DeMar DeRozan is a man on a mission this season. Despite all the noise that surrounded him this offseason, DeRozan found a way to block out the distractions and focus on what’s most important: taking his game to the next level. He prepared for his 10th season in the league by training harder and smarter than ever before, fueled by a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality and a need to send a message to the rest of the league. He’s more determined than ever to be at the top of his game. He’s out to prove a point. We caught up with the All-Star ahead of his first season in San Antonio to talk about what’s next for one of the league’s fiercest competitors.
Q: You’re heading into your tenth season. You’ve obviously had a ton of success in the league already, what kind of personal goals are you setting for this year?
A: Going into my tenth year, I’m looking forward to a new challenge. Being in the Western Conference for the first time on a new team, I want to put together everything I’ve learned from my whole career – all the ups and downs – and really make that transitional move to understanding all the ins and outs of the game from the business side and the floor.
Q: Going into this new chapter, what challenges are you expecting with the grind of the Western Conference every night?
A: As a competitor, the Western Conference is something you definitely want to be in. You want to be in the midst of the greatest competition every single night, no matter who you’re playing against. It’s important to understand how to separate being as good of a player as you are now from testing that every single night. That’s what brings out the best in you. I’m looking forward to that – I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge, but as a competitor you want to face those challenges and test yourself.
Q: What do you want people to see as you step on the floor that first game?
A: I want people to see a bigger and better DeMar. Learning from the failures, the changes, and the challenges that come every single year. Going out the way we did last year in the playoffs, that’s a part of my hunger and motivation just to get back on the court, then being traded, being on a new team – that motivation kind of creates an emotional dark side that I want to bring out when I step on the court.
Q: That covers a lot of the adversity you’ve faced over the last year. What advice do you have for others who might be facing similar challenges?
A: Treat it like a diamond in the rough. Adversity does nothing but make you better. You can’t bow down to adversity, because it’s just testing you on how much better you can be. If anything you’re doing becomes comfortable, you shouldn’t like that. Anything that comes with this game should be uncomfortable because it should be pushing you to want to be better, every single day. When adversity comes, just understand that it’s going to bring out something in you that you didn’t even know you had.
Q: You’re now the face of the Kobe line with Nike. As someone who looked up to Kobe growing up, can you talk about what it means to you be the face of that shoe line?
A: Being the face of the Kobe shoe is definitely an honor for me – I grew up watching Kobe. From day one as a kid to playing in the same All-Star Game as Kobe – his last All-Star Game – it’s been amazing. When it comes to the shoe, it’s always been one of my favorites to wear. I love the shoe, and I think the honor I wear the shoe with, the loyalty that I wear the shoe with, speaks for itself every time I go out there on the court.
Q: You’ve played in the new one – is there something specific you would call out, or what was your first reaction to the Kobe?
A: I’m real big on how a shoe fits your whole foot and, for me, as soon as you put the shoe on it’s kind of like a glove – a perfect fit. The grip on the shoe is definitely great, the stability of the whole bottom of the sole is great, and it’s still a light shoe. I’d probably have to put this in my top-2 favorite Kobes of all time.
Q: We’re so excited to have you on our latest cover.
A: It’s an honor. This dates back to when I was a kid. If you didn’t have an Eastbay magazine growing up, you weren’t a real sports fan. Every month, if there was a new Eastbay sitting on the porch or in the mailbox, that’s the only thing you looked for. You didn’t care about the newspaper or your mom’s bills, you were throwing that to the side and picking up Eastbay no matter what. I remember going through it wishing I had this, this, this, and this, so for it to come full-circle now is crazy.
Each week, we’ll showcase the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of each shoe, and fill you in 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 week:
Old school meets new school as the iconic AJ 1 gets outfitted with Flyknit technology in the Jordan Retro 1 High Flyknit. Following the release of the popular ‘Banned’ colorway, we’re getting treated to another OG look this week with the classic ‘Royal’ colorway. Taking some of the most iconic shoes of all time and remixing them with new technology? Yeah, Jordan is definitely onto something here. Men’s $179.99, Grade School $139.99.
Jordan is dropping a girls’ Retro 3 this weekend that features an all-new colorway that’s perfect for the fall season. An anthracite suede upper offers subtle style that’s perfect for any look, while the iconic elephant print and metallic red bronze detailing completes the shoe’s design. Sorry, fellas. These are a girls’ exclusive colorway. Girls’ $139.99.
