Foot Locker just releases a hilarious new spot which stars comedian Jimmy Kimmel alongside NBA stars Damian Lillard, 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year and Andrew Wiggins, 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year
Having been Rookie of the Year himself, Damian Lillard gives Andrew Wiggins a little advice on the importance of constantly evolving. Dame doesn’t want Andrew to turn out like Bobby Butter (Jimmy Kimmel), a streetball legend whose own failure to evolve (like dressing in outdated gear from the 80’s and engaging in zany trash talk during a pickup game) kept him from ever getting to the next level.
And in case you’re wondering, those adidas Originals ZX Flux are available nationwide at Foot Locker stores and footlocker.com.
Europe’s premier basketball tournament, EuroBasket, is set to take place between September 5-20. The tournament is Europe’s biggest basketball event and is overseen by FIBA Europe.
It will no doubt bring more attention to the sport within Europe, following on from the 2014 FIBA World Cup, which was hosted in Spain and was a huge success across the entire continent. It pulled in impressive audience figures who enjoyed the game both live and via television.
Interestingly, the two teams that had the most NBA fielded players, other than the US, were France and Spain. These two teams had very good tournaments, with France placing third and Spain placing fifth. These two teams are thought to dominate again, with the pair priced at odds of 5/2, according to betfair, when this article was produced.
Serbia had an extremely strong tournament, but the US proved much too strong in the final, winning by 37 points after a commanding display. However, it would be foolish to write off the Serbians at this summer’s tournament. If they can build upon their performance from two years ago then they could steal the silverware.
Some upsets could be on the cards
Germany are one of the dark horses of the tournament. There’s a decent standard of domestic basketball played within Germany and, with the talismanic Dirk Nowitzki coming out of international retirement specifically to play in an international tournament in front of his home crowd, anything is possible.
Nowitzki is one of the all-time greats of the NBA. The 37-year-old forward is the all-time leading points scorer for the Mavericks, clocking a total of 26,786 for the franchise. As well as this, he is also the 10th all-time points scorer throughout the history of the NBA.
Having Nowitzki on the German team will be a huge morale boost. Time and time again, Nowitzki has shown that he is a player who can change the direction of a game within an instant. He is capable of consistently scoring baskets and if he remains fit throughout the tournament, and is utilised correctly, he should be a reliable and steady player for Germany.
However, Germany have got a particularly difficult group to attempt to emerge out of, being drawn against the likes of Spain, Serbia, Iceland, Turkey and Italy. It will be a big ask for Germany to make it out of the group stages, as Spain, Serbia and Turkey have all shown that they are formidable opponents that are capable of dominating.
Serbia could steal the show
The standard of basketball Serbia are producing, across both men’s and women’s basketball, is extremely high. The women’s team is currently ranked third in Europe, behind France and Spain. This suggests the standard of coaching within Serbia, across both genders, is extremely competitive, which is no doubt fantastic for the prospects of the sport within Europe.
Serbia will certainly still be hurting after their loss in the final to the USA, but with the most dominant force in international basketball not taking part in this tournament, the Serbians will fancy their chances. They’ll be spurred on by the prospect of taking gold at the tournament and the national excitement that it would trigger.
The silver medalists were welcomed home with the craziest second place celebration we have ever seen – across any sport (take a look at the video underneath this paragraph!). This homecoming for the players was like a mini festival – and this was for them placing second. Imagine how the fans would react if they took the winner’s title at EuroBasket 2015!
Group A throws up some interesting matches
Group A has an interesting mix of teams, containing France, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Poland, and Israel. We would expect France and Russia to progress, but the remaining two spots will be hard fought – although Poland and Finland could grab the last two spots. But it looks like, on paper, that it’s too close to call.
Domestically, Russia have some very good teams competing in their league, such as CSKA Moscow and Khimki. The nation has a rich history of performing well on the international stage, taking a bronze Olympic medal in 2012, and even winning EuroBasket in 2007.
The accolades have been slow to come for Russia recently, but everyone knows what the team is capable of. We would expect them to enter Eurobasket 2015 firing on all cylinders.
Groups C and D will be the most interesting for the neutrals
With the more dominant teams appearing in Groups A and B, this leaves C and D right open. Greece and Estonia can be dangerous at times, and Latvia will certainly be out to impress.
Watching these two groups develop and seeing what fixtures they throw up in the next round will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.
These groups feature teams that rarely participate in competitive international tournaments, such as the Netherlands and Georgia. Knowing that they have been under represented on the biggest stage could potentially drive these teams on to cause huge upsets.
Players to watch
This man needs no introduction. He was EuroBasket 2009 MVP and Top Scorer and always performs on the big stage. He is bona fide NBA quality, winning two NBA titles with the Lakers, and now playing for the Chicago Bulls since 2004.
The Serbian wowed critics at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and was one of the driving forces behind the national team’s second-place success.
He went on to be named in the all-tournament team, and repeating the accolade from the 2010 FIBA World Cup.
He’s consistent and performs well under pressure. These are two good traits to have.
The French superstar is well rested going into the tournament and will be eager to prove that he’s still the same quality player that has previously taken the MVP title at the games. He’s also involved with a re-energized France team that looks like they could be on the verge of achieving something amazing.
