Last night, at 21 Mercer, Nike released a limited shoe to honor all that is Rasheed Wallace. Infamous for wearing Hi-Top Air Force 1s, it was only natural for Nike to release the Rasheed Wallace Hi-Top Lunar Force 1s, a modern take on the all-time classic.
The silhouette is quite similar, sans the ankle-strap that Sheed chose to wear velctro’d behind the heel, to the familiar AF1s. The upper of the shoe is made with new, light fabrics, utilizing Nike Hyperfuse to allow for the shoe to breathe, while the sole is made up of Nike’s ultra-comfortable lunar sole.
The shoe released in two colorways, a white/blue/orange look and a black/blue/orange look, both limited to 100 pairs.
Right before pairs were purchased, Rasheed Wallace made a special appearance at 21 Mercer and welcomed the crowd with a Q&A. While, of course, most of the content was centered around the shoes, some other fun Sheed quotes were tossed out, too.
First off, he loved New York.
“I hear the two-cents from everyone on the street – you know, the you gotta do this, you gotta do that, tell Mike Woodson he gotta do this.”
That quote touched on exactly what makes playing professional sports in New York City both so exciting and so nerve-wracking; everyone cares and has a genuine opinion.
His three developed out of necessity, as when he was in Portland, he had to shoot, as he was the most athletic out of the bunch. However, against the Lakers, Glen Rice, “tore my ass up… I’m not even gonna lie… he torched me. He torched me.”
As Wallace grew older, his game had to change. With that said, Sheed become one of the most prolific power-forwards in all of the NBA, and one of the reasons was due to his astounding post-moves. What’s his favorite move, you ask?
Well, despite not using it too much, Sheed said that he favored the, “only move in basketball history that is unstoppable… the sky-hook. I don’t care if you’re 6’10″ going against a guy 7’3″, it’s unstoppable.”
Wallace was asked about who he thought were the top three players to watch in the NBA right now. While he originally avoided the question, he ended up answering it with some fun players.
However, his response started off with some reasoning behind why he enjoyed watching college ball more:
“To be honest, I watch more college ball. In college they go more hard. In college they’re fighting for a future, while us NBA guys are fighting for a paycheck.”
“For NBA guys, I like Paul George… I think J.R. Smith… Zach Randolph, Jermaine O’Neal, Jason Maxiell.”
Gotta love that group of players he mentioned. If any player were to include J.R. Smith and Zach Randolph on their top five list of players, it could only be Rasheed Wallace.
Finally, Wallace gave the crowd the true reason he’s been balling out in AF1s all these years, even after sneakers with more advanced technology have released:
“I always liked playing in Air Force 1s, as it always protected my ankle… being a high flyer – in my younger days – coming down on someone’s foot always hurt my ankle… Air Force 1 is a true high-top.”
All in all, it was a fun event, hosted by a great player, highlighting a new take on a historic shoe.