Carmelo Anthony has earned the scoring title for the 2012-13 NBA season. You mad? For some reason, Kevin Durant’s post on Instagram about not striving for that goal last night seemed like a slight jab at Melo, who went H.A.M. this season as the league’s leading scorer. So, Durant’s is number two in this points scored statistical category, and you know what, his KD V, in my biased opinion, are also second to Melo’s Air Jordan Melo M8 Advance from last year. To be fair, I’ve never slipped on a pair of Durant’s KD V.
Put aside the points per game stats of both of these forwards for a moment. Forget Oklahoma City’s astounding team record (60-21) versus the Knicks’ impressive 54 wins. If Durant’s sneakers are so fly, why has Melo bested him for scoring leader? My argument simply boils down to that ubiquitous catchphrase coined by Spike Lee (a.k.a Mars Blackmon), “It’s the shoes.” Those three words that came out of Spike’s mouth with vigor, declared that the Air Jordan signature sneaker is the reason why His Airness was able to soar to unseen heights, even though Jordan begged to differ. With all respect to MJ’s skills,
Mars Spike wasn’t willing to hand over credit to him so easily—probably because of his known die-hard allegiance to the Knicks. These are different times though: Jordan is retired, now Melo carries the torch of Jordan Brand in New York. If Mars Blackmon was resurrected from the ’90s, would he give props to Melo or his shoes? Ultimately, he’d have to favor the M8 Advance, Melo’s go-to shoe. He debuted them in the summer of 2012, as early as July when Anthony dominated in the Olympics setting a new USA Basketball record with 37 points (10 3-pointers), defeating Nigeria by a margin of 83 points. Fast forward to his second full season with the Knicks, he’s tied Bernard King’s record for three 40+ point games in a single season by a Knick. If you’ve been paying attention this year, Spike has paid homage to Melo’s idol by wearing King’s number 30 jersey. In back-to-back games where Melo scored over 40 points (against the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks), he was wearing the M8 Advance.
Conversely, Melo’s most debilitating knee injury, where he was compelled to have fluid drained, happened as he was wearing the M9′s (Black/White/Bright Citrus) against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We’re not saying that the M9 is a bad omen, because he’s played well in those, too. The Syracuse Team Exclusive of the M9 were clutch for Melo against the Toronto Raptors at The Garden on March 23rd. Overall, Anthony has played his best basketball in the M8 Advance, though. There was the epic win against the Los Angeles Lakers, where he scored 33 in the first quarter. Recently, the climax of Melo’s 2013 performance almost securing him the scoring title was highlighted when he dropped 50 on the Miami Heat, wearing the Game Royal/Team Orange/Black colorway. Oh, Spike was in the audience at the Heat game, sans King jersey though.
If you still think the popularity of the M8 Advance is only fueled by Melo, look at the sidelines at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks ball boys and the trainers all rock the White/Game Royal/Team Orange colorway. The materials are rigid and breathable because they’re built with Hyperfuse and mesh. Design credits go to Justin Taylor, who has been behind Melo’s kicks since the Air Jordan Melo M6 (2010). At that time—when Melo played for Denver—he said they were his best shoe yet. “For me to make a shoe as light as this shoe, and still be as durable as it is, and be able to go out there and perform and have no worries, I think this is the best shoe to have on your feet.” That sentiment about the M6 could relate directly to the M8 Advance. For all the great things that could be said about the M8 Advance in design, much credit goes to the foundation laid by the M8. “We’ve never done an exposed forefoot Zoom [Air] bag in the history of the brand, so it gives Melo something to kind of hang his hat on as the first to do,” said Taylor.
As we compare Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant’s PPG numbers: 28.7 versus 28.1, their sneakers are also very similar. The KD V, like the M8 Advance both have Zoom Air and are made of Hyperfuse technology which is the material that molds to the foot, making it one with the players. The KD V’s designer, Leo Chang told ESPN, “We decided to make it softer and easier to move.” The result makes Durant and Melo more explosive to the hoop when driving or cushioning them when landing. As you look up though, it’s Melo who is on top this year ending Durant’s 3-year scoring title streak. Congrats Melo. Keep advancing.
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.
The New York Knicks gave all of their fans a nice Christmas present by defeating the Boston Celtics in thrilling fashion, 106-104, as Carmelo Anthony led the way.
During a matinee game against their rivals from the north, the Knicks started out strong, ending the first quarter with a 34-23 lead. Renaldo Balkman, and rookies Josh Harrelson and Iman Shumpert, came off the bench and gave valuable minutes, while the starters were resting. New York was able to successfully limit the impact of Rajon Rondo in the first quarter, who is one of the top three point-guards in basketball, especially when he is making his jumpers.
The Lakers (26-11) will host the Knicks (21-14) at the Staples Center Sunday night. Lakers-Knicks games always draw a ton of excitement, but this is the first time in about 10 years that the game should be competitive. The Knicks score the ball phenomenally but have trouble keeping their opponents out of the paint. This is primarily due to the lack of size on their roster. The Lakers rank third in the league in points in the paint per game (45.7) and will be attacking the Knicks frontline all night. It is crucial for Amar’e Stoudemire to stay out of foul trouble because while the Lakers front line is very large, Amar’e should be able to dominate them on the offensive side.