Cut, Jump, and Run. The Nike Greater Than Series Has Arrived

Cut, Jump, and Run. The Nike Greater Than Series Has Arrived

Dropping May 25, 2021

 

Creating space is the ultimate goal in basketball. It could be space to get your shot off, space to make a better pass to a teammate, or space to grab an offensive rebound. There are plenty of different ways to create space on the court, whether it’s outrunning a defender, perfectly timing a cut, or simply jumping over them. To help you create space more easily, Nike is launching the Zoom Air Greater Than series. This collection has three silhouettes that are specifically designed to help you get the most out of your cuts, speed, or hops.

The Nike Air Zoom GT Cut is built for players who thrive off perfectly timed cuts. Whether it’s a backdoor cut for an easy layup or you’re slicing inside to open up room for a teammate, the geometry of the GT Cut caters to a low-to-the-ground sensation. There is a parabolic Zoom Air Strobel and heel Air Zoom Unit that help you go from standing still to exploding to the basket in a split second. It also provides the comfort and responsiveness that every player loves.

Along the front side of the shoe, just above the outsole, is a stabilizing rail guard that gives your foot more support, so you’re not getting tripped up as you explode off either foot. Nike designers also incorporated a molded tongue to improve the fit and comfort of the shoe.

The Nike Air Zoom GT Cut hits eastbay.com on May 25. Stay tuned throughout the year for the launch of the GT Run and GT Jump silhouettes. We will be updating this piece as more information comes in.

A Look Back: The Air Jordan XI Low

A Look Back: The Air Jordan XI Low

Few can deny the impact the Air Jordan XI has had on the sneaker community over the past 25 years. From the very first moments we saw Michael Jordan rocking the XI’s, we were mesmerized by them. Tinker Hatfield’s genius design made them look super-sharp on and off the court. The Air Jordan XI was one of the most popular sneakers MJ ever wore, to the point that Jordan Brand started retro’ing them just five years later beginning in the late fall of 2000. We just couldn’t get enough of that patent leather goodness. 

Although Jordan Brand did release a low-cut version of the XI back in ‘96 in both a white and black colorway, these silhouettes had a different design compared to the mid-cuts. The OG lows were meant more for off-court styling, with breathable mesh weaved into the upper. It almost seemed strange at the time that Jordan Brand and Nike didn’t drop a low-cut version with the patent leather mud guard. That all changed in the Spring of 2001.

 

Drew Hammell Look Back Jordan Retro XI Low

In April and May of 2001, Jordan Brand released low-cut patent leather and super-stylish snakeskin versions of the Air Jordan XI. These shoes were meant to be rocked right away for the warm summer months. They were flashy and looked great with shorts. This low-cut version featured the same full-length encapsulated Air-Sole unit and composite shank-plate, just like the mids. There were also matching Jordan Brand shorts, caps, tees, and beanies – because back in the early ‘00s, your whole fit had to be color-coordinated from head to toe. 

In April 2001, the white/silver colorway dropped for ladies, the white/columbia and white/red dropped for men, and the white/pink dropped for girls. Then in May ‘01, the white/pink snakeskin dropped for women, and the white/navy snakeskin dropped for men. There was also a white/citrus and white/zen grey version.  

Though Michael Jordan was famous for rocking the AJ XI mids, he also wore the lows with patent leather as well. During the NBA Finals versus the Sonics in ‘96, he briefly wore the low-cut “Bred” colorway. He also rocked a low-cut patent leather “Concord” colorway during the trophy ceremony after the Bulls defeated the Sonics that year. It would have made sense for Jordan Brand to bring these classic colorways back in low-cut versions right off the bat, but we had to wait years for them to finally release to the public. 

While the holidays have always been about the AJ XI mid releases each year, the summer belongs to the lows. This spring, Jordan Brand is bringing back the white/citrus colorway, along with a low-cut version of the classic “Legend Blue”. The love for the XI’s is not going away anytime soon, so once again these models will be instant sell outs.

The Jordan Retro XI Low drops 5/7 on eastbay.com

Drew Hammell A Look Back

Drew is the creator of @nikestories on Instagram. Growing up in the ’90s, Drew loved playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and even dabbled in cross country running. He ended up focusing on tennis in high school and helped lead his team to multiple state titles. His favorite athletes growing up include Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Andre Agassi, and Ken Griffey, Jr. He was smart enough to save all his old Eastbay catalogs from the ’90s and loves sharing them with the sneaker community. Follow him at @nikestories

Improve Your Handle with Drills from Adrianna Hahn

Improve Your Handle with Drills from Adrianna Hahn

Adrianna Hahn is a former college basketball star who played at Villanova for four seasons. Following her graduation, she has become an advocate for women’s basketball as well as a trainer for young boys and girls. Adrianna shared several great workouts that you can do at home this summer to really develop your handle. Check it out below.

Drill #1 

What You Need: Two Basketballs

Start by doing two pound dribbles with a ball for each hand then perform a crossover.

Switch to one pound dribble and then hit the crossover.

