Top Fan Gear Gifts

Top Fan Gear Gifts

Basketball is back in full swing as teams everywhere are taking the court for the first time with the optimism that comes with a new season. After a busy offseason full of stars joining up and switching teams, fans are ready to see how their favorite team will come together. Show off the pride you have in your team or favorite player with authentic fan gear from Eastbay.

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or another athlete in your life check out our Top Fan Gear Gifts below to see what you need to win the holidays.

Nike NBA Statement Swingman Jersey

The reigning MVP has one mission this season, to be standing under the confetti celebrating his first championship. Show your support for the Greek Freak by rocking Milwaukee’s colors. You can find jerseys and shorts for all your favorite teams and players at eastbay.com.

Nike NBA Hardwood Classic Swingman Jersey

There is perhaps no player capable of more jaw-dropping moves and shots than The Beard. James Harden has shown there is no such thing as a bad shot for him, and you can rep that confidence in a throwback Houston jersey.

Mitchell & Ness NBA Swingman Jersey

Scottie Pippen showed that it doesn’t matter where you’re from as long as you can ball. One of the greatest defenders ever at the point of attack, Pippen was an integral part of Chicago’s dynasty and now you can be too.

Nike NBA Hardwood Classic Hoodie

Fresh off their first championship in team history Toronto is ready to defend their title. Show your support while staying warm as they make a push for the repeat.

Nike NBA Hardwood Classic Vintage T-Shirt

Rep the City of Brotherly Love with this classic t-shirt that embodies the spirit of ’76.

A Look Back: Q&A with ESPN’s Nick DePaula

A Look Back: Q&A with ESPN’s Nick DePaula

Whether it’s the latest athlete sneaker signing or breaking sneaker news from around the NBA, feature writer and creative director Nick DePaula has been the industry’s trusted source for sneaker stories and information for years. From his time at Sole Collector, Nice Kicks and Yahoo’s The Vertical, to his current gig with ESPN, I’ve always enjoyed reading Nick’s articles, and he’s one of the first sneakerheads I started following on Instagram.

Nick and I share a similar passion for sneakers, especially kicks that released in the ‘90s. We grew up in an era when print catalogs and TV commercials were the main ways to get a good look at the hottest new sneaker releases. Back when the internet was young and rudimentary, we looked to Eastbay for images, pricing and tech info for every single sneaker. I thought it would be fun to ask Nick a few questions about his childhood and the influence Eastbay had on him growing up:

DH: First of all, where did you grow up?

NDP: Sacramento is home! The Kings meant everything to me as a kid, and are definitely responsible for my love of hoops early on. Purple has been my favorite color ever since. I’ve been throwing ridiculous behind-the-back passes since middle school ’cause of Jason Williams. I’d even go as far as labeling ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’ a classic movie – it’s the one time the Sacramento Kings ever made the NBA Finals.

DH: What were your favorite sports to play as a kid?

NDP: We played literally everything as a kid – that’s what kids should do. Baseball. Football. Soccer. Tennis. Golf. Street hockey. Volleyball. Ping pong. Aggressive in-line skating even, if you’re old enough to remember that phase in the ‘90s. You name it, and we probably tried it.

Nothing compared to hoops though. You could find us at 10th & P in downtown Sac every Saturday from Noon to 4 getting runs in. My brother Eric and I had a Friday night ritual growing up too: 1-on-1 on the hoop out front. First to 100, by ones.

DH: How did you get introduced to Eastbay and their catalogs and when?

NDP: The first time I saw an Eastbay magazine (we didn’t call it a “catalog!”) was at Foot Locker at the Downtown Plaza around late 1996. I excitedly signed up for a free subscription and never looked back. All through elementary, middle and even high school, I’d read the latest Eastbay and that day’s Sacramento Bee sports page with my cereal, every morning before heading off to school.

I might not have had the craziest sneaker collection growing up, but over the years, I was able to learn about every company’s technologies, design approach, stable of players and their newest innovations, all from the Eastbay pages. I’d read up on sneakers from all sports, and try to memorize the tech descriptions and even the weights listed, whether that was a pair of Mizuno volleyball shoes, specialty runners, cheerleading kicks, or the latest signature sneakers.

Checking out the latest issue with LeBron on the cover still gives me that same feeling. It’s fun to turn each page and find out what new running designs are launching, what NBA shorts Nike has in store, what gear each brand has coming out, and see all the latest lineups for every sport.

DH: What did you order from the catalogs?

NDP: I had a $40 sneaker budget in elementary and middle school, and that got upped to $50 in high school, so I had to get real nice at finding deals. I always kept tabs on the “Final Score” issues that would cycle through the mailbox every so often. Whenever I came to a page with smaller shoe pictures and red circles all over, that’s when I’d get real hopeful that my size 13 or 14 was still listed as available somewhere on the “Great Buys on Large Sizes!” page.

