Sneaker, sneakers and mo’ sneakers!

By Konate Primus

The Last few days of my life just confirmed that there is a future for basketball sneakers. Also solidified my theory on why performance sneakers aren’t selling as well. First let me tell you what happened when I went to Nike HQ and sat down for a very in-depth Jordan Brand history lesson conducted by Prof. Gentry Humphrey (Footwear Business Director, Jordan Brand) and the Mad Scientist Tinker Hatfield (VP Innovation Design& special Projects Nike Inc and the man who pretty much changed the sneaker game forever).

Jan 7th they unveiled the Jordan XX3, this was the 1st time I actually saw the shoe in person and let me tell you, mucho props to the Jordan Brand. The pictures don’t really do ‘em justice (Kicks section SLAM 115 on sale now). I don’t care about what camera the picture is taking with, or who’s the photographer. If you think these shoes are ugly and you haven’t seen ‘em in person you need to go stand outside of the nearest sneaker store and wait for them to be released.

Ok Maybe that’s a lil O.D but before you make your final call you need to hold them in your hand. The Black colorway are the best looking Jordan’s since the 16’s and coincidently that’s the last joint Tinker designed. Not to down play the 17’s, or 19’s but I honestly think this is a better-looking shoe. The Carolina blue and white colorways aren’t too high on my Dope meter but my opinion did go from “yuck” to “oh, these are cool” once I had them in my hand. There will only be 529 pairs of the white and blue colorways sold. 529? 23 stores will only have 23 pairs sold for 23 days, a new store everyday!

The other colorways will be sold at regular rates. Jan 8th, I rolled up a half hour late to Pop Burger in NYC (Burgers were amazing) for an exclusive look at Jordan Brands latest signature shoe. CP3 now his own monument and they aren’t bad at all they are pretty, pretty, pretty good (in my Larry David voice) if you ask me! The silhouette looks like a combo between the Kobe lites and the 22’s. I don’t have any pics to show you but as soon as I have ‘em you will see and judge for yourself. I like ‘em a lot and they are inspired by damn near everything in Chris Paul’s life! It’s very personal.

Now to breakdown my theory.

When a classic anything is made, it isn’t made overnight! It’s very rare that people appreciate art for what its worth at first chance. Music, sneakers, movies, clothing, anything down those lines, critics hated Scarface when it hit theaters in 1983, and look at it now, an American classic! Jay-z couldn’t get a record deal to save his life and now he’s damn near the CEO of hip-hop and deemed as one of the greatest to ever do it!

My point is a classic is what ever the consumer makes it. You can’t force it on to people, the people have to connect with it in a special way and that’s why it won’t be a while for performance sneakers to begin to sell again. We have to wait for the next generation to come up and long for LeBron’s, AI’s or even Gilbert’s shoe the way we did for Jordans. Jordans always didn’t sell out immediately. Back in the days you could get some J’s weeks after they came out. You didn’t have to pre-order them. Back in the day you could get J’s at JC Penny. JC Penny was a bargain department store for crying out loud!

Of course they were the hot item but people weren’t camping outside for ‘em like they do now. People do that now because they couldn’t get them when they came out the 1st time. They remember one of the old heads had ‘em and when they were coming up and when they were through with them you were rocking the hand me downs. And you only got to experience part of what it felt like to rock J’s. Or you could even take me for example I remember the hype everybody put on the shoes but my moms wasn’t going to break her $70 limit. So when I got my own money what’s the 1st thing I did… that’s right you guessed it! Kids these days never even seen Mike play, they don’t know what a double nickel is. They don’t know that Mike won the Slam Dunk Contest in the white/red 3’s. They don’t know the story of mike coming out of retirement and playing at the Garden in the 1st half with his 1’s on (2nd half his feet were killing him). They are living off the hype from us and soon that hype will go away.

One day they will have their own sneaker hero. There’s a sneaker out there that some l’il boys big brother has and his mom wont buy for him and when he gets some paper that’s the 1st thing he has on his list to get. And when they bring ‘em back when he’s in college, that’s when performance shoes will sell again. No other sneaker brand has that connection to the people like that because Jordan is holding down that spot, so until Jordan’s lease is up in the house of dominance. Performance sneakers sales shall perish!