Air Force 1
Went up to a spot on Leonard Street yesterday to check out some new stuff Nike's got percolatin' on the low for the venerable (25 this year!) Air Force 1. I signed a non-disclosure agreement, which means there's not much I can disclose at the moment. Just know that there's gonna be a LOT going on next year.
In the meantime, I CAN talk a little bit about Rasheed Wallace, who has been wearing Air Forces on the court since he was in Portland, and off-court for probably forever. Sheed might just be my favorite player in the L at this point, partially because he went to Carolina, partially because he's got flavor to spare, and partially because of those strap-back AF1 highs. The red patent ones he wore in the 2001 All-Star game maye be the illest pair of kicks to ever bless an NBA floor (and thanks to my man Aaron Cooper at Nike, I actually got a pairâ€”in Sheed's size 13â€”although mine don't have the embroidered strap).
Rasheed has always marched to a different beatâ€”probably one made by ?uestlove. I remember finding a slide of him as a Blazer rocking a pair of Nike Air Ptarmigans, high-cut Gore-Tex ACG running shoes (I know it rains a lot in the Northwest, but damn) IN A GAME. And while he may be a little crazy, especially when it comes to refs, he's been singlehandedly keeping history alive with those Air Ones. He played at Simon Gratz in Philly, the city that birthed the Air One in the NBA on the championship feet of Moses Malone and Bobby Jones. And while pretty much every NBA playerâ€”no matter what shoe company's got 'em on lockâ€”probably still rocks Ones when the game's over, only Sheed keeps it really real on the court. (Jermaine O'Neal and Stacey Augmon are the only other two NBA guys I can think of who wore Ones in games recently.)
You can't argue the influence of the Air One. The first b-ball shoe with Air cushioning, it allowed players to get more than a game or two out of a pair of kicks. It let streetballers go all day, what with that brick-thick sole. And the white-on-whites have been keeping citydwellers fresh for years. You won't ever be out of style with a pair of fresh white-on-whites, some crispy jeans, a white T and and a flat New Era fitted. Anywhere, anytime.
So many colors, so many flavors. You can definitely go with the whites, but DJ Clark Kent (THE Air Force 1 afficionado extraordinaire who's worn a fresh pair EVERY DAY for the past three years or so) has figured there's been roughly 1,700 different styles and colors of the Air Force 1 produced since Bruce Kilgore designed them back in '82. And there's no signs of that slowing down anytime soon. Collect 'em all? Good luck.