Early on, I was typically ordering signature gear that my favorite players wore, like Allen Iverson’s Reebok collection, 3 Stripes tees that were Kobe-approved, or a variety of Nike Basketball tees that had guys like Kevin Garnett, Penny Hardaway or Scottie Pippen pictured alongside them. This was all back in the pre-internet days, where your mom would literally call Wisconsin and read off the product number to place an order.

Something I loved about Eastbay during the turn of the millennium was how many new brands started appearing in the mag too. I remember buying a few Goat Gear tees to hoop in during high school practices, after reading up on the legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault. Even though I lived in Sacramento, it felt like I had access to all of the best basketball gear around through Eastbay.

In 2002, I damn near had the entire Jordan two3 beach collection – yes, even the towel! I rocked the two3 Cavvy dress shoe in black to my senior prom. Durasheen dazzle and NCAA replica team shorts were a practice staple for me. Eastbay finds pretty much made up my closet all throughout my school days, even into college at the University of Oregon, once ordering online changed the game up.

DH: What is a grail shoe that was featured in Eastbay that you were never able to pick up?

NDP: Tons – tons of pairs. The first shoe that immediately captivated my attention in the pages was the neon blue Foamposite One. It looked unlike anything else out there. Back then, my boy Austin Hicks and I would take pens and just circle everything we wanted in the mag. Every once in awhile, his mom would surprise him with pairs he was after, but it took me another decade to finally track down the Foams.

The late 90s had so many amazing runners that I was never able to grab at the time. The Tailwind IIs and Zoom Citizens were incredible. Adidas had a great run with the EQT Salvation, Galaxy and Ozweego lines too. Reebok’s DMX runners were instant classics. Every so often, Eastbay would also have exclusive team bank colors for basketball models like the Air Jordan XV, Team Max Zoom or even the Flightposite II, that you just couldn’t find anywhere else.

DH: Who are some of your favorite people you’ve interviewed over the years?

NDP: So many people immediately come to mind! Penny Hardaway was one of my very first cover interviews way back in 2008, and I’ve been able to follow the design process of all of his sneakers since. We worked on a huge ‘Penny Pack’ collaboration for an amazing Sole Collector event in Las Vegas in 2011 that I’ll never forget. He’s literally the best, both with his time and access, and also his passion for the sneaker industry and input. I just was out in Memphis a few weeks ago to see him again, and it’s been amazing now to see how he’s evolved into Coach Hardaway and the impact he’s having on his hometown.

There’s an endless amount of designers that’ve also been great to talk to. Tinker Hatfield and Eric Avar are each the best designers in footwear history, and so great at storytelling around innovations, athlete insights and performance solutions. Gentry Humphrey at Jordan Brand has legendary stories for days and is a hilarious guy. Both Marc Dolce and Denis Dekovic at Adidas are great dudes as well and I love catching up with them to see all that they’re working on at the Brooklyn Creator Farm.

DH: What are you up to these days?

NDP: I’ve been super fortunate to be writing about sneakers and basketball over the past thirteen years. I helped to run Sole Collector Magazine back in the print days and got to work on almost 20 collaboration sneakers in the span of 7 years that I was there. The awesome co-founders Steve Mullholand and Alex Wang gave me a shot to write for the Mag when I was still in college and really helped shape how I view content and storytelling ever since. 

After that, I joined Matt Halfhill, Ian Stonebrook and an amazing team of people passionate about footwear and the culture around it over at Nice Kicks. I spent a couple of months working on a comprehensive Allen Iverson feature about his rise with Reebok in advaance of his 40th birthday that I’ve been pretty proud of since. (Make a couple sandwiches and give it a read…)

Now, I’m writing about the footwear industry at ESPN. It’s been amazing to see how sneakers have grown to be highlighted on a platform of that size and legacy. It’s a best-in-class team across the board. With the vision of OG Bobbito Garcia, we even recently launched a new footwear show on ESPN+ called SneakerCenter that just dropped its latest episode this week.

All along, one of my career highlights was definitely working on a few interviews and special sidebar sections for Eastbay’s 25th Anniversary issue. I really do credit all of those Eastbay magazines that I grew up reading for powering that base of sneaker knowledge that I was so excited to learn more about and add to. Once SLAM dropped the first issue of KICKS in 1998, I kind of realized that writing about sneakers could become a real thing, and have been at it ever since.

