NBA All-Star Weekend 2013: The Players

With the hype of the Super Bowl finally dwindling down, sport aficionados can now directly shift their focus towards next weekend’s NBA All-Star game which features some of the greatest players of the year. While this season’s big game contains some familiar faces, new ones have certainly worked their way up to garner a coveted spot on the roster. Here’s the breakdown of the East and West teams, respectively.

2012 nba allstar jersey NBA All Star Weekend 2013: The Players

EASTERN CONFERENCE

NO. PLAYER (TEAM) POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE FROM
7 * Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) F 6-8 230 05/29/84 Syracuse/USA
6 * LeBron James (Heat) F 6-8 250 12/30/84 St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH)/USA
5 * Kevin Garnett (Celtics) C-F 6-11 253 05/19/76 Farragut Academy HS (IL)/USA
9 | Rajon Rondo (Celtics) G 6-1 186 02/22/86 Kentucky/USA
3 * Dwyane Wade (Heat) G 6-4 220 01/17/82 Marquette/USA
1 Chris Bosh (Heat) C-F 6-11 235 03/24/84 Georgia Tech/USA
6 # Tyson Chandler (Knicks) C 7-1 240 10/02/82 Dominguez HS (CA)/USA
9 Luol Deng (Bulls) F 6-9 220 04/16/85 Duke/Sudan
24 # Paul George (Pacers) G-F 6-8 221 05/02/90 Fresno State/USA
11 # Jrue Holiday (76ers) G 6-4 205 06/12/90 UCLA/USA
2 # Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) G 6-3 191 03/23/92 Duke/USA
11 # Brook Lopez (Nets) C 7-0 265 04/01/88 Stanford/USA
13 # Joakim Noah (Bulls) C 6-11 232 02/25/85 Florida/USA
Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra (Heat)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NO. PLAYER (TEAM) POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE FROM
35 * Kevin Durant (Thunder) F 6-9 235 09/29/88 Texas/USA
32 * Blake Griffin (Clippers) F 6-10 251 03/16/89 Oklahoma/USA
12 * Dwight Howard (Lakers) C 6-11 265 12/08/85 SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)/USA
24 * Kobe Bryant (Lakers) G 6-6 205 08/23/78 Lower Merion HS (PA)/USA
3 * Chris Paul (Clippers) G 6-0 175 05/06/85 Wake Forest/USA
12 LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers) F 6-11 240 07/19/85 Texas/USA
21 Tim Duncan (Spurs) F 6-11 255 04/25/76 Wake Forest/U.S. Virgin Islands
13 # James Harden (Rockets) G 6-5 220 08/26/89 Arizona State/USA
10 David Lee (Warriors) F-C 6-9 240 04/29/83 Florida/USA
9 Tony Parker (Spurs) G 6-2 185 05/17/82 Paris BR/France
50 Zach Randolph (Grizzlies) F 6-9 260 07/16/81 Michigan State/USA
0 Russell Westbrook (Thunder) G 6-3 187 11/12/88 UCLA/USA
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich (Spurs)

* starters      #first time selection     l means injury

With a beefed up lineup, the game is sure to be quite an interesting one. The 2013 NBA All-Star Game is this weekend, February 15th-17th. Bring on the suspense and drama, as always!

NFL Super Bowl XLVII – The Game, the Show & the Madness

One of the biggest sporting events of the year is right around the corner, and there’s nothing more to expect than the game to be played in such high dramatic fashion. Gather around now, team. Grab your beer, food, family and friends. Here’s the lowdown on what’s to come on the big day.

superbowl 2013 NFL Super Bowl XLVII   The Game, the Show & the Madness

The Game. Many critics believe the Ravens and Niners play using an old-school tactic, but in actuality, each team brings something quite similar to the field. Bleacher Report compiled a detailed breakdown of the game with a slideshow to support their thoughts. This the first time head coaches/brothers John Harbaugh (Ravens) and Jim Harbaugh (49ers) will be competing in a Super Bowl against each other, and maybe it’s no wonder their respective teams play in a similar style. While a majority media predict the 49ers as victors, it’s really fair game. Think about how the Patriots were the favorites to win in 2007 and 2011, and then the Giants pulled an upset for both Super Bowls…

The Show. The weekend boasts an all-star cast including artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce (& her band, Destiny’s Child), Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Matchbox Twenty, and more surprise guests are set to appear and share the stage for the weekend. Anything can happen, and be prepared for some inevitable controversy predicted to surface from the mix.