EuroBasket 2015 is nearly here, with there only being a few more weeks to go until the tournament kicks off. It looks to be one of the best tournaments in recent years. It’s true that there has been some disturbance due to the original host country, Ukraine, being unable to host the championship because of the political instability in the country, but the split host model means more people will be able to view the games in person, which is great.
Either way, we can’t wait for the tournament to kick-off. It promises to be an awesome two weeks.
This summer, adidas has teamed up with Marvel Studios to introduce the limited edition Avengers basketball shoe collection.
Drawing inspiration from comic book characters of the big screen, the retro collection pays homage to Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor from the blockbuster film Avengers: Age of Ultron. Design specs include colorways tailored to each superhero, icon graphics featured in the sockliner and the Avengers logo highlighted on the tongue.
Displaying the hero’s signature red and white stripes with adidas’ three, this Crazy 97 blends a bold, blue design that calls on American tradition. The model features a metallic finish to reflect the Captain’s shield, which is also incorporated as a color shifting emblem on the sneaker’s upper.
This T-Mac 1 boasts the Hulk’s radioactive glow and iconic purple pants as the embossed metallic pattern upper embodies his chiseled features. The Hulk Smash emblem sits atop the heel with finished Hulk green branding and a matching purple toe.
This Top Ten 2000 features an all red metallic upper and gold midsole representative of Iron Man’s body armor. An iced outsole plays to the hero’s propulsion thrusters, while the circular emblem on the heel symbolizes the arc reactor in Iron Man’s chest.
The reflective upper features lightning bolt flashes to represent Thor’s hammer, keeping this edition of the Real Deal true to the Avenger’s godly prowess. Gold hits at the end of the iconic three stripes reflect Thor’s chest plate and tinted grey outsoles represent his armor.
The adidas Avengers pack will be available for $125 at adidas.com on July 4th
Thirteen-time All-Star, League MVP, Finals MVP, NBA Superstar Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest and most famous athletes of all time as the first non-American to lead his team to a NBA victory.
Nowtizki: The Perfect Shot was produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Leopold Hoesch and features exclusive NBA footage and interviews with NBA legends such as Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Jason Kidd, Rick Carlisle, Mark Cuban, David Stern, Don Nelson and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt covering the incredible success story of Dirk Nowitzki, from second league German basketball to one of the top athletes of the NBA.
adidas and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard today unveiled a commemorative PDX Carpet inspired edition of the D Lillard 1 basketball shoe. Paying homage to Portland International Airport’s iconic teal print carpet, the shoe is a must have for fans of Damian and all things Portland.
The PDX carpet pattern is printed across the shoe’s teal upper while the full-length adiprene+ midsole compliments a purple tonal snakeskin print on the heel, toecap and TECHFIT booty. The purple laces feature flecks of grey and “DAME” is printed on the right tongue while “#PDXCARPET” is printed on the left.
If you haven’t been through PDX, this video shows you what the carpet looks like:
Fans can grab their own D Lillard 1 PDX Carpet edition ($125) on May 23rd beginning at 10am PST at Foot Locker Washington Square (Portland), Eastbay and adidas.com.
If you want to take your sneaker game to the next level, you need some LEDs! Light up sneakers have been around for years, but the sneaker customizers at Evolved Footwear are taking an old concept and giving it new life.
Evolved Footwear specializes in modifying sneakers with LED lighting. Originally launched in 2004, the brand has spent years perfecting its craft, working to create a durable, long-lasting LED system. They offer a wide range of illuminated sneakers, and they also accepts custom orders if you want to send in your own pair, which will set you back $60 plus shipping. (But your sneakers must be new, they won’t work on your stinky shoes)
They’re a great way to stand out from the crowd, and you can learn all about how the lights work here. I don’t know how practical one of these are (especially since the air bubble gets cut open), but they’ll definitely get you some attention.
It will be all change in the NBA next season after it was confirmed that Pepsi will replace Coke as the league’s food and beverage sponsor, ending an association between two of America’s most iconic brands that has lasted 28 years. Pepsi, who had an existing deal with the NBA through Gatorade, will now be able to promote the likes of Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Brisk, Doritos and Ruffles in association with the league.
Pepsi now holds sponsorship deals with all four of the U.S. major sports organisations, meaning next season the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and now the National Basketball Association will all promote Pepsi products. In the U.S. and Canada, Mountain Dew that will be the lead brand in the deal, with campaigns expected to run alongside the NBA’s 3-on-3 basketball program and other schemes aimed at young people.
Following the announcement, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi claimed the deal was “a slam dunk for the league and for our company”, a comment one can only hope was met with disappointed silence from the attending media and dignitaries.
But Coke won’t be completely absent from the sporting scene in the future, with the company still be able to promote products through their existing deals with NBA stars such as LeBron James. Coke is one of a number of big name brands who work with James – Who’s Cleveland Cavaliers team are currently the favorites at a price 5/2 with Betfair to go all the way in this season’s playoffs and become the NBA Champions.
On top of that, Coke has revealed they will become the exclusive sponsor of Major League Soccer. Pepsi had been the league’s official non-alcoholic beverage partner since its inception in 1996, but lost out to Coke for the exclusive rights at the start of the year following the end of Pepsi’s deal.