Here’s another colorway that’s perfect for fall. The Nike LeBron Soldier 11 SFG is releasing in a wheat gold and metallic gold colorway, complete with a gum rubber outsole for a fresh look. The shoe also offers some serious comfort with a breathable mesh upper and laceless construction that utilizes a four-strap closure system for a locked-in feel. Men’s $139.99.
Just ahead of basketball season, the Nike Kobe A.D. is dropping in a white and purple colorway that pays homage to Kobe Bryant’s playing days in LA. Purple details on the tongue, inner liner, and a white speckled midsole finish off the look. For more on the design of the Kobe A.D., check out our interview with the shoe’s designer. Men’s $149.99.
ADIDAS DAME 4 ‘RIP CITY’ – OCT. 6 AT 10 AM ET
Damian Lillard’s fourth signature shoe debuts this week. The adidas Dame 4 is a fresh new silhouette that’s built for the basketball court. A breathable mesh upper, evolved traction pattern, and bounce cushioning create a comfortable feel that’s perfect for the upcoming season. The first colorway pays homage to Dame’s team and the Rip City fans. Men’s $114.99.
In honor of Mamba Day, we’re looking back at some of the highlights of Kobe Bryant’s legendary career. The 5-time champ and 18-time All-Star changed the game forever with his incredible scoring ability, unwavering leadership style, and the famed Mamba Mentality.
Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career produced countless iconic moments that basketball fans will never forget. Choosing just five of the Black Mamba’s top moments is an impossible task, but we couldn’t resist giving it a shot. Check out our top 5 favorites and share your favorites with us using #MambaMoments.
5. All-Star Weekend – 1997
It may still be summer, but basketball season is right around the corner. With that in mind, we’re talking about the top basketball shoes of 2017 for women. Eastbay offers a number of great women’s basketball shoes like the Nike Hyperdunk, but oftentimes women buy men’s basketball shoes. We’re here to help.
In addition to the women’s version of the Hyperdunk 2017, the men’s version of the Hyperdunk 2017 will be available in extended sizing only at Eastbay.com. Offering the men’s Hyperdunk 2017 in an extended run from size 3.5-22 offers women another option as it makes it easier for women with smaller feet to find the shoes they love in their size.
Why would women want to buy the men’s version of the shoe instead of the women’s? Well it’s really about having options. Eastbay with have 15+ exclusive colorways for the women’s Hyperdunk 2017 and 45+ exclusive colorways of the men’s version. The extended size run of the men’s shoe gives women more options, so they can hit the court with the perfect combination of performance and style this season.
Signature basketball shoes are another option. Many players wear the signature shoes of the game’s biggest stars, but these shoes only come in men’s sizes. Women can still buy the shoes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Paul George, and other stars by using our sizing conversion chart. Women can find their men’s shoe size by subtracting 1.5 from their women’s size. So if you wear a women’s size 9, you would purchase a men’s size 7.5.
Whether you’re looking for a women’s basketball shoe or looking to buy a men’s shoe in your size, Eastbay has more options you’ll find anywhere.
Kobe Bryant may have hung up his basketball shoes after last season, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped obsessing about achieving greatness on the basketball court.
With his latest signature shoe, he’s rethought, redefined, and reinvented his shoe line to create an innovative new basketball sneaker that’s designed to give athletes an edge on the competition.
Bryant and the Nike design team worked tirelessly to develop a low-profile, highly responsive shoe that is unlike any other basketball shoe on the market. The Kobe A.D. NXT features an unconventional look, most notably because of its new lacing system.
The team integrated the lacing with the shoe’s upper. Pulling the laces up and out of the lace lock draws the structure together, creating a fluid system with the drop-in insole. This promotes optimal containment during the game by naturally adjusting to the athlete and providing a secure fit for each individual’s foot.
“The updates we’ve made to Kobe’s line demonstrate a new way of thinking about performance design,” said Eric Avar, a Nike footwear designer and longtime Kobe Bryant collaborator.
The Flyknit upper features a circular pattern that was inspired by a lotus flower and represents rebirth, while other design elements on the shoe feature secret Kobe codes that translate to “unhinge” and “end and begin.”
The shoe’s theme plays heavily off of Kobe’s retirement, as the previous Kobe A.D. shoes have done. The shoe’s innovative tech and creative design combine to represent a reawakening of the Kobe signature shoe line. Even in retirement, Kobe Bryant continues to grind for greatness by rethinking traditional conventions and redefining basketball innovation.
The Kobe A.D. NXT is available here.