The Madness (& Everything in Between). It’s the big game; anything can happen. There’s the game, the attendees, the celebs, the performances, the commercials, etc all in one night. Expect a good Sunday night of TV, probably filled with more drama than your usual daily dose screenings of Revenge or American Horror Story.

beyonce super bowl 2013 NFL Super Bowl XLVII   The Game, the Show & the Madness

Wisconsin Nebraska Uniforms: Ugly game, ugly garb?

Despite the surge in distaste for the new Big 10 uniforms at the kick-off of conference play, we’re finding the Wisconsin Nebraska uniforms absolutely awesome.

 

ncf o wisc bl 400 Wisconsin Nebraska Uniforms: Ugly game, ugly garb?

While many of you have probably used the following adjectives to describe the uniform:

  • Weak
  • Lame
  • Amateur
  • Outdated/ Antiquated
  • Team “W”

…we’re digging the Addidas retro vibe and modern numerical blocking. None the less, it’s a trend. College football is not about the fancy-schmancy uniforms and million-dollar-salary (well, not yet, at least). It’s about the sport.

Team W versus Team N. All there is to it.

229225 10151086532599022 742542626 n Wisconsin Nebraska Uniforms: Ugly game, ugly garb?

 

Nike makes their presence felt in the NFL with their vibrant new duds

 Nike makes their presence felt in the NFL with their vibrant new duds

The Packers and Chargers displayed the new NFL Elite 51 to a national audience last night in their preseason matchup last night on ESPN.

Nike

NFL

Green Bay

San Diego

 


I apologize for the long pause in my blogging activities as I’ve been traveling but last night, as I turned to ESPN once I settled back at home, I watched the NFL Preseason opener between the Green Bay Packers and the San Diego Chargers. Now I know nobody puts much stock in preseason games (me included), and I could barely watch it for any football significance. The one thing however that actually left an impression was the display, for the first time in real game play, of the new Nike jerseys.

At first, and certainly back in the spring when they were released, I was significantly underwhelmed with the changes. Other than branding the pants, jerseys, and pretty much every other piece of equipment imaginable with the signature swoosh, there appeared to be no difference whatsoever between these jerseys and their old Reebok counterparts. As we all knew going into the season, only the Seattle Seahawks, perhaps more Pacific Northwest favoritism on Nike’s part (as we all know the Oregon connection…), saw any major changes – which I might add look absolutely awesome. See a full report on their new getups here:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1131033-seattle-seahawks-new-uniforms-2012-nike-duds-are-best-in-team-history

 Nike makes their presence felt in the NFL with their vibrant new duds

The Seahawks new duds are just unfair…

So going into the game I wasn’t geared for much excitement on the jersey front. Yet by the end of the first quarter (when I invariably tune out to all preseason games because somehow, watching Jarret Lee and Graham Harrell just doesn’t hold the same interest as watching Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers), something with the jerseys did seem different and I couldn’t put my finger on it until, when scouring the web for articles on the jerseys, I came across this article by Mike Batista of Bleacher Report: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1130747-nfl-nike-uniforms-2012-comparing-new-nike-jerseys-to-old-reebok-ones.

Batista, and I wholeheartedly agree with him, described the differences between the old and new jerseys of teams not named the Seahawks, as ones merely of hue and color, without changing color scheme or logo or anything else in a dramatic way. What resulted, and what I noticed as I turned off the TV last night, was that the players looked just a bit better. Brighter, sharper, crisper. It resulted in a more modern and sleeker looking game, like the difference, almost, between watching it in HD or not. The other important thing about the uniforms which Batista pointed out was that the alternate jerseys are for the most part undisclosed. So, while the basic Nike Elite 51 jerseys that have so far been released fail to stray from their Reebok predecessors in the design departement, the alternates may provide more widespread originality. However, even if they don’t, Nike has already managed to make the NFL look about 10 years ahead of any other sport if only because their new uniforms are more vibrant and richer than any everyday jersey we’ve seen in pro sports to date.