Finish with continuous crossovers.

Change to two pound dribbles with a ball for each hand and then go behind your back.

Switch to one pound dribble and then go behind your back.

End with continuous behind-the-back dribbles.

*Video includes other variations for this drill*

Drill #2

What You Need: A Basketball and a Tennis Ball

Start by dribbling the basketball with one hand while tossing the tennis ball up and catching it with the

other hand.

Switch to two pound dribbles and then perform a crossover all while continually tossing and catching the tennis ball.

Change to one pound dribble then hitting a crossover while tossing and catching the tennis ball.

Finish with continuous crossovers while tossing the tennis ball back and forth between your hands.

Switch to two pound dribbles and then go between your legs. You should still be tossing the tennis ball up.

Shift to one pound dribble and then go between your legs.

End with continuous between-the-legs dribbles.

*Video includes other variations for this drill*

What You Need: A Basketball and a Cone

Place the cone a couple feet in front of you.

Start with the ball in your left hand. Perform a crossover then step forward with your left foot and go between your legs with the ball.

Switch to starting with the ball in your right hand and perform the same sequence.

The next round requires you to bend your legs and stay low. Perform two pound dribbles and then a crossover. As soon as you perform the crossover, touch the cone with the hand that was just dribbling.

Finish your workout with some core exercises.

Get in pushup position and begin dribbling the ball with one hand while maintaining position.

Change to practicing two pound dribbles before crossing the ball over to your other hand while staying in pushup position.

The last exercise is a version of Russian twists. Sit on the ground and lean back a bit while lifting your legs up a little. You’re going to pass the ball between your legs while focusing on keeping your core tight.

If you want to cop the gear Adrianna is wearing in these videos head to eastbay.com right now for the best deal on it. Make sure to follow her on Instagram as well @adriannahahn

The Jordan Zion 1 Has Arrived

The Jordan Zion 1 Has Arrived

Zion Williamson has been a presence in basketball fans’ lives since his high school highlights were being reposted and shared by ESPN, Overtime, and Bleacher Report, among others. The jaw-dropping dunks and sheer athleticism on display were unlike anything anyone had seen since LeBron.

Zion would go on to spend one year at Duke, where he exceeded expectations. The most memorable moment of his college career might have been when, in a game against UNC, his shoe exploded after he tried to plant and cut. That high-profile incident, plus his status as the most hyped prospect in a decade, made his decision about what sneaker company he would sign with one of the most highly anticipated choices in a decade. 

While every major brand made a huge push to land Zion’s signature, he eventually committed to Jordan. Now, in his second season with New Orleans, Zion has the team challenging for a playoff spot. Meanwhile, Jordan announced the launch of his first signature shoe, the Jordan Zion 1.

Zion is built like almost no other player in the league. The brute strength and raw power he plays with make him nearly unguardable in one-on-one situations. Designing a shoe that will hold up to and accentuate his style of play was going to be a challenge, but the team at Jordan seems to have risen to it.

Cushioning and support were always going to be the two most important aspects of the shoe. Zion is a big man, and he needs a shoe that will prevent as much wear and tear on his knees and feet as possible. A full-length Air Strobel unit stitched directly into the upper helps give the impression that of walking on a cloud. Pair that with a Zoom Air unit sitting under the forefoot, and that’s how the design team came up with the perfect amount of cushioning for any player no matter how big or small.

The support in the shoe is also broken down into two components. The first is the higher sidewalls to protect players moving side to side. The shoe is a 5/8 cut, splitting the difference between low and high. The other component is a two-loop band that locks players in every time they lace up.

Other key components of the shoe include a multidirectional traction pattern to provide elite grip for all the planting and cutting players do throughout the game. There is also a padded tongue to relieve some of the pressure the laces put on the top of your foot.

The Jordan Zion 1 will be available starting 4/23. Make sure to head to Eastbay to snag a pair as well as all other Zion apparel from Jordan.

Game Recognize Game: Antelope High School’s Jzaniya Harriel is our March Winner

Game Recognize Game: Antelope High School’s Jzaniya Harriel is our March Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is basketball standout Jzaniya Harriel from Antelope High School in California.

Ranked 14th overall at her position, Jzaniya is a talented point guard with big goals for her future and the work ethic to achieve them. The Stanford commit has a list of accolades that prove just how much hard work can pay off: Sacramento Area (Sac Bee Newspaper) Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019, three-year varsity starter, League MVP in 2018, 2019, and 2020, over 2,000 career points as a junior, and a full-ride scholarship to the college of her dreams – just to name a few.

“It’s very clear that Jzaniya is someone that is passionate about the sport of basketball. Every time I call her, she’s in the gym. We love her speed and athletic scoring ability and also believe she has what it takes to be a top defender.” – Tara VanDerveer, The Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Stanford University (source: Stanford Athletics)

Jzaniya doesn’t just push herself on the court. In the classroom she’s earned a 4.4 GPA while balancing 11 Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She’s set to graduate 9th in her class and has dreams of one day attending law school and becoming a judge.

