Thursday, November 26, 2015

Before I forget... Basketball shoes

I cant quite remember why, but I loved watching the NBA when I was a kid. Its not like my dad was a big fan, nor was my older brother. And growing up in Idaho meant I didn't have a local team for whom to cheer. But I was a fanatic. I would never miss Ahmad Rashad and Hannah Storm on NBA Inside Stuff. Inside Stuff also had a magazine, and I was a subscriber--I read each issue cover to cover, several times, and would tear out articles and pictures to put up in my locker, or in the front of my binder, to broadcast my fandom. Plus, each magazine would include a poster, and so my bedroom walls were covered in blown up pictures of Grant Hill, Reggie Miller, Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant.

As I got older, I tuned into the show less, but was still crazy about the NBA. And I also turned out to be pretty good at basketball. I grew up across the street from a kid, Chase, who also played basketball, and he and I would play one-on-one, bump, and just shoot around, several times a week. Playing against him, consistently, is probably one of the reasons I turned out to be pretty good at basketball. Side note, his dad was a girls basketball coach--I played varsity at Meridian High, but Chase's dad coached varsity at Centennial High. Centennial was really good at basketball for decades, but my junior and senior year Meridian was the best in the league, so I always found it kind of funny that Meridian was good those years, in part, because I was good, and I was good because of the Centennial High coach's son.

Because I was pretty crazy about the NBA, I would also select my own jersey number based on my favorite player if it was available, and also I would wear the shoes of my favorite players, if I could convince my parents to spend that much money on basketball shoes.

And I've decided to reminisce about basketball shoes because there is this semi new song on the radio, White Iverson by Post Malone which got me thinking back to my own basketball days. In "White Iverson" he sings about basketball in general, but mostly Allen Iverson. He sings

I got me some braids and I got me some hoes (Iverson wore corn rows)
Started rockin' the sleeve, I can't ball with no Joes(Iverson wore the long sleeve over his elbow)
You know how I do it, Concords on my toes(Apparently, in college at Georgetown Iverson wore Concords--he didn't have a shoe deal yet)
I'm the new 3 and I change out to my new 3s(Iverson wore the number three, and his shoes were called the I3s)

Allen Iverson was one of my favorite players, and between 1998-2001 I owned three pairs of Iversons "The Question"--in yellow, metallic blue, and red. The song "White Iverson" is Post Malone referring to himself as the White Iverson (THANKS RAP GENUIS!).

My first NBA obsession was Detroit Piston, Grant Hill. In 7th grade I played AAU league basketball and wore the #33. I also had the Grant Hill Fila shoes, but I cant find any pictures of me in the shoes, unfortunately. It was 1996, and they were hideous.

1996 Fila, Grant Hill

in 8th and 9th grade my new favorite player was rookie Kobe Bryant. He took Brandy to Prom, and then went straight to the NBA! What a badass! I'll never forget taking my first pair of Kobe's out of the box. They were called the Crazy 8, after Kobe's first jersey number with the Lakers, no. 8.
The Kobe's, 1997
I wore the Kobe's my 8th grade year and also my freshman year, when I was on Meridian High's Freshman "A" team. Im not sure why, but I wore the number 50 for the next two years.
They made us wear mouth guards. But no one made me wear those socks.
My Sophomore year I was obsessed with Antoine Walker for reasons I cant recall. It was 1998 and he was in his second season with the Boston Celtics. He also had a contract with Adidas. I wore these shoes my sophomore year, when I played on Meridian High's JV basketball team.

Antoine Walker's Adidas

My junior year I made the varsity team and went pretty crazy with my shoe selection. I had the red Adidas Super Stars (I guess I really liked Adidas), but also the Iverson's in Yellow and Red. I remember my Red Iverson's were stolen and I was so so upset. Fortunately I still had the Red Superstars and Yellow Iverson's. Also, I got the number 33 back! but had stopped wearing the Grant Hill shoes--just the number.

The Question, in red

My yellow Iversons
We went into the State Championships that season with an 18-1 record. But finished 4th in the state that year; we lost the consolation game to Boise High.

My senior year I stuck with the Iverson's, but this time I went with Blue to match MHS's blue and gold colors.

my metallic blue Iversons (the internet says its "pearlized navy")
We went to the state tournament with a 14-6 record, and finished 4th again; we lost the consolation game this time to Madison High.

I had a pretty solid selection of shoes in the late 1990s and wanted to be sure to remember it all, before I forget.