 Nike makes their presence felt in the NFL with their vibrant new duds

The whole Elite 51 collection in a release photo from April.

Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

 Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

Prince Fielder won the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby last night, launching a record-tying 12 bombs in his final round.


Nike

Baseball

2012 Home Run Derby

Prince Fielder

It was perhaps fitting that Prince Fielder won last night’s MLB Home Run Derby wearing the sparkling, new Nike “King of the Diamond” pack Air Max MVP Elite Nike cleats. Part of the King of the Diamond pack which also included a Lunar TR1 Trainer and special edition Home Run Derby batting gloves, the gold cleats symbolized the supremacy of eight of the games greatest and emerging hitters. While not everybody donned the gold cleats (see Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista), suffice it to say that Nike hit it out of the park with this new All Star Game pack. Nike followed up on their 2010 All Star Game Pack featuring an Orange Air Max Diamond Elite cleat (http://www.solecollector.com/niketraining/?p=1630) with the 2011 Home Run Derby edition Huarache 2KFresh cleats (http://www.solecollector.com/niketraining/?p=5087). This year marked the third year with a flashy cleat release for MLB All Stars.

Fielder, with 12 bombs in the final round (to best Bautista’s 7) finished last night with a total of 28 in the three rounds to become the second player in history to win multiple Derbies, one behind Ken Griffey Jr.’s three. Fielder tied a finals record with his 12 (a mark set last year by Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano) and became the only player to win a Derby while representing both leagues (the AL this year and the NL, as a Brewer, when he won in 2009).

 Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

Jose Bautista and his Reebok cleats. Courtesy whatproswear.com


Jose Bautista
Reebok

Mark TrumboAngels
Jose Bautista came out strong in the first round, leading the pack with 11 but faltered in the second, advancing to the finals only after a “swing-off” with the Angels’ young slugger Mark Trumbo. Bautista looked good in the swing-off needing only his first two swings to advance as he sent rockets out into the left field seats but he looked sluggish (no pun intended) in the finals, failing to match the intensity of Fielder, who routinely put balls onto the fountains, drilling shots over 450 feet. One of the most exciting outcomes of last night’s Derby however, did not even come in the finals. Mark Trumbo arrived on the scene hitting absolute bombs and his performance demonstrated the impact of his presence in the game. This was especially nice to see in the face of the incredibly rude Kansas City fans who booed him (along with AL Captain Cano, who had a whopping total of 0 homeruns in his first and only round), because Trumbo was taken by Cano instead of hometown hero Billy Butler. I for one, was extremely glad to see Trumbo there asserting himself as the All Star he was chosen to be.

 Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

Mark Trumbo impressed with 14 homers over 2+ rounds

Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

US Sprinters Justin Gatlin and Allyson Felix demo the new track unis (photo from Nike)


London

Nike

2012 Summer Olympics

Track and Field

With the 2012 London Olympics rapidly approaching, the world’s most successful sportswear company is at it again. Nike unveiled their official uniforms for American athletes of various disciplines last month and I for one am a huge fan. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/london-2012-olympics-uniforms-nike-track-field-speed_n_1600677.html#s=1104251) With these sleek get-ups, Nike has combined the perfect amount of minimalist athletic design with an appealing infusion of their regular flashy materials and patterns. If points were given for appearance in the Olympics, the Americans would score solid 10.0’s all the way. Not only are these new track uniforms (officially called the Pro TurboSpeed suit) incredibly flashy but they will reportedly cut milliseconds (which can be the difference between medalling or not medalling) off US times. With the release of the official 2012 US uniforms, its time to countdown the best US olympics style moments in history…

#5 Shaun White, 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver

 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

White celebrating on the podium

In a revolutionary collaboration with the skate company Burton,    White and his fellow US snowboarders came out with the perfect look, one that combined the necessary elements of patriotic representation of our nation’s flag and the style of clothing native to snowboarders. It helped that White absolutely obliterated the competition as well.

 

 

See White’s championship run amongst the entire competition (which featured impressive get-ups from practically every nation participating) here…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGzqxNkt3q0&feature=related…Skip to 58:30 minutes for White’s final run and the ensuing trophy presentation.

