by: Michael Shields
The second installment of our series entitled – KICKS – where we infuse introductions to fashionable footwear with a dash of creative writing. Next up – Lebron 10, ‘Cutting Jade’….
“They’re all so……..so young.”
Michael stands with his jaw agape just beyond the entrance to the gym, at the foot of the sprawling parquet floor. Squeaks, barks, and chirps of sneaker soles slashing against hardwood resonate and echo throughout the hollow cement facility. Whistles pierce the air as grunts and groans provide baritone accompaniment.
“That they are” his friend and loyal teammate who had accompanied him to the gym chimes in, “but with bodies like men my friend, all growns up.” They make their way to the stretch of sideline designated for changing, stretching, and any other pre-game preparations. The sounds of a game in progress elevate as its concluding minutes approach. Michael stops to appraise the teams once again, awed by their athleticism, disheartened by their speed and quickness. Before him stands the point guard from one of the teams at mid-court. He is dribbling the ball back and forth from hand to hand, all the while smiling and staring down the defender who is in a crouched position before him. He is toying with him, baiting the eager defender to try to steal the ball, or at least to attempt to. He begins to jab step towards his opponent searching for weaknesses all the while see-sawing his opponent’s center of gravity, and then retreats a few feet and begins criss-crossing the ball between his legs with the flare of a seasoned showboat. In the blink of an eye the ball handler leans to the right as if to make his long awaited move, with this he takes the defender with him, forcing his body weight and momentum in the desired direction. Then, instantaneously, and with little apparent effort, the nimble point guard slices the other way with a hard dribble, escaping past his defender and to the rim finger-rolling the ball underhand to the hoop, and through. The defender, who had fallen to the ground due to the sudden momentum switch, sheepishly hoists himself to his feet.
“Holy Shit!” Michael barks, imagining himself suffering a similar fate. His confidence, usually a cup overflowing, now fleeting by the moment.
“Yo, stop worrying. We got this” his friend reassuringly declares. “These guys have no idea that we can stroke from 35 feet.”
The two men dress in silence. Michael pulls out his nano-ipod and Beats by Dre earphones and masks his discouraged thoughts with the thumping boom bap of some hip-hop. He then reaches back in his bag and with an exaggerated and deliberate motion, retrieves his recently purchased high-tops. He pauses, inhales the dank sweaty air of the old gym, and slowly removes the sneakers. As the footwear emerges from the yawning maw of Michael’s black bag, an effervescent jade hue appears to emanate from the shoe itself. Michael holds the sneaker in his hand with the gentility reserved for a fragile object and the respect demanded from precious treasures. A confident wry smile slowly propagates on his face.
“I got this” Michael whispers to himself, “I got this.”
The new “Cutting Jade” of the Nike LeBron 10 was released early this November, and is covered in a bright Atomic Green colorway. Allegedly the shoe is inspired by Chinese culture, and the high-top sneaker features a China jade jewel (atomic green) color with black and hastas red details throughout, sitting atop a black speckled mid-sole. The sneaker also features a translucent Red Air Sole Unit, with matching Red laces and is packaged in a beautiful sliding box inscribed with a Chinese proverb.
Check for these at Nike Basketball retailers worldwide.