A Look Back: The Best Basketball Sneakers From October 2006

A Look Back: The Best Basketball Sneakers From October 2006

It seems difficult to fathom, but some pretty well-known sneakers that dropped in 2006 are already 15 years old. This fall, shoes like the LeBron IV, Kobe 1, and Air Max 360 are just five years away from turning 20. Back in ‘06, future legends like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tracey McGrady, and Dwyane Wade were making names for themselves. Some of the shoes they were wearing became legendary as well. Here are some of the memorable basketball sneakers from that October 2006 Eastbay catalog.

Nike

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike LeBron
Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike Kobe

This was back when LeBron James was really taking off in popularity. Entering his fourth season with the Cleveland Cavs, LeBron also had a new sneaker: the Zoom LeBron IV. Featuring a full-length Zoom Air unit, this model has definitely been a fan favorite over the years. Most people also say this sneaker was built like a tank, weighing a whopping 27.8 ounces. You could also still cop the LeBron III in the low-cut model as well.

The Zoom Kobe 1 was also available that month in the all-black colorway. There were also four colorways still available in the Eastbay Outlet section for $99.99. This was Kobe Bryant’s first official model with Nike after he left adidas and entered one of the most amazing sneaker free agency periods of all time.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike Air
Look Back Eastbay Catlaog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike

Other popular models that season were the Air Max 360 and Air Max 180. As described in the name, the Air Max 360 featured a completely full-length, Air-Sole unit for the most Air cushioning ever. The Air Max 180 had a massive Air Max heel unit along with Zoom Air in the forefoot. Those who hooped in these always have fond memories of them.

Team Basketball sneakers were incredibly popular back then, with the Air Zoom Huarache Elite TB, Air Max Elite TB, and Shox Elite TB being the top choices for high school and college players. The Huarache Elite was designed for smaller, quicker guards, and the Air Max Elite and Shox Elite were built for bigger players. Each model came in just about every colorway imaginable for team matching.

As for retro models, there were a few familiar sneakers available as well, including the Air More Tempo, Air Max Penny IV, and Air Max 2 CB ‘94 Low. Nike was trying to bring back some popular models from 10 years earlier by adding in some new colorways. Unfortunately, the colorways were a bit too off and never really caught on with sneakerheads.

Jordan Brand

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Jordan Brand Carmelo Anthony

Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony was entering his fourth season in the NBA as well, and his signature Jordan Brand sneaker was grabbing everyone’s attention. The October 2006 Eastbay featured the Jordan Melo M3 along with a matching apparel collection. The Jordan XXI PE and Low models were also available that month.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Jordan Brand

Retro Jordans were continuing to grow in popularity, with the Air Jordan IV ‘Military Blue’ available for kids. There were also four new colorways of the Air Jordan V, including the ‘Green Bean’ colorway, which is rumored to return in 2022.

There was also a ton of Jordan apparel, including authentic on-court UNC, Georgetown and California warmups.

adidas

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 adidas

With Kobe Bryant leaving for Nike in 2003, the new star for adidas was Rockets star Tracy McGrady. His T-Mac sneaker line was packed with high-performance models, including the T-MAC 6, T-MAC Trainer, and T-MAC III. There was also the adidas Courtshark, which was inspired by the T-MAC 5. Retro-wise, the Crazy 8 retro was very popular. This model was originally worn by Kobe Bryant, but was marketed for Wizards star Gilbert Arenas in 2006.

Converse

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Converse Dwyane Wade

Coming off the Heat’s 2006 championship season, Dwyane Wade’s sneaker stock was soaring. In the summer of 2003, Wade left Jordan Brand and signed a deal with Converse, somewhat surprising the sneaker world. Wade’s 1.3 Mid and Signature LE were both available in the October 2006 catalog.

Reebok

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Reebok

2006 would be a challenging year for Sixers star Allen Iverson, as he was traded in December to the Denver Nuggets. Iverson was still Reebok’s #1 athlete though, and still had a loyal following. That fall, the Answer X released, featuring Pump Adjustable technology for a custom fit. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Iverson’s Question Mid was still incredibly popular 10 years later, and still was available in many different sleek colorways.

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 or read more of his work here.

Eastbay Memory Lane // Tracy McGrady, April 2002

Eastbay Memory Lane // Tracy McGrady, April 2002

words // Brandon Richard

This past Monday, 7-time All-Star Tracy McGrady officially announced his retirement from the NBA, ending a 16-season career in which he played for seven teams.