 

#4 Jackie Joyner-Kersee / Florence Griffth-Joyner 1988 Summer Olympics, Seoul

joyner1 150x150 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

Florence Griffth-Joyner

kerseee 41 150x150 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Two of the greatest American female track  and field stars, the many-time gold medalists looked dashing as they raced their ways to medals in the heptathlon (Kersee) and set records in the 100m (Joyner). The uniforms looked bold and stylish, with the red base accented nicely by the white border and stars down the sides. Kersee was on-hand for the 2012 unveilings as well.

See them in action here:

Kersee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z-QfDiV2XA

Joyner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWzAaydIJcA&feature=related

#3 Lindsey Vonn, 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver

 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

Vonn mid-race

Vonn thankfully lived up to much of the hype surrounding her 2010 Olympics performance, taking home a gold and bronze and continuing her dominance in ski world championships. She also made a huge splash in the February 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition and also she wasn’t in a bikini for the ski race, she still managed to crush it with this sleek getup from winter gear company Spyder.

 

#2 The “Dream Team” US Men’s Basketball, 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona

1992 dream team 2 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

The '92 Squad in their home white jerseys

Although Nike unveiled new basketball uniforms for the 2012 team, a proclaimed dream team in their own right, the original team takes the cake, with Champion uniforms that epitomized the street styles of athletic world of the early 1990s. It helped that they happened to win gold.

#1 Jesse Owens, 1936 Summer Olympics, Berlin

jesse owens 3 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

 

 

Practically anything that Jesse Owens had worn would have made #1 on this list because of the significance of his competing and his victories. In front of Hitler and all that the Nazis stood for, Owens won four gold medals and cemented his place as an immortal US athlete and one of the greatest runners in history. His uniform did him justice, with its USA logo placed directly above his heart.

NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

Maybe it’s the tedious, commercial-ridden NBA Draft 2012 program or the prolonged decision period between each pick and round, but the boys this year certainly livened something up. And we’re not talking about the Million Dollar Smile.

Boys become men, and college athletes become professional players. And so it goes: black suits and white, wrinkled button-downs become sleek sport coats and crispy, checkered tops. A swift congrats is in order for these draftees, who chose to forgo the age-old (classic) backpack-and-slacks and instead, adorn their flat-rimmed team hats with Stern and swag.

And now, for our version of the NBA draft 2012 in Dapper

#1 Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors

If the Geek-Chic Squad (Lebron, KD, Westbrook, that’s you) is leading the way in NBA swag, then Mr. Terrence Ross has it down to a tee. The bow-tie has never looked so cool.

David+Stern+Terrence+Ross+2012+NBA+Draft+Ki21JZlad23l NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#2 Dion Waiters, Washington Wizards

You know Dion’s mother chose this tie, and we love her for it. An homage to Syracuse, and the shirt-and-tie combo conveniently coordinates with the Cavs logo. Adorable!

Dion Waiters 1024x576 NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#3 Jeremy Lamb, Houston Rockets

If you ignore your instinct to tuck that pocket-square back where it belongs (the pocket), then you can eye those sharp black buttons on Lamb’s collar tips.

David+Stern+Jeremy+Lamb+2012+NBA+Draft+ofYBH4rD1wBl NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#4 Damian Lillard, Portland Blazers

Broadway meets B-ball, but we’ll take it.

crop NBA Draft Basketball t640 damian lillard NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#5 Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets

Maybe its the eyebrow, maybe its the height, but this man shouldn’t ever wear anything that is prompted with: “Can I pull this off?” This finely tailored look suits first-drafted Davis.

void0 NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

And for the anti-draft. Well there’s just one. We’re sorry Austin Rivers, but even the actual McDonald’s staff got a new uniform this month.
nba g rivers15 400 NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

Experiencing R.A. Dickey and his Magical Knuckleball

Baseball

New York

R.A. Dickey

New York Mets

 

dickey mound Experiencing R.A. Dickey and his Magical Knuckleball

R.A. Dickey during last nights' game at Citi Field. From Barton Silverman of the New York Times