“Jzaniya is constantly under extreme pressure and she always presents herself with calm and puts her team first. She only knows competition and hard work, growing up with seven competitive siblings, and this has been the foundation to her 4.4 gpa and numerous basketball accolades.” – Sean Chambers, Antelope High School girls’ varsity basketball coach

Jzaniya was nominated by her former principal and current Executive Director of Student Engagement John Becker. He’s seen Jzaniya’s competitiveness and dedication first hand, including her commitment to her teammates and the younger student-athletes around her.

Here’s what Jzaniya had to say about being a student-athlete, her role models and support system, and her future goals:

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

My definition of a successful student athlete is someone who takes their studies just as serious as the sport they play. Someone who wants to excel in the classroom just as much as they want to on the court or field.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

There are many memorable moments from my athletic career, but the highlight of my athletic career so far has to definitely be signing my NLI to attend my dream school, Stanford University. It felt good to turn my dreams into a reality and it showed me that hard work does pay off.

Who is your role model in athletics?

My role model in athletics is my father. He used to play and is the reason why I got into basketball. As he taught me everything he knew, we bonded and that made me love the game even more. Many people ask me who I model my game after and the answer to that is my dad. I play just like him.

What do you love most about competing?

What I enjoy most about competing is winning. I love to win, but I hate losing more and that fuels my competitive nature. I will do whatever my team needs me to do in order to win and that allows me to perform at my absolute highest level.

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

After high school I hope to win multiple championships with my teammates at Stanford and hopefully play professionally. I also plan on going to law school in hopes of eventually becoming a judge.

 

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Best Basketball Shoes

Best Basketball Shoes

Each year dozens of basketball shoes are released offering improved tech elements with new and impressive colorways. While it’s great to have options, sometimes it’s overwhelming when looking for the best ones to play in. To help guide you on your search we created a list of the top basketball shoes.

Nike LeBron 18

18 silhouettes later and the LeBron signature shoe series continues its run of excellence with the LeBron 18. LeBron is making a strong push for his next MVP and fifth title this season, and the 18 is pushing to stake a claim as the best basketball shoe available. The 18 features a full-length Zoom Air unit running from the heel to the forefoot. This cushioning system is tuned for speed so you can get up and down the court all game as quickly as possible. The shoe also features KnitPosite 2.0, offering you a lightweight, breathable feeling with some stretch, so you’re comfortable. There are other nice touches on the shoe, including several Air units in the tongue for 360-degree comfort of your foot. There is also molded TPU heel counter that stabilizes your foot when you’re generating force.

Under Armour Curry 8

After a lost 2020 season (and a lost year for humanity), Steph Curry is back, fully healthy, and looking to carry Golden State back to the playoffs. If he’s going to do that, he’ll need help from the Under Armour Curry 8, the latest silhouette in his signature shoe series. With a sleek new design that features bootie construction, the shoe is easy to get in and out of and gives you a sock-like fit. The shoe features new UA cushioning that is lighter and bouncier than previous iterations to keep you in the flow of the game. The UA Flow outsole provides the finishing touch by offering superior grip so that you can cut off-ball with confidence and more easily relocate for threes and jump shots.

adidas Harden 5 

As James Harden settles into life in Brooklyn with two other superstars, he’s doing so in the adidas Harden 5. The shoe has many of the features you’ve come to expect from adidas basketball shoes. There is Boost cushioning, created by fusing energy capsules together, giving you the dynamic power you need to get to the rim. There is a Lightstrike midsole that’s light and comfortable, so you can move around the court with ease. To finish it off, the midsole and upper are merged seamlessly together by adidas Futurenatural, enabling you to freely move in every direction.

Harden 5 Shoe

Nike PG 5

Paul George is off to a fantastic start this year after last season’s playoff disappointment, and he’s balling out in the all-new PG 5. George has always had a smooth, buttery game that takes advantage of his slippery athleticism rather than brute force and power. Designers at Nike have done an excellent job building a shoe that complements George’s game. It features a lightweight, full-length Air Dot Weld Strobel to provide all-world cushioning and support. It was designed to be as flexible as possible to make transitioning from offense to defense more seamless. The lacing system has been reworked so that the laces themselves do a better job holding your foot in place over the footbed. Throw in a multi-directional traction pattern, and the PG 5 shows why it’s one of Nike’s most popular signature shoes.

PG 5 Shoe

Jordan Why Not Zer0.4

Russell Westbrook has teamed up with another superstar shooting guard in hopes of making a push to the Finals. In his first year at Washington, Westbrook is rocking the Why Not Zer0.4, the latest silhouette in his signature line. These shoes feature double-stacked Air Zoom units in the forefoot of the shoe to optimize the energy return Westbrook gets as he explodes to the basket over and over again. They also provide the elite responsiveness and cushioning that he craves. The rubber outsole utilizes a data-informed tread pattern that keeps you lower to the ground and ready to change direction at a moment’s notice.

Jordan Why Not Zer0.4 Shoe