With the release of Apex Legends there is now a new contender in the battle royale market to clash with PUBG and Fortnite. While the concept is obviously similar to other battle royale games, the big difference is players get to select one of eight characters to use. Each character is unique in the way they look and the powers they have.
Since I think about everything in terms of basketball and shoes, I took an in-depth look at each character, and using a top-secret scientific method determined which shoe each character would wear during a pickup game.
Once Zion Williamson enters the league and gets his own signature shoe Gibraltar will definitely be switching over, but for now he needs a shoe that can handle his build and power. He’s the type of pickup player who isn’t necessarily better than you at basketball, but he’s so big and strong that it’s pretty impossible to stop him. That’s why he’s definitely rocking the Lebron 16’s in a game. It’s important he has an excellent cushioning system to absorb all his weight when he lands after posterizing your shooting guard on an alley-oop. With combined Max and Zoom Air cushioning, the 16’s will make sure to take the strain off Gibraltar’s feet and legs. He’s also going to need an excellent support system, because if his ankle leans any type of way, that could easily lead to a sprain. With BattleKnit 2.0 and an external heel counter, the 16 is going to give the big fella all the support and stability he needs.
Bangalore has one job: shoot. And let me tell you, shooters gonna shoot. She is the focal point when you lead an offensive attack, and no matter how fast she may be going she is always under control. No doubt she is lacing up the Harden 3’s. Everyone on Bangalore’s team understands that their job is to stand behind the arc and let her go to work. She may kick the ball out to an open shooter, but no defender is really expecting a pass. Thanks to the Harden’s leather upper Bangalore’s able to change directions in the blink of eye while still feeling locked in, and the herringbone outsole ensures no slip-ups as she stops and starts on a dime. You may love playing with her, you may not, but there is no denying her greatness or her impact on the game.
Mirage is all about confusion. The team of decoys he can deploy as his ultimate or the holographic decoy as his tactical are all designed to make you look like a fool as you light up the wrong person. Mirage is the ultimate trickster. When you’re matching up on defense before the game, he’s the one you are desperately trying to avoid guarding. Then, however, your teammates look at you and say, “You should probably take him,” and you mutter some choice words under your breath. You know he is going to embarrass you at some point with his handles, either by crossing you for easy baskets or sitting you down on a step-back. That’s why Mirage was made to wear the Kyrie 5’s. The curved outsole aligning with the new Air Zoom Turbo keeps him upright and cushioned as he attacks from every angle, and the mesh upper keeps the shoe flexible and supportive so no matter where Mirage is on the floor, he is comfortable.
Everyone loves playing with a character like Lifeline. She’s the ultimate teammate. She makes the right pass almost every time, and the way she moves without the ball opens up scoring opportunities for other players. Lifeline may take the occasional heat check shot, but you allow it because she always taps her chest and says, “My bad.” She will follow up every bad shot by competing harder on defense, which you appreciate. Lifeline also definitely plays exclusively in long sleeves, and is for sure running in some Curry 6’s. The full knit upper keeps the shoe breathable while also providing a compression feel so that Lifeline can ball in comfort and stay focused on making the right play every time. The HOVR cushioning system gives that zero-gravity sensation so that it really feels like Lifeline is gliding through the defense and around screens.
If Bloodhound is on your team then you are feeling good. If he’s on the other team, and he’s picked you up on defense then you are definitely annoyed. He is going to ask about, and then be confused by the score every five minutes. He’s going to face guard you all game even though you aren’t good enough to earn that treatment. It’s also pointless to even try and take Bloodhound off the dribble because he’s going to be in your airspace step for step. By that point, you’re working so hard on offense that your defense slips, and he’s going to start stroking threes from deep in a nice pair of PG 3’s. The shoe’s outsole pattern was inspired by moon craters and keeps incredible traction in all directions. The padded collar keeps Bloodhound comfortable without sacrificing agility, so he can grind all game long, and slither his way through thickets of screens into an open three.
Sometimes you have to ask Wraith whether she understands that this is a pick-up game and not Game 7 of the Finals. She is full-throttle all the time, moving like a lightening bolt around the court so you think she is in one place one moment, but then you turn and realize she’s on the other end of the court. Wraith is definitely a gunner on offense, but you respect it because she’s playing so hard and can make some incredible passes to set you up for easy buckets. She is most definitely a talker on defense and has the most coordinated outfit in the gym all the way down to her WHY NOT 0.2’s. Zoom Air cushioning gives the responsiveness that allows her to explode off of every step while staying lightweight. The only reason Wraith doesn’t run out of her shoes is the midfoot saddle that helps keep her locked in, ready to move in an instant.
