According to Kenyon Martin, the Knicks were attending a funeral for the Celtics, which explained why he and his teammates, including J.R. Smith wore black to Game 5. Their plan to bury the Celtics back fired, resulting a 92-86 loss. While the Knicks’ choice of attire will be scrutinized until Friday’s Game 6, go ahead and shift your attention to J.R. Smith wearing the throwback Bo Jackson Nike Air Trainer SC “Auburn” edition during warm-ups. The sneakers were released to commemorate Jackson’s historic career at his alma mater, Auburn University. There might not be any deep significance beyond J.R. lacing up the Trainer SC besides the fact that 1) Bo is one of the greatest athletes of all time, and 2) the White/Total Orange/Purple/Stealth are a superb match with the New York Knicks home uniform.
Allow us to speculate. This was Smith’s return from a one game suspension after Jason Terry’s collision with J.R.’s elbow resulted in an ejection from Game 3. The hope last night was that J.R. Smith would return to form as the soaring-and-scoring, posting-and-toasting player with buzzer beaters, and a streak of 30+ point games under his belt. Like Bo Jackson’s solo achievement of the 1985 Heisman Trophy, J.R. Smith also recently took home the honor of the Sixth Man of the Year award. Granted, it’s no Most Valuable Player title, but to be singled out for outstanding play deserves equal acknowledgement. Will we see the offensive threat of J.R. Smith in Game 6 this week?
Bo Earl knows.
Games 1 and 2 of the Knicks-Celtics series has shown the best sneakers by some of your favorite players. Between Carmelo Anthony’s brand spanking new Air Jordan Melo M9 Playoff Edition to the back-to-back appearances of the throwback Air Jordan 2, 5, and 8 unearthed by Quentin Richardson, pure sneaker gold has been touching the floor of Madison Square Garden. The only footwear possibly giving them some competition are Spike Lee’s custom Knicks-inspired Cole Haan shoes. Okay, maybe that’s like comparing apples to oranges. The Knickerbocker signature colorways are strong with this group though. Check out our roundup below and leave a comment with your favorite from the past two playoff games.
Yesterday, on Spike Lee’s birthday, Knicks fans got to share in one of the best gifts Spike could get, a win at Madison Square Garden. It was a star-studded affair with Spike front row, Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz in the building, and Carmelo Anthony’s return after his knee injury. Following suit with such special occasions was the attire, more specifically, the sneakers worn by the guest of honor and the Knicks.
The ensemble of NYK kicks on display were interesting to see because there was a theme of flash and modesty on the court. As you looked at Melo attacking the basket in his M9 Syracuse, within the same glance, J.R. Smith’s orange Nike Hyperdunk Low and Iman Shumpert’s adidas Top Ten 2000 “2WO 1NE” caught looks. The only other Knick known to turn up the color scheme consistently is James White when he rocks the K1X AntiGravity. But in the shadow of the all the brights—including Spike Lee’s Volt colored Black History Month Air Jordan Spizikes (above)—Chris Copeland and Marcus Camby’s were the silent killers. Copeland played 20 minutes in the Nike Zoom Hyperenforcer, and Marcus Camby wore the blue colorway from the Nike Zoom Huarache TR “NYC” pack. Peep Camby’s kicks below.
Carmelo Anthony is under a microscope after his lackluster play against Golden State on Monday night. The Knicks were held to 63 points, with 14 from Melo’s output. How efficient he will be over the course of four more games on the road is up in the air, considering he’s sustained a sore right knee, which had him sidelined for three games. As Melo’s performance is being scrutinized by press in the face of his health, and the state of his team that can succeed in his absence, there’s one thing not at the center of controversy—his sneakers. Melo signed with Jordan Brand in 2003 when he entered the league fresh off an NCAA championship at Syracuse. The white, university blue, and yellow taxi colorways of the Denver Nuggets became a staple of his signature shoes; metallic silver, and black were part of the alternate design.
Being a member of Jordan Brand, Anthony also enjoyed the perks of having a limited run (e.g. Player Exclusive, Future Sole) of Jordans also in Denver colorways. He would wear those on court as much as his own signature shoes. Today, the Jordan Melo series continues with the M9, released this January. In the past couple of years since he’s been in New York, the M8, M8 Advance, and M9 are all you see in Melo’s rotation, not any special Jordan Retro versions in Knicks orange and blue. Is it safe to say Carmelo Anthony’s sneakers as a Knick have eclipsed his Denver era? The Melo collection has shown an evolution in design and popularity. There’s no denying the M6 as one of Melo’s best because they were one of his most light-weight shoes ever. Before that, the M5.5 contained notes of the Jordan 5 and 6: like the 3M tongue and silhouette, but it was all Melo at the end of the day with his emerald birthstone incorporated into the design, along with a TV ad campaign that took him back to his hometown of Baltimore.
The tide is changing for Melo’s sneakers. His most recent shoes are slowly breaking away from being referred to with the Jordan prefix, now becoming an major event that isn’t just another Jumpman23 release. The M9 is pushing the envelope with Flywire materials setting it apart from other Air Jordan releases. That’s an achievement for Melo’s branding. Immortalizing his legacy in the sneaker world can be mentioned in the same breath as his retired jersey. Patrick Ewing has seen this type of fanfare recently with the resurging popularity of his own signature kicks. Before that moment comes for Melo, take a walk down memory lane of his classic material.
AIR JORDAN XII MELO PE (UNWORN) (C. NICEKICKS)