words // Brandon Richard
images // Nick DePaula
Since signing a multi-year deal with Li-Ning back in 2008, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Baron Davis and the appreciative basketball fans in China have developed a mutual admiration for each other. The seeds for this relationship were planted when Baron first made the trip to China in 2007 for a charity basketball game put on by Yao Ming and Steve Nash. Davis recently described his trips to China as “eye-opening” and credits his relationship with Li-Ning for expanding his worldly view.
In tribute to Davis’ respect for the Chinese and their culture, his new Li-Ning Conquer shoe has been released in a “Chinese New Year” colorway. The shoe sports a deep red shrouded upper, honoring the color most commonly associated with the holiday. In China, the color red is symbolic of luck and happiness, and is frequently used for Chinese New Year decor and gifts.
In describing the tone of red selected for the Conquer, designer Eric Miller explains to Eastbay that Baron wanted a deeper shade this season. “The all red one that he’ll wear will have more a blood red tone that’s a deeper red,” says Miller. “He said, ‘I don’t want a cherry or Ferrari red. I want a real red that has more of a maroon tint to it.'”
The mostly red shoe is accented by black and white, including the Beardman logo on the medial ankle and BD branding on the heel. Like a few colorways of Davis’ previous Li-Ning shoe, the BD Doom, faux snake material appears throughout the shoe’s upper. Being fond of the snake texture first used on the Doom, Baron wanted to make use of the material once again, but switch things up a little to keep the new releases fresh.
“Baron wanted to keep the snake; he just wanted to make sure it was a different snake,” Miller reveals. “He said, ‘I want the snake, but I don’t want it to be the same one. I don’t want it to have that lacquer finish. I like it, but that was cool for the Doom.’ So, we found a snake that’s on probably half of the Defend & Conquers, and you can feel the grain a bit more, but it isn’t overpowering and ridiculously shiny like the first ones were. [laughs]”
A shoe that was also created in association with 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, the “Chinese New Year” Li-Ning BD Conquer is available to purchase at Eastbay today.
Available: Li-Ning BD Conquer – Red/Black – Chinese New Year
After officially launching the Defend earlier this month, Li-Ning is set to release their follow-up hoop shoe – the Conquer. Following the ‘Defend & Conquer’ concept, the Conquer features a more attack-red look, complete with synthetic leather upper, snakeskin patent detailing and a protective zipper shroud. Making sure the shoe conforms to the foot for snug fit is a modified stretch inner bootie. The technical aspects of the shoe don’t stop there.
Comfort is enhanced by a perforated PU and stretch mesh lining package; a ribbed articulated vamp allows for an adaptive forefoot fit; stability is increased by an injected TPU heel counter; a heel pull-tab allows for easy entry; and a low-profile Phylon midsole improves court feel. The underfoot features a three-quarter length TPU shank for flex and torsion support, while a raised herringbone carbon rubber outsole offers superior traction.
The Conquer seen here features a white and royal blue synthetic upper with perforated mesh paneling near the ankles. Silver works accent points near the heel, including the Li-Ning logo on the lateral side. A reflective version of Baron Davis’ ‘Beardman’ logo appears on the medial ankle, while his “BD” branding turns up on the heel in white. Below, a blue and white outsole finish off the look.
Worn by players like Baron Davis and Evan Turner, you can pre-order the Li-Ning Conquer at Eastbay today.
Li-Ning Conquer – Blue/White
Years prior to the government officially recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday, the NBA was one of the leaders in acknowledging the day’s significance. A member of the King Federal Holiday Commission, NBA Commissioner David Stern has ordered the closing of the league office’s doors to observe MLK Day since 1987.
Though the office doors are closed, the NBA schedule is typically packed with exciting games that allow the players to pay tribute to Dr. King. The tradition held up on Monday, with 13 different games being played throughout the day.
While some players pay their respects with their level of play, others do so with their footwear. Helping them achieve that yesterday were companies like Nike and the Jordan Brand, who supplied their sponsored players with black and gold Black History Month themed footwear.
Check out the images from around the NBA on Martin Luther King JR. Day courtesy of ESPN.
Baron Davis drives baseline in his Li-Ning BD Doom.
Blake Griffin scored a career-high 47 points in the Black History Month Nike Air Max Fly By.
Channing Frye dunks in the Black History Month Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Low.
Danny Granger tries to locate an open teammate while wearing a Player Exclusive colorway of the Nike Air Max Fly By.
DeMarcus Cousins posts up in the Black History Month Nike Zoom Hyperfuse.
Derrick Rose notched his first career triple-double in his adidas adiZero Rose.
Greivis Vasquez wears a black and gold colorway of the Under Armour Micro G Black Ice.
Kevin Garnett returned to action wearing the ANTA KG 1.
Dwight Howard throws it down in the adidas Beast Commander.
Gilbert Arenas surprised everybody by playing in the Nike Air DT Max 96.
Ray Allen points out an assignment in his customary big game Air Jordan Retro 11 Player Exclusive.
Elton Brand prepares to dunk in the Black History Month Converse EB3.
Sixers rookie Evan Turner dribbles in the Li-Ning Defend.
Lou Williams attempts a layup in the Black History Month Converse Sicks; Nazr Mohammed defends in the Zoom Kobe IV iD.
Jason Terry shoots a jumper in a Player Exclusive colorway of the Reebok Zig Slash.
Chris Paul attempts a rip in the Black History Month Jordan CP3.IV.
John Salmons posts up in the adidas adiZero Infiltrate; Kevin Martin defends in the Black History Month Jordan PTP’er.
Jason Thompson collects a rebound in the Black History Month Nike Air Max Hyped.
Joe Johnson attempts a reverse layup in the Jordan 6-17-23.
Monta Ellis wearing the And1 ME8 Sovereign Mid.
JaVale McGee dunks in his new PEAK shoes.
John Wall celebrates a Wizards win in a gold-branded colorway of the Reebok Zig Slash.
Kirk Hinrich defends Deron Williams in the Black History Converse Sicks Ox.
Paul Millsap attempts a layup in the Black History Month Nike Air Max Hyperdunk 2010.
Kobe Bryant gives the crowd a “Must Be The Shoes” moment in the Black History Month Nike Zoom Kobe VI.
A close-up of the BHM Zoom Kobe VI on the court, worn by Shannon Brown.
Pau Gasol channels Kareem in the Black History Month Nike Hyperdunk 2010.
Kevin Durant drives in the Black History Month Nike Zoom KD III.
A close-up of the BHM Zoom KD III on the court, worn by Nick Collison.
Li-Ning’s move into the US basketball footwear market continues with new colorways of the low-cut version of the BD Doom. If the Li-Ning Defend is the go to shoe for Baron Davis’ home games at the Staple Center then the BD Doom Low could be the go to shoe for before game shoot arounds or after game relaxing. The higher cut version of the Li-Ning BD Doom received a good review in our recent Performance Review, so with all the same tooling, the low-cut version is also an option for those looking for a lighter weight option.
Two colorways of the Li-Ning BD Doom Low are now available for pre-order, a white and silver combination as well as a black and silver makeup. A suede toebox surrounded by patent material give the BD Doom a premium feel while the Beardman logo on the tongue and 3M reflective dots add some style points as well.
Available for pre-order: Li-Ning BD Doom Low