Last night, as I sauntered out to the Field Level seats along the left field line in the middle of the sixth inning, I, along with the 29,014 others at Citi Field, realized that something special was once again taking place. R.A. Dickey was through six commanding innings and had surrendered only one hit, a line drive single to Orioles’ third baseman Wilson Betemit in the fifth, and one walk to Orioles’ pitcher Jake Arrieta in the third. He would go on to strikeout a career-high 13 batters on the way to his second straight one-hitter, becoming only the 11th pitcher in history to throw back-to-back one-hitters and the first since the Orioles’ Dave Stieb did in 1988. The first one-hitter came last Wednesday against the Rays and was largely overshadowed by Matt Cain’s incredible perfect game in which he matched a perfect game record by striking out 14 Astros. This time, Dickey’s feat stood alone and was truly an achievement to behold. Perhaps part of the night was aided by the fact that my buddies and I paid only $6 for upper deck seats and managed to sneak down to premium level sections, but the achievement of Dickey would have made this game worth ten times as much.

A big part of what makes Dickey so special, in my and many others’ opinions, is the remarkable adversity he has overcome, not only in terms of finding success in the big leagues, but overcoming serious obstacles in his childhood. A now well-publicized victim of repeated sexual abuse as a child, Dickey suffered for years from a variety of anxieties and distresses caused by the childhood trauma. Here is a link to the E:60 report on Dickey’s story from this past May: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7879339. A big step, indeed one that is exemplary of his progression, was the publishing of his memoir earlier this year, titled Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball (http://www.amazon.com/Wherever-Wind-Up-Authenticity-Knuckleball/dp/0399158154). The title brings up the knuckleball, which is the other most intriguing part about this story.

Currently the only pitcher in baseball to use the knuckleball as his primary pitch, Dickey has remade himself and found success at an older age by establishing himself around this pitch. Tim Wakefield, Phil Niekro, Hoyt Wilhelm are a few of the other most famous knuckleballers and Dickey seems to quickly be joining their ranks. The likely starting pitcher for the NL in the approaching 2012 MLB All Star Game, Dickey is now 11-1 with a flat 2.00 ERA and an insane 103 strikeouts. A great story, Dickey is an inspiring story whom everyone can root for. Seeing him at his best was a special experience, whether it cost $6 or $600 to be there.

mets game 1024x764 Experiencing R.A. Dickey and his Magical Knuckleball

The view from our "$6" seats was just too good not to snap a picture of...

Lil’ Wayne Gets Into Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Swag Outfit Ensues

Lil’ Wayne

2012 NBA Finals

Miami

Thunder

Nike
Dr. Dre

 


Following the recent controversy over rapper Lil Wayne’s denied entry to Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the OKC Thunder and San Antonio Spurs in Oklahoma City (http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/19220331/lil-wayne-denied-by-the-thunder-for-game-3.), Weezy was spotted at Game 1 of the Finals, undoubtedly supporting the Miami Heat.

lil wayne game 1 finals 199x300 Lil Wayne Gets Into Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Swag Outfit Ensues

Lil' Wayne at Game 1 of the Finals

Lil’ Wayne rocked a clean pair of orange and black Nike Dunk High’s and his usual assortment of jewelry. Note as well what appear to be his obligatory pair of Beats by Dr. Dre, again pointlessly wearing headphones while sitting courtside at the most important basketball game yet this year. Although these ‘phones weren’t diamond studded, (http://gizmodo.com/5888593/lil-wayne-wearing-diamond-studded-beats-by-dre-headphones-is-everything-wrong-with-rapper-headphones), Weezy managed to make his courtside return in style (left).

Because he got a ticket beforehand this time, Wayne was not prompted to publish another tweet like this…

wayne tweet 300x113 Lil Wayne Gets Into Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Swag Outfit Ensues

Lil' Wayne's tweet after his denied entry to the Thunder Conference Finals

Lil’ Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., is no stranger to controversy. Wayne has been arrested three times for various charges most of which have involved some kind of drug charge. A noted user of marijuana, Lil’ Wayne served eight months of a year-long sentence in 2010 following his 2007 arrest in New York. Police stopped him on July 22nd, 2007 when, after a concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre, they found him smoking pot outside the his tour bus, which they then searched, uncovering a handgun which landed Lil’ Wayne with an illegal possession charge and a year of jail time. The highly publicized sentence, which he served at Riker’s Island, prompted the famous “Free Weezy” mantra as he became a bit of a cult hero in prison, despite his incontrovertible conviction.

