On the last day of the 2013-2014 NBA season, we share with you the third installment of our Sole Access series. We saw Spurs equipment manager Travis Wade take us inside each player’s locker at the AT&T Center, in addition to the practice facility in January, and had Lakers equipment manager Carlos Maples walk us through the lockers of Nick Young and Kendall Marshall earlier this month. In today’s episode, Dwayne Wilson, the most tenured equipment manager in the NBA, gives us an exclusive tour inside the locker room, equipment room and weight room of the Sacramento Kings. Check out these walkthroughs, the sneaker-filled lockers of DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Williams and Rudy Gay, plus more behind-the-scenes info from Wilson about his day-to-day duties over the years.
With the anticipation of this weekend’s retro releases and restocks building exponentially, the demand for retro Air Jordans seems to be near its peak. Would you believe re-releases of Air Jordan signatures have not always been as coveted as they are today? Back in ’94, Nike attempted their first run of retros during Michael Jordan’s first retirement, with lackluster success, as many of these releases hit Nike outlets. Five years later, we saw MJ retire again, and more attempts to revive legendary Jordan silhouettes began again. This time, Nike started with the Air Jordan 4, a Tinker Hatfield-designed shoe, that took the world by storm in 1989. Soon after, Jordan delivered a career season wearing the AJ 4, adding to its legacy. The Air Jordan 4 featured many new design concepts. First, the straps on the side for increased ankle support. It was also the first shoe to incorporate a unique design element that we all have come to know and love as “Cement” print. The 1999 return the Air Jordan 4 is known more for its Nike Air branding, but thei shoe’s impact on sneaker culture is un-matched by any other Air Jordan silhouette. The return of the Air Jordan 4 proved that retros could sell in a modern market, and paved the way for future retro releases in non-O.G colors. To pay homage to the iconic sneaker, we ranked our 23 favorite Air Jordan 4 releases of all time. Skim through our list and let us know if you agree with our rankings in the comments.
Want to win a Nike Basketball “Easter” pack featuring the Nike LeBron 11 Low “Easter”, the Nike KD VI “Easter” and the Nike Kobe 9 EM “Easter”? DraftKings.com, a site which offers daily fantasy basketball contests, is currently hosting a special contest for this set of Easter kicks, and you could be the winner. The contest will be exclusively for Nice Kicks readers, and will start tomorrow, April 16th. Get your entries in now (max two entries per person), as the contest caps at just 150 entries and begins tomorrow night at 7pm ET. DraftKings contests fill early, so don’t delay!
To win, simply head to DraftKings, draft your team in this exclusive Nice Kicks contest, and watch the games live tonight. It costs a few bucks to enter, and remember, the contest will be capped at 150 entries. Drafting a team can be quick and easy – check out the screenshot below. DraftKings gives you a salary cap, and you try to pick the best team available for that night’s games. Enter the contest HERE. If you are the 1st place finisher in the contest, you get the Nike Basketball “Easter” pack (size depends on availability). The 2nd place finisher will win $300, the 3rd place place finisher will win $150, 4th place will win $100, 5th place will win $50 and 6th through 10th place will each win $25. 11th through 30th place in this week’s contest will win free entry into next week’s contest. Best of luck!
Taking flight toward the moon, the Nike Lunar Pegasus 89 restores the retro runner in a “Jade Glaze” colorway. Playing up the vintage vibe, an off-white tone makes up most of the upper, as jade glaze streaks down the midfoot, also showing up on the Lunarlon midsole, where it splits real estate with white. Venom green takes up the rest of the mesh portion on the ankle collar, as black pine is seen on the branding throughout. The “Jade Glaze” Nike Lunar Pegasus 89 is now available at Nike.com for $100.
Continuously gaining steam, the adidas ZX Flux is one of our 10 Sneakers That Will Dominate Summer 2014. Now, the feathery light and cushioned kicks have been spotted in another unique makeup. Following everything from solid colors and nature prints comes the adidas ZX Flux “Gradient” Pack, a duo of dynamically fading designs. First sniped at the adidas Store in Saarbrücken, these takes transition from one color to another in a gradient pattern front to back. Tell us what you think of the latest ZX Flux style codes in the comment space below, and keep Nice Kicks streaming for future release information.
The actual hands that produce the sneaker community’s favorite silhouettes are currently at rest. Workers at the globe’s largest maker of athletic footwear for everyone from Nike to adidas, the Yue Yuen Chinese factory, are on strike. Also pushing product for Reebok, ASICS, New Balance, Timberland and others, the company made 323.3 million pairs of shoes in 15 months leading up to December of 2012. According to the Associated Press, over 10,000 of the Guangdong establishment’s employees are striking because of a dispute over benefits. Labor groups stated that the workforce is upset because they were not paid their full social security and housing funds, as well as skimping out on insurance coverage. Employees are protesting directly outside of the kick factory and the end is uncertain, raising questions of the final availability to consumers in the near future.
What are your thoughts on the workers in the world’s largest sneaker factory going on strike? Comment in the feedback section below, and keep Nice Kicks streaming for any future developments.
Lead image via Daily Wake
Refresh your rotation via a blast of summer color with the Nike Internationalist “Kumquat”. Inspired by retro Swoosh running styles, the Nike Internationalist sports a vintage look for lifestyle purposes. With casual energy, the model now lays back and takes on a colorful twist from a popular fruit. Combining a multitude of materials on the upper from suede and leather, to mesh and nylon, this traveler is dyed in kumquat orange across the entire upper. Summit white dresses the tongue, inner lining, and midsole, while a reflective silver tongue contributes contrast. A separate color pop is brought by military blue on the heel clips and tongue tags of this juicy Internationalist, which is available now at Nike.