Tony Wroten, a strong candidate for last year's Kicks On Court Champion award, is off to a great start yet again. After wearing more than 25 different shoes dur...
It's that time again, folks. After stating the cases of our six nominees - Terrence Ross, Nick Young, Tony Wroten, DeMarcus Cousins, Monta Ellis and P.J. Tucker - we're now ready to crown our 2014 Kicks On Court Champion.
Last week, we concluded the series highlighting the 2014 Kicks On Court Champion nominees. P.J. Tucker and Nick Young garnered an abundance of interest with their Nike Kobe debuts, while the latter also brought out Nike LeBron and Air Jordan gems. Monta Ellis, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten kept it consistent throughout the season with notable kicks, and DeMarcus Cousins became the first ever big man to compete in the race. On June 13th, this Friday, we will announce the winner of the 2014 Kicks On Court Champion award by way of our latest Kicks On Court Weekly Recap. Before the announcement, let us know your choice for this season's winner by placing your vote in the poll on the last page.
Tony Wroten was primed for an intriguing season from a Kicks On Court standpoint. After finishing his tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies last season by wearing various retro Jordans and vintage Nike Basketball notables in limited playing time, the 6'4" guard signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in the offseason. With this move, two things would immediately help Wroten's case for the 2014 Kicks On Court Champion award before he even stepped foot on the court: more playing time to showcase his on-court rotation and new team colors that match a wider array of sneakers. Wroten set the tone early by opening up the 2013-2014 NBA season in a customized Air Jordan 12 by Mache. He also brought out the 11-year-old Nike Air Foamposite Pro Red/Black, the Air Jordan 5 3Lab5 and took to the court in the "French Blue" Air Jordan - in addition to many other retro Jordans - in the first month of the season. "I feel like if I look good, then I play good," says Wroten. "I'm a big believer in that, and I also hate wearing the same shoe twice, so that's why I constantly switched it up." Not only did he not repeat shoes often, but he also made it a point to wear Air Jordans that we rarely see on court. Silhouettes, such as the Air Jordan XVIII, the Air Jordan XIX and the Air Jordan XX1 returned to the hardwood, regularly, thanks to Philadelphia's southpaw. "Tony Wroten wears some extreme heat on court, man" says Phoenix Suns forward and fellow Kicks On Court Champion nominee P.J. Tucker. "I really like seeing what Tony wears because he brings a lot of the older models you rarely see to the court and he always comes with something different." Nick Young echoes Tucker's sentiment: "I really think Tony Wroten came with some pure heat that you don't see a lot." After the first month of the season, Wroten was undoubtedly the favorite to win the 2014 Kicks On Court Champion award, considering he made big impressions in all five categories: NIKEiD/PE/Custom, Element of Surprise, Closet Appeal, Variety and Sneaker Debuts. Check out his full Kicks On Court resume, and let us know if he is still the favorite.
Last weekend, Tony Wroten had the sole from his White/Varsity-Red Steel Air Jordan 10s blowout in a game against the Pacers. The sole from the 2005 retro release came completely detached from the upper during the fourth quarter of the game (see the video below), with Wroten exiting the game to switch into a pair of "Playoff" Air Jordan 11s. The situation was definitely a bummer for the 2014 Kicks On Court Champ contender, but it does have a silver lining. Delaware Online reported the following quote on the occurrence: “It was more embarrassing than anything,” Wroten said Wednesday. “But things happen. I got an apology from Jordan. Yeah. … He called my agent.” Perhaps Money will send Tony some new kicks? We hope so. Tune into Kicks On Court to see what Wroten rocks next.
Is Tony Wroten the front-runner for 2014 Kicks On Court Champ? He just might be. Throughout the season, Wroten has rocked an array of retros and even brought out some choice customs. Over the weekend, the Sixers went back-to-back in Philly, hosting the Pacers and the Grizzlies. Against Indy, Wroten started the game in the White/Red-Steel colorway of the Air Jordan 10 from 2005. Midway through the fourth quarter, the nine-year old retros gave way as the sole came completely detached from the upper. Wroten ran the to the locker room and returned in "Playoff" Air Jordan 11s, switching to the "Carmine" Air Jordan 6s for the next night against Memphis. See the sneaker highlights from this weekend's NBA action in today's installment of Kicks On Court.
Training shoes may not be ideal on the hardwood, but that hasn't stopped players from wearing the all-purpose shoes on court. Former NBA player Gilbert Arenas once wore the Nike Air Trainer Classic, Amar'e Stoudemire wore Huarache Trainers for a year straight, and just last year, Brandon Jennings wore the Under Armour Cam Highlight, Cam Newtwon's signature shoe. Even LeBron James sported Trainers on court. Seeing training shoes being worn on court, therefore, shouldn't come as a surprise any longer.