McGrady was selected with the 9th overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. After showing promise in three seasons with the Raptors, McGrady emerged as one of the league’s true superstars when he signed a multi-year free agent deal with the Orlando Magic in 2000. He averaged 28 points per game in four seasons with the Magic, winning scoring titles in 2003 and 2004. However, with teammate Grant Hill sidelined by a nagging ankle injury, Orlando never became the force in the Eastern Conference that they were expected to be and McGrady looked to resume his career in a winning situation.

In June of 2004, McGrady was sent to the Houston Rockets in exchanged for a package that included Steve Francis. Teaming up with All-Star center Yao Ming in Houston, McGrady displayed a balanced all-around game, seeing a decrease in scoring, but becoming more comfortable with his role as a facilitator.

Arguably the most memorable moment of McGrady’s career came in a game against the San Antonio Spurs in December 2004. The Rockets were down 10 points with 49 seconds left and a comeback seemed all but impossible. However, 13 points by McGrady in 35 seconds defied all logic as the Rockets picked up an important win against a Western Conference rival.

Unfortunately, that moment was the highlight of McGrady’s career because the Rockets weren’t able to make much noise in the postseason and recurring injuries claimed what was left of his prime years. After being sent to the New York Knicks in a 2010 trade, McGrady would float around the league with the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks before a stop in China and ultimately concluding his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs last postseason.

There was a time when Kobe Bryant vs. Tracy McGrady was a real debate. He was that good. In an October 2012 Complex.com article titled “The 25 Greatest Sports Careers Ruined by Injury,” a writer stated, “As a defender, you couldn’t do anything with him because he could beat you in so many ways: killer crossover, quick first step, can over power you, attacked the basket relentlessly, one of the best jumpers in the league, and could jump out the gym.” 100% accurate regarding TMAC in his prime.

With TMAC calling an end to a memorable and possibly Hall of Fame career, today’s Eastbay Memory Lane takes us back to April 2002, when McGrady covered Eastbay catalog wearing the “All-Star” adidas TMAC. McGrady debuted the silver-based shoe in the 2002 All-Star Game and the colorway made a surprising return to retail last summer.

What are some of your favorite TMAC moments? Share your memories with us below and shop the adidas TMAC 1 in various colorways here today.

Eastbay Memory Lane // Tracy McGrady, April 2002

Top 10 NBA Free Agents of 2010 SIGNED

words_Jordan Hagedorn

Earlier this summer, I ranked my Top 10 Free Agents of 2010. Now here’s the list updated with their new contracts and the team they’ll play for:

1. LeBron James – Miami Heat
6 years, $110.1 million

2. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat
6 years, $107.5 million

3. Chris Bosh – Miami Heat
6 years, $110.1 million

4. Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks
4 years, $80 million

5. Joe Johnson – Atlanta Hawks
6 years, $119 million

6. Paul Pierce – Boston Celtics
4 years, $61 million

7. Amar’e Stoudemire – New York Knicks
5 years, $99.7 million

8. Carlos Boozer – Chicago Bulls
5 years, $80 million

9. Ray Allen – Boston Celtics
2 years, $20 million

10. Rudy Gay – Memphis Grizzlies
5 years, $82 million

Honorable mention:
David Lee – Golden State Warriors
6 years, $80 million

John Salmons – Milwaukee Bucks
5 years, $39 million

Shaquille O’Neal – Boston Celtics
2 years, $3 million

Tracy McGrady – Detroit Pistons
1 year, $1.35 million

Top 10 NBA Free Agents of 2010

words_Jordan Hagedorn

1. LeBron James
He is hands down the most coveted free agent of all time.

2. Dwyane Wade
Has an NBA Title and Olympic Gold Medal – Wade is a superstar that wants to win.

3. Chris Bosh
Big man looking to team up with Bron or Wade.

4. Dirk Nowitzki
Been the Mavs go-to guy for a long time, won the MVP in 2006-2007.

5. Joe Johnson
Was a #1 in Atlanta for long enough, would be an ok Franchise player or an excellent complimentary player.

6. Paul Pierce
Has the experience of winning a title, has proven he can be a part of a 3 headed monster.

7. Amare Stoudemire
Can score a ton but could step up on the other side of the ball…

8. Carlos Boozer
Solid big man would be a gem playing along side one of the top 2 guys.

9. Ray Allen
One of the best 3 point shooters of our time.

10. Rudy Gay
Averaged almost 20 and 6 a game last year.

Honorable mention:
David Lee, John Salmons, Shaquille O’Neal,Tracy McGrady

Who are YOUR top 10 Free Agents?