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.
Two of the Top Kicks On Court Champion nominees this season had stellar games last night in wins for their respective ball clubs. With Michael Carter-Williams back in the rotation, 76ers guard Tony Wroten returned to his bench role but proved to be just a productive as he was in his starting position. The former Washington Husky dropped 19 points while wearing the Air Jordan 2 White/Varsity Red via the Air Jordan 2/21 Countdown Package from 2008. This marks the first time we've seen the Air Jordan 2 on court since Quentin Richardson laced up his Air Jordan 2 "Knicks" PE in the first round the of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. As for Nick Young, he recorded 25 points and four assists off the Lakers' bench in a Nike Kobe 8 'Stadium Grey' iD. In addition to the Stadium Grey upper, Young's iDs also feature a Court Purple heel clip and Tour Yellow accents, including the midsole, lining and laces. Young has now worn eight different Kobe 8 iDs this season. View these kicks on court, plus Monta Ellis' Air Jordan 13s and Paul George's CP3.VIIs, below.
Is Tony Wroten the early front-runner for Kicks On Court Champion? The season is only eight games in, but Wroten has already managed to lace up “French Blue” 12s, a brand new Mache Custom and “Toro Bravo” 5s. Last night for Philly’s Veterans Day hosting of the Spurs, Wroten laced up two classics that are almost laceless. The Sixers two-guard doubled up on signature sneakers, rocking the shroud sporting OG Air Jordan 18 White/Red, before zipping down the Nike Air Zoom Flight The Glove. While Wroten impressed, the reigning champ Derrick Williams looked to keep his belt and keep his word of “no retros” by breaking out a lux Kobe. PEs, iDs and retros were all on display last night, so let us know who brought the best heat to the hardwood in this edition of Kicks On Court.