point from which Griffin’s defenders take in the scene has one advantage: an excellent view of BG’s kicks, which tend to be right around eye level at least a few times each game. Whenever this coming season finally starts, those poor guys will get a close-up look at the Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011.

The Hyperdunk 2011s feature Nike’s Flywire technology along the upper, with tensile fibers surrounded by a layer of mesh and TPU overlays providing both lightweight breathability and the proper amount of cushioning to finish fearlessly around the rim just like the reigning Rookie of the Year is known to do. “The Hyperdunk gives me an unfair advantage just by being really comfortable to my [feet] and fitting really well and being durable, but at the same time being lightweight and allowing me to make any move I want and staying with me the whole time,” the Dunk Contest winner said in June on his personal YouTube channel.

The sneakers, which Griffin rocked at the 2011 All-Star Game in a special “10.0” PE edition, also contain air units in the heel and a seamless forefoot innersleeve designed for ventilation and comfort. Elsewhere, there’s an external heel counter for optimal stability and a 3-D shaped midfoot shank that’ll help maintain responsiveness on the hardwood.

Just like the Hyperdunk—which debuted to much acclaim in ’08—continues to evolve, Griffin hopes to do the same. Assuming the powers that be allow him to take the court in an NBA setting this fall, the power forward with the meanest interior game on the West Coast will look to improve upon the 22.5 ppg and 12.1 rpg averages that earned him ROY honors in his debut season. He’s clearly got the in-your-face, Slamadamonth thing down, but he knows the game extends beyond the paint. “I’m working on a lot of areas of my game,” Griffin continued in the aforementioned vid. “For the most part, just extending my shooting range and getting more and more comfortable shooting from wherever on the court. And at the same time, being a leader for my team and really trying to learn the game and study the game.”

Between Griffin’s exhilarating style of play, the fresh Hyperdunks that’ll be on his feet and the up-and-coming group of teammates that’ll surround him in L.A.—including high-flying combo guard Eric Gordon and promising young big men DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu—the Clippers will be must-see TV this winter. An unfortunate reality for those tasked with D-ing up BG.