Emmanuel Mudiay Interview At 2015 Elite 24 Practice

The Under Armour Elite 24 high school basketball tournament celebrated its 10th year in existence recently. Held in New York City for the third straight year, the weekend has a very All-Star Weekend feel to it featuring a slam dunk contest, three-point shootout, and exhibition game that features 24 of the country’s best HS hoop talent.

During their first practice at Xavier High School in Manhattan, <strong>Emmanuel Mudiay</strong> the Denver Nuggets first-round draft pick (7th overall from the 2015 NBA Draft) was in attendance. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I got a chance to speak with him briefly on camera.

Only ever heard about his game.  Since I wasn’t able to attend Elite 24 weekend in 2013, I was not yet as versed in his game as I should be.  As with most of the interviews I do, it was only afterward recording that I learned more about the subject.  Hopefully seeing me not pronounce his name right will have him better prepared for when others make similar mistakes; because it will come.  1st round NBA Draft pick or not.

Hooping At Madison Square Garden

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Once again, the good people over at Foot Locker saw fit to include me in a group of people way more influential than I in the name of their Week Of Greatness campaign which features some of the best sneaker releases of the year happened all in the same week. Instead of opting for the standard ‘booze & shmoose’, Foot Locker gave us the opportunity to play basketball at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden.

Again: I was playing basketball on-court in Madison Square Garden. Didn’t get the ball much, but at least I scored & we won.

This is definitely one of those life highlights that keeps me working in this industry. So very appreciative of this opportunity.

The new MSG SkyBridge looks great and its cool to see a arena cater to the fans by providing screens in areas where pillars might obstruct view. Got the chance to talk to JR Smith for a little bit and he also was the first one I’ve seen with the orange Nike Air Python months before its release at NikeNYC on 21 Mercer.

If interested, check the post I did for The Hoop Doctors right HERE where I go more in-depth about the things I was brought out there to talk about. Enjoy looking thru some of the pictures that didn’t make the THD but I still like anyway.

Sneakerheads Need To Get Familiar With The Nike Air Flight 89

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August is almost over and before I attempt to hustle my way over to Philly for the AND1 Remix Tour 2013 & line up a list of content to aggregate for website(s) I don’t have much control over, I wanted to let some thoughts I have about the Nike Air Flight 89 breathe a little.

If you take two sneakers that released in the same year, made by the same designer, with the same exact midsole & bottom; how does one stand out more than the other? Michael Jordan. The two sneakers are the Air Jordan IV(4) and the Nike Air Flight 89. Calling the Flight 89 a mostly leather Jordan IV wouldn’t make you wrong.

I would have such good looking comparison pictures if I had a pair of the ‘Toro Bravo/red suede’ Jordan IVs from a few weeks back to shoot next to that quiet red ’89 Flight release from this year that I featured in a Complex list because full size runs went on sale for $70. Another good comparison picture would be for the’FEAR’ Jordan IV to line up with this Air Flight 89 I picked up recently, that looks like another current Jordan IV; the one that was apart of the Air Jordan Retro ‘FEAR’ pack. Recently I went through a sneaker cleansing phase where I kept one colorway of every Air Jordan silhouette that I had and got rid of the rest, so this sole-by-sole picture of my newest Flight 89 with my battle-tested ‘Cool Grey’ IVs will have to suffice with getting my point across that the Flight 89 and Jordan IV look too much alike for one to be more popular than the other.

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Definitely in 1993 but possibly the year before, a version of the lowtop Air Flight 89 featuring the famous cursive FLIGHT F appeared in the center of a strap that crossed the midfoot of the shoe. According to one of the Japanese sneaker ads below, this strapped version was sold alongside the original in the Asia market. I bet if Sir Charles knew about these he would have opted for those instead of the standard-issue strapless US releases we got.

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With sneaker quality & gluespots being discussed at an all-time high on your favorite sneaker site’s comments section, the Flight 89 doesn’t get its just due. I will say that it is strange to see a Air Flight 89 made with little-to-no leather, but that is to be expected in basketball shoes these days. Despite using the same midsole, the midsoles of the Air Flight 89 lasts remarkably better than that of latter-day pairs of the Jordan IV. Curious, very curious.

On a few sneaker outlets I toyed with the idea of linking posts of the red Air Flight 89 from earlier in the year to that of the ‘Toro Bravo’ Air Jordan 4 Retro with a very similar red hue and it wouldn’t be that much of a reach. I really could have hit the internet with pictures of this latest pickup calling them the Air Flight 89 left out of the ‘FEAR’ pack with all type of buzzwords like “sample” & “PE”, and there would be those who saw, reposted, and believed that this a long, lost size 9 that got to me in a Memphis box as a rejected member of the now-released FEAR set of Air Jordan Retros. But that would be lying, and I’m not about that life.

Enjoy the shots for a few recognizable people in the Air Flight 89 (did I mention how crazy it is that a image search of this sneaker yields hundreds of Kanye West pictures) and do yourself the favor of picking up a pair if you like them.

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Curren$y At SOBs NYC Jaunary 3rd, 2013

What has become one of my favorite concert sets ever. Got sick of always combing thru YouTube for the full video so this is more for me than ya’ll but as they say Just Enjoy This Shit.

My View On The Current #StateOfSneakers

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I’m a big fan of Chris Rock standup routines because of the real life ideas that are conveyed thru his comedy. One principal I have been able to apply to my own life for years is the notion that not one person is 100% for anything; an idea that holds a particular truth here. There are good and bad sides to the current state of sneakerdom so my thoughts might be
understood easier if broken up.

THE GOOD:
Most obvious is the sneaker selection in stores today compared to 10 years ago.

A decade ago, there was only 12 Retro releases from Jordan Brand; which was more than enough to satisfy the growing legion of sneakerheads. 2003 saw the ‘White Cement’ Jordan III hit stores again for $100 flat, the Black/Carolina Jordan XII was the first pair to be sold strictly online, and three pairs of the original Air Jordan with a cut-down collar and given the patent leather treatment.

Some rave about the frequency of releases and how that has tainted the game, but last time I checked games can both be won and lost. With more footwear options then ever it seems to me like everyone interested wins.

THE BAD:

With so many releases, one would think these days it would be much easier to be unique & standout by wearing a different pair of sneakers than the next man when, in fact, quite the opposite is happening.

OVERALL:

All of this talk isn’t going unnoticed by all the major brands however, so do not be too surprised when changes are made to how things are done in the near future. But that will come at a time where the current state of sneakers will be missed and the talk of the internet will be about how great 2013 was for the culture.