Lil’ Wayne has also constantly made headlines for his extravagant fashion statements. Often mixing skate culture brands like Spitfire or Vans with high-end fashion lines like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, Weezy’s outfits are as ridiculous as they are entertaining. For example, here’s a picture from earlier this year in which he wore snowboard boots to a Lakers game (from LilWayneStyle.com)…

wayne snowboard boots 248x300 Lil Wayne Gets Into Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Swag Outfit Ensues

Lil' Wayne and his Vans snowboard boots at a Lakers game earlier this year

…and one from a concert in New York City where he combined the Air Jordan “Son of Mars” shoes with a leopard-print pajama/tracksuit (from SoleCollector.com).

wayne tracksuit Lil Wayne Gets Into Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Swag Outfit Ensues

Lil' Wayne and the Jordan "Son of Mars" at a concert in New York

It’s also noteworthy how many of his fashion moments come at basketball games. Here’s one from Game 4 of this year’s Eastern Conference Finals (from FreshnessMag.com) where Wayne paired the Nike SB Mid “Mama Bears” with shorts and T-shirt from Billionaire Boys Club and checkerboard socks, with a Lakers hat to top it all off. Compared to some of his other outfits, this one, amazingly, seems quite normal.

lil wayne mama bears Lil Wayne Gets Into Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Swag Outfit Ensues

Lil' Wayne and the Nike SB "Mama Bears" at Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals

 

Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2′s and New York’s Puerto Rican Day parade

New York

Cruz

Nike

Jordan

Puerto Rico
cruz at the parade Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Victor Cruz at the Puerto Rican Day Parade with Yeezy 2's

New York Giants star wide receiver Victor Cruz continued establishing himself as a premier New York sports celebrity this past weekend as he appeared in Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, marching down Fifth Avenue in New York. ( http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/giants-super-bowl-star-victor-cruz-heats-puerto-rican-day-parade-article-1.1093185) Of Puerto Rican heritage himself, Cruz joyously showed off his famous salsa moves throughout the afternoon, all while rocking perhaps the year’s most anticipated shoes, the Nike Air Yeezy 2’s. Extremely limited in quantity (only about 4,000 pairs have been released), the Yeezys have long been making headlines, most recently for the ludicrous ebay deal they sparked in which someone reportedly paid over $90,000 for a pair (article below) http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-07/nike-air-yeezy-2-auction-on-ebay-closes-for-90-300

yeezy 2 pink black 300x235 Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Air Yeezy 2's

Cruz first grabbed headlines last fall when he broke onto the scene as the bright spot on a New York Giants’ team riddled with early season woes. Teaming up alongside such established talents as receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, Cruz emerged as Eli Manning’s favorite and most productive target in a season that culminated in the Giants’ second Super Bowl victory in five years.

As a rookie, Cruz set the Giants’ single season record for receiving yards (with 1,536 on 82 receptions) to go along with 9 touchdowns. One of those nine was an NFL-record-tying, 99-yard, touchdown reception against the Jets in Week 16. Cruz’s breakout game came against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he had 3 receptions for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was also during this game in which he unveiled his trademark salsa dance touchdown celebration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j1jkYAmIs4) that, along with his consistently impressive production, made him an instant sensation across the league.

The Nike Air Yeezys first made headlines in 2009 with the release of the original Air Yeezy. A collaboration between Nike and rapper Kanye West, the much-hyped shoe retailed for $215 but pairs now rarely go for less than $1000 because of their exclusivity. The Air Yeezy 2’s, which dropped back on June 9th came as the latest release in a year already full of chaotic Nike releases.

concord 115 300x214 Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Air Jordan 11 "Concord" Retro

Around Christmas time, the release of the Air Jordan Concord 11 Retro’s sparked widespread pandemonium, including violent riots at malls across the country as shoppers clamored for the latest re-release of the iconic basketball shoe (http://hypebeast.com/2011/12/air-jordan-11-concord-release-causes-riots-nationwide/). The Concord Retros now go for around $500. Later, in May, the Nike Air Foamposite One “Galaxy” editions sparked similar riots when they came out and the highly exclusive shoes today sell for over $1500. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/nike-foamposite-galaxy-shoes-riot-ebay-bidding-war/story?id=15784216#.T9jVaStYuFc).

foams1 300x214 Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Air Foamposite One "Galaxy"