NBA All-Star Losers: The Shoes
I can't recall an NBA All-Star Game where there were fewer shoes to buzz about.
Steve Nash's Trash Talk shoe, the only shoe ever made from manufacturing waste, caused a pre-game stir, but the design didn't make it stand out.
I thought Amare Stoudamire's shoes with the gold tips at the toes were a nice touch.
But almost all of the others -- including the shoes of MVP LeBron James -- you could say just did their job to match the jerseys. How does Dwight Howard win the dunk contest in a Superman cape and in what is essentially a generic Adidas shoe?
I posed that question to Adidas spokesman Travis Gonzolez, who told me there's a business reason behind this.
"We're not doing the crazy things we've done in the past where each guy stands out with his own All-Star shoe that then hits retail in some fashion," Gonzolez said.
"With the basketball footwear category down, we used the All-Star Game to show our more traditional shoes. That means we're catering more to the mass consumer instead of the sneakerhead. So instead of trying to sell 100 or 500 pairs, we're showing shoes that can really move the needle."
Shoes were much better in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge game, since players wore their own jerseys and didn't have to worry about matching with red and blue.
The best shoe of the entire weekend was on the feet of Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo. Check out this closeup of the shoe.
The secret on the Rondo shoe is that Reebok has made pairs for sneakerheads. Five pairs total were put up on NBA.com for sale and they were gone by Monday morning.
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