You know who is just happy to be out on the court balling with his friends? Pathfinder. Sure, he wants to win, but he also recognizes that there are more important things in life than basketball. So, he is going to pull from deep, throw some fancy passes, and apologize to the other team when he fouls someone. He’s also going to make you laugh unintentionally with some self-deprecating humor. He loves the Dame 5’s because they are one of the few low-tops available. Plus, Bounce cushioning helps keep Pathfinder comfortable and light on his feet, and the herringbone pattern on the outsole ensures excellent traction.
Caustic is the 50-year-old man at the gym running 5s with a bunch of 20 somethings. He’s constantly complaining that no one is trying hard enough on defense and is wondering why on Earth everyone is taking so many gosh darn threes. He is a constant talker, calling out screens, switches, and on offense he yells for you to swing the ball a half second after you get it. However, he will pull out some nifty moves leveraging his patience and pump fake to get you off balance so he can get a clean look at the basket. He is also 5000% wearing the newest Kobe’s. The Zoom Air heel unit provides responsive cushioning, allowing him to try and keep pace with the young guns. The cord lacing system and synthetic bootie keep his feet secure, lowering the chance of him turning an ankle.
Chances are you’ve encountered these types of people both on and off the court, and you probably even have some of these tendencies (I, for one, am a Pathfinder). Let us know which one of these types of players you think you are, and any of your other thoughts on the list.
While many people were busy doing Black Friday shopping over Thanksgiving weekend Eastbay x Adidas helped put on the Holiday Hoopsgiving Game down in Atlanta where some of the top high school ballers competed.
In front of packed gyms and some of the premier media outlets 30 of the top ranked high school teams put on a show for the more than 2,500 people in attendance. Jesse James (@filayyyy) and Devin Williams (@DevInTheLab) also dropped by to check out the action as well as some of the latest kicks. Check out the highlights from the action packed weekend below:
Donovan Mitchell doesn’t mind being the underdog. And he isn’t interested in joining a super team. He’s focused on forging his own path. It’s that mindset that made him one of the most electrifying rookies in the league last season. He’s an elite talent that’s been overlooked his whole life. But not anymore. Mitchell put the whole league on notice last season, and now that he’s gotten everybody’s attention, he’s ready to take things to the next level in his second season. Donovan Mitchell is just getting started, so get to know the man who is about to take the basketball world by storm.
We sat down with him to discuss his journey and the road ahead.
What’s the coolest thing you got to do in year one in the NBA?
Mitchell: “The coolest thing that I did this year was probably Game 6 of the playoffs. Just going against a guy that I looked up to a lot of my life, Russell Westbrook, and being able to win that series with a team effort that we kind of lacked in game 5, to coming back in Game 6 was pretty special.”
What’s the best thing about being an NBA player that you didn’t know came with being an NBA player?
Mitchell: “The best thing about being an NBA player that I didn’t realize is the amount of connections you make with people off the court whether it’s music, business, video games, other sports. That’s pretty cool.”
Let’s flash back to last season – you came in as a rookie and had such a great first season with Utah. Most of the season you looked like a veteran out there. Was there anything in particular that surprised or challenged you during your rookie season? If so, what was it and how are you working this off-season to make sure you’re more prepared for that this year?
Mitchell: “A lot of this kind of took me by surprise. I was doing well, but I was wondering when the opponents would make adjustments – I didn’t take into account the adjustments I was making with my coaches and teammates to make me better.”
Despite the great start to your career, you recently said you’re looking to take your game to a whole new level in year two. What types of goals are you setting for your sophomore season?
Mitchell: “Going into year two, there’s a lot more attention to detail with the little things. Forgetting what happened last year because it won’t be relevant to the rest of my career. I think I’m coming into this year with the same mindset, but different expectations, and if I continue to work I think I’ll be in good shape. Some of my goals for this year are to become a better defender, make better reads throughout the game, and slow the game down for myself.”
It takes a certain level of confidence and swagger to join the upper echelon group in the league. Talk about the mindset that you bring when you step on the court, whether that’s in games or during your workouts.