A Look Back: Holiday 1998

A Look Back: Holiday 1998

There’s nothing like coming home to a fresh new Eastbay catalog in the mail, and during the holidays, the catalogs have a little more magic in them. Back in 1998, Eastbay released two catalogs: one featuring art by David Blake showing “Coach Santa” handing out dope kicks in the locker room, and one featuring the classic Eastbay logo surrounded by white pine branches. I still have both catalogs, and fondly remember flipping through the pages 20 years ago. Though I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to get me much from the catalogs, I still dreamed of all the possibilities. Here’s a look back at some of the memorable pages from those two classic holiday catalogs.

 

Tuned Air Image 2

Nike Tuned Air took center stage that season, with the Air Force Max Plus basketball shoe, the Air Max Plus runner, and the Air Trainer Sky all showcased. Each sneaker featured the revolutionary Tuned Air cushioning technology in the heel and Max Air visible cushioning in the forefoot. Out of the three, only the Air Max Plus became a classic, though it would be great to see the other two return soon as well.

Jordan Images

The Jordan line was impressive that season, featuring models like the Air Jordan XIV, the Jumpman Pro Strong, the Pro Quick, and a limited size run of the Air Jordan XIII (note the tongue is different from the model that actually released). There was also a Women’s Jordan, which was inspired by the Air Jordan XIII. Other notable Nike basketball models include the Air Pippen II, Air Penny IV and Air Max Sensation (formerly known as the Air Max CW).

Running Images

The running section featured some hidden gems, including the Air Max Tailwind III and Air Max 98 TL. The popular Air Max 95 was also featured in some classic colorways. Along with the runners were some notable trail running shoes, including the Air Terra Ptarmigan and Terra Humara. Fun fact about the Ptarmigan: Portland Trailblazers star Rasheed Wallace actually wore them in a basketball game. Also, the Humaras returned this year in some original colorways.

Fan Gear Image

Eastbay has always been known as a top source for NBA warm-ups and jerseys, and there was some incredible selection back in 1998. Nike only made jerseys and warm-ups for a handful of teams, but they were some pretty big ones. The Bulls, Celtics, Lakers, and Spurs all had Nike. You could purchase both a Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan authentic jersey for $124.99. Both are double the price today.

Outdoor Gear Image

One other cool page was the Outdoor Clothing section, which featured a ton of Nike ACG clothing and boots. The ACG line has had a renaissance the past few seasons, and a lot of its heritage can be traced to these pieces. Dri-FIT, Clima-FIT, and Therma-FIT technologies were all huge back in ’98. These materials kept the body warm and dry, and the colors were very fashionable.

Today, I still flip through these catalogs wishing I had a lot of the running, basketball, and training shoes from this era. The styles were so memorable, and there were so many options to choose from. Fortunately, Nike and Jordan Brand have retroed plenty of these models over the years so that we can relive our childhood and holiday memories. Hopefully some of the forgotten models like the women’s Jordan, the Air Force Max Plus, and the Tailwind III will return again soon as well. A 36-year-old kid can dream, right?

Rookies Ready To Make Their Mark

Rookies Ready To Make Their Mark

June 21st, 2018 – A low murmur grips the Barclays Center as the last couple of fans trickle into the upper level. Down on the ground Jaren Jackson Jr. is fiddling with his rose gold suit jacket. A couple of tables over Collin Sexton is sitting with his family and friends. Towards the front Miles Bridges is sitting next to his mother talking with his college coach Tom Izzo. Tonight Adam Silver will be announcing where the next phase of these young athletes careers will begin. It is an emotional night for all those involved full of happy tears and priceless reactions when their name is called.

Miles immediately embraced his mom, Jaren beamed with pride as he stood up pumping his fist, and Collin shook up with his family and friends before making his way to the stage. It marked the culmination of a long journey that began when these young ballers first stepped onto the basketball court. It’s a signal that all the time spent in the gym, the countless reps in the weight room, and all the nights spent dissecting film was worth it.

Charlotte Hornets Rookie Miles Bridges

Draft night was a dream come true for Miles, who has idolized NBA players as a kid. “I couldn’t see myself doing any other job, so I’m just happy to be in this situation.” For Jaren there was simply no way he could emotionally prepare himself for hearing his name called. “When it finally happens you’re like whoa, there are no words to describe it. I was just trying not to trip on the way up.” Collin Sexton was anxious for most of draft night wondering who was going to take a chance on him. When it was announced he was heading to Cleveland, relief flooded through him. “It was the best feeling ever because of all the smiling faces, all the hard times I faced getting here, for me to hear my name called was big.”

