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.
“Chris Paul, Clippers torch injury-depleted Knicks,” reads ESPN’s headline. Rather than add insult to injury with puns about getting burned yesterday in Los Angeles, Raymond Felton had the fire under his feet scoring the team’s high of 16 points. In his 41 minutes, the Knicks guard’s 3-point shooting was clutch keeping NYK in striking distance during the first half. Then his mid-range jumper, and drives to the basket supplemented their offense in the second half. A Felton-Jordan matchup was one to watch though. Felton’s key layup scored against DeAndre Jordan was a highlight that clearly isn’t getting as much replay as Jordan’s open floor dunk from the first half. Being a poster boy for posterizing Brandon Knight has earned Jordan the national attention he deserves, plus a big promotional push by Under Armour with a line of T-shirts that read, “Show Me Your Dunk Face.”
Will Raymond Felton get a liltle more love from UA? Felton has been wearing all the varieties of his Micro G-Torch Player Exclusive, including the Christmas Day edition. Yesterday he gave the orange upper and blue laser perforated kit some mileage, while Jordan stole the sneaker spotlight sporting the St. Patrick’s Day Spine Bionic green colorway. Since Under Armour announced the addition of Felton to the Under Armour family in January, there haven’t been any recent updates to what’s next for Felton and Under Armour. The brand’s support of players who are underdogs, who turn adversity into triumph fits right in with Felton’s narrative bouncing around the league, leaving the Knicks and his warm welcome back to New York this year.
Right now the Knicks are holding onto the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re constantly striving to prove themselves against criticism of their age, lack of team depth, and of course the injuries. The Knicks will be back at Madison Square Garden to play Orlando on Wednesday. So you can surely expect Felton to lace up a pair of his UA PE to protect their house.
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)