Mitchell: “Just try to be the best player on the floor. There are a lot of things that took me by surprise last year, but now it’s no longer a surprise. Now it’s the expected. If I continue to build and build and build, I’ll be in good shape.”
One of the things great players always talk about is consistency. It’s one thing to be great for a year or two, but quite another to be great for 10. What are you doing right now in terms of training and preparation to ensure you’re really good for a long time?
Mitchell: “To maintain that longevity, I just like to watch film. You can’t really kill yourself by working out all season, so watching film of all those guys like Kobe, DWade, Westbrook, Chris Paul, Dame Lillard, seeing how they get to the basket, how they get off shots, that’s key to my longevity. I want to keep my body up by not tearing it down, so I focus on the mental aspect and watching film.”
The NBA is so much different now than it was in the ’80s and ’90s when there were intense rivalries between players. Today, a lot of you guys are friends and have grown up playing against each other for years. You seem to have some of that old-school mentality where you want to beat the best and not necessarily just join them. Can you talk about that mentality a little and what you love about going toe-to-toe with the best players in the league?
Mitchell: “I have a lot of friends in this league. We can be friends, but when it comes down to it I’m here to win. There are a lot guys joining forces, and right now the best team in the league has 5 all-stars. I understand the move, but I’d rather beat them than join them.”
Each week, we’ll break down the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of the shoe, and give you the scoop on the newest tech features. Check back every week for the hottest shoe drops. If it’s hyped, it’s here. You can check out the full list of releases on Eastbay’s Release Calendar. Here’s what you have to look forward to this weekend:
JORDAN RETRO 13 LOW ‘BRAVE BLUE’ – APRIL 8 AT 10 AM ET
Originally dubbed the ‘Midnight Navy’ colorway when they released in 1998, this classic Air Jordan 13 Low is finally getting the retro treatment from Jordan Brand. The 2017 version, nicknamed the Jordan Retro 13 ‘Brave Blue,’ features a blue, silver, and black color scheme. The mesh upper and white midsole add style, while a silver Jumpman logo on the ankle completes the look. Men’s $174.99, Grade School $119.99.
The Nike Air More Uptempo returns in the famous ‘Chicago’ colorway this weekend. Originally released in 2005, and debuting in grade school sizes last year, the classic kick is finally available once again in men’s sizes. The red upper features black “AIR” branding along the entire shoe. A white outsole completes the iconic look. Men’s $159.99.
NEW NIKE BASKETBALL RELEASES – APRIL 6 AT 10 AM ET
Nike is launching a ton of shoes this weekend. LeBron, Kyrie, and Paul George all have new colorways of their signature shoes dropping. The PG 1 and Kyrie 3 drop in an ‘Ivory’ colorway that’s perfect for spring and summer. The LeBron 14 also features a summertime feel with a silver and white color scheme. LeBron 14 $174.99, Kyrie 3 $119.99, PG 1 $109.99.
ADIDAS HARDEN VOL. 1 AND DAME 3 AND ANDREW WIGGINS PE – APRIL 6 AT 10 AM ET
adidas is also rolling out new colorways of signature kicks just before the spring and summer basketball tournaments begin. The Harden Vol. 1 features a scarlet, black, and gold color scheme, while the Dame 3 comes in a back and blue colorway. Adidas is also dropping an Andrew Wiggins Crazy Explosive Low PE on April 7. Harden Vol. 1 $139.99, Andrew Wiggins PE $139.99, Dame 3 $114.99.
NIKE FREE RN 2017 – APRIL 6 AT 10 AM ET
Wherever you run, whenever you run, however you run – run free. We don’t always have running shoes on the release report, but the Nike Free RN 2017 is another story. It’s one of the most popular runners, but the Nike Free RN is also a popular casual kick. Multiple colorways, including a new Flyknit version, are dropping Thursday. Flyknit $129.99, Men’s and Women’s $99.99.
When former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse first met future NBA lottery pick Brandon Ingram, he didn’t know him as Brandon Ingram. He knew him as Donald’s son. Or Bo’s little brother. He knew him as the little kid that would tag along with his dad and older brother to the gym.
The signs of basketball promise would eventually emerge. It was obvious that Ingram would grow into a basketball player’s body. His work ethic was never a question. And then there was the fact that this skinny little kid could flat out shoot the basketball.