As they get settled in their new cities with their new teams, each one of them is ready to prove they belong in this league. With his ability to switch onto guards while still being able to protect the rim at an elite level, Jaren was seemingly built for the modern NBA. On offense, his multi-faceted game includes the oh-so important ability to step out and consistently knock down the three-ball. Despite his immense talent, Jaren still feels he needs to prove he was worthy of the No. 4 overall pick to the team’s veterans. He also wants to show the fans what he’s made of. “Defense-first attitude, just going out there and making sure you make people feel your presence. Don’t try to hide during the game, always try to be active, keep moving, and be aggressive.”

Cleveland Cavaliers Rookie Collin Sexton

Collin is coming to a team that saw its best player leave in free agency. Despite this, Collin is ready to step up and give the people of Cleveland someone new to root for. “Each and every game, I’m going to bring that energy, that same grit – I’m just going to go out there and play my hardest.” In college Collin earned the reputation as someone who was going to bring it every night. He was a dogged defender who harassed the opposing team’s guards all over the floor. On offense his speed and quickness allowed him to get to the rim with ease while also opening up easy shots for his teammates. Cavalier’s fans hope that tenacity and ferociousness will carry their team back to the playoffs.

Miles could have left Michigan State after his freshman season, but stayed because he felt he had unfinished business. By returning for his sophomore season, he showed the previous year’s achievements were no fluke. A versatile wing with through the-roof-hops, a buttery stroke, and the ability to defend multiple positions, Miles is ready to terrify opponents on both ends of the court. He’s hoping, that by bringing a winning attitude and a lot of energy, he can help Charlotte get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 which would surely excite the fan base. “Fans can expect intensity and a lot of energy – I like to get the crowd going and just do anything to win.”

Memphis Grizzlies Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr.

Their passion and love for basketball all began when they young. As kids all three would tear through the Eastbay magazine looking at all the new shoe releases. Collin said, “I couldn’t wait to see what was new so I could see if my parents would buy me one of the shoes.” Collin also played in the Eastbay X Ballislife All-American Game with Miles. Miles described going from that game to becoming one of cover athletes of Eastbay as a “dream come true,” and Jaren said the experience was “mind-blowing.” It’s been a remarkable ride for these rookies who are now competing against the very best players.

With their incredible work ethic and intense dedication, there are no limits to how good they can be.

Eastbay End-Of-Season Twitter Awards

Eastbay End-Of-Season Twitter Awards

Twitter Awards Story

With the 2018 playoffs finally tipping off, we thought we’d take a look back at some of our favorite plays and players of the regular season. But instead of giving you our MVP/6th Man/Coach of the Year picks, we decided to cover the stuff you really care about: random moments from throughout the season that blew up Twitter.

*Note: As any list like this should, we’ve got a lot of ridiculous plays, crazy dance moves, and a whole lot of Boban.

 

Best “LeBron Is Not Human” Moment

Honestly, this may have been the most heavily contested category. It seems there’s at least one moment every game where The King does something so ridiculous that you can only shake your head in disbelief. We decided to roll with his behind-the-back dribble that snuck between his teammate’s legs while two Philadelphia defenders looked on in shock. But if you have others in mind, we don’t blame you — there’s a lot.

 

Best Dance Moves By An MVP Candidate

James Harden has been cooking on the court all season long and is probably on his way to a well-deserved MVP award. But you know all about his sick handles, insane shooting, and otherworldly passing — what you may not know is: he’s got some dance moves too.

 

Best Man Amongst Boys Moment

Welcome to the land of the giants. NBA players are freakish athletes and, usually, pretty tall, but Boban Marjanović may be in a league of his own. The 7’3” center is so tall and long that he dunked it … by barely moving. It looked like an average-sized adult playing with his childhood Nerf hoop. But Boban’s the real GOAT. We should do a whole awards post dedicated specifically to him. In fact …

 

Best Boban Moment

James Harden. I see your MVP dance moves and offer up a challenger – Boban. The big man has moves of his own. The only thing that matches his massive frame is his equally huge personality. It’s easy to see why the gentle giant has become a fan and teammate favorite in Los Angeles since being traded there mid-season.

 

Best ‘Wait, What!?’ Moment

Poor Tim Hardaway Jr… The 6’6” New York guard was the only player to get back on defense during a fast break. His reward? Getting literally jumped over by a 7’ Freak and being immortalized in a famous poster until the end of time.

 

Best Last Man Off The Bench

He may have never signed a contract or scored a point during a game, but he has participated in pre-game warmups with Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins. Random New Orleans fan is our 2018 hoops hero of the year.

https://twitter.com/SInow/status/958042574404534272

 

Best All-Star Game Moment

Defense at the All-Star Game!? Actually … yes. Thanks to the new format, this year’s game was much more competitive than previous years and ended with two of the game’s biggest stars, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, shutting down another of the game’s best, Stephen Curry.

 


Those were some of our favorite moments — were there any we missed? Let us know in the comments.