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Nike unveils Kevin Durant’s latest signature shoe, the KD V

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Kevin Durant’s KD IV was one of the most popular signature shoes in recent memory. The seemingly endless and limited edition colorways kept fans (and resellers) coming back again and again, and were worn by most for style rather than on-court performance.

Earlier this week, Nike officially unveiled this year’s edition, the KD V. And while we’ll have to wait to get a good look at these in person, the early vibe is that these ones are placing more of an emphasis on the performance side. From the release:

“Designed with premium materials and leading Nike performance technologies, the KD V represents the evolution of Kevin Durant and his style of play.

“Leo Chang, Nike Basketball Footwear Design Director, took Durant’s fifth signature shoe to new dimensions by combining inspirational cues drawn from Durant’s personal journey with symbolism from the number five – wrapped up in a premium performance package.”

“Championship drive takes an entire team, and the new KD V represents the roadmap I follow,” said Kevin Durant, 3-time scoring champion. “Leo did a great job on the shoe by combining the best technology with my journey and what the number five means to me.”

“With a refined design aesthetic matching Durant’s smooth and fluid style of play, the KD V integrates four leading technologies: 1) a Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot, 2) Nike Air unit in the heel 3) unibody Hyperfuse upper construction for superior fit 4) external heel counter to allow the foot to move while still providing support.

“The shoe’s hidden story comes from five players united on the court, five sides of a pentagon – a Washington D.C. landmark, five corners of a star, and Durant’s fifth Nike signature shoe. This tribute to five is brought to life on the shoe’s outsole pattern, midsole texture, tongue quilting with V’s, and heel counter details.

“The Maryland state flag inspires the color combination on the shoe’s Bright Crimson colorway – with the flag’s red, yellow and black remixed in bright and light tones – a fitting tribute to Durant’s home state.”

The design elements are certainly there, and we’re certain that there will be some unique colorways released as the season progresses. Check out the gallery below, and let us know if the improved performance features will tempt you into picking these up.

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NBA: Hornets incorrectly denied game-tying FT attempts in final seconds of loss to Clippers

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Foul or defend?

That’s the eternal question for teams trying to protect a late three-point lead.

While many fans believe fouling is the astute strategy, most American coaches opt to defend.

Defending is a better strategy than meets the eye, because it’s relatively easy to defend the arc when you know your opponent needs a 3-pointer. Plus, as coaches commonly believe, fouling offers too many opportunities for something to go wrong.

The Clippers almost learned that the hard way in their win over the Hornets on Sunday.

But an officiating error helped L.A. preserve its late lead, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

With the Clippers up three, Chris Paul intentionally fouled Kemba Walker with 2.1 seconds left. Walker made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second.

In the battle for the rebound, Blake Griffin should have been called for committing a loose-ball foul on Marvin Williams with 2.0 seconds left, per the league:

Griffin (LAC) grab Williams’ (CHA) jersey and affect his ability to rebound.

The league also ruled Williams got away with a loose-ball foul on Griffin in the same tenth of a second, but Griffin’s foul should have been whistled first.

A correct call would’ve given Williams — who’s making 85% of his free throws this season and 80% for his career — two attempts from the line with a chance to tie the game.

Instead, Griffin grabbed the rebound and was intentionally fouled with half a second left. He hit one free throw, and the Clippers won, 124-121.

Draymond Green, Kevin Durant take turns playing while holding Durant’s shoe (video)

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The adventures of Kevin Durant‘s shoe:

  • Falls off as Durant shoots a jumper
  • Left on the far side of the court for an entire Warriors defensive possession
  • Lightly kicked by 76ers forward Robert Covington, who should have tossed it into the crowed
  • Picked up by Draymond Green, who sets a screen while holding it
  • Tossed by Green to Durant
  • Held by Durant as he defends and tips a rebound
  • Put back on by Durant just in time for him to assist Stephen Curry

Patrick Patterson falls on his back, still strips Derrick Rose (video)

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This is mostly good effort by Patrick Patterson. It’s also bad luck for Derrick Rose, who’s not accustomed to avoiding a player lying on his back.

But it’s hard to resist the jokes about Rose losing a step to the point he can no longer beat even a man who’d fallen on his back off the dribble.

 

Potential top-three NBA-draft prospect, Kansas’ Josh Jackson, charged with misdemeanor property damage

Kansas Jayhawks guard Josh Jackson (11) during a time-out against the Baylor Bears the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann
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Markelle Fultz is the consensus top prospect in the 2017 NBA draft, and Lonzo Ball is a strong second.

Leading the pack for third? Probably Kansas forward Josh Jackson.

But Jackson’s résumé is now tainted by a misdemeanor property-damage charge.

The incident, which allegedly involved Kansas teammate Lagerald Vick and Kansas women’s basketball playerMcKenzie Calvert, occurred just before 2 a.m. Dec. 9.

Laura Bauer and Mara Rose Williams of The Kansas City Star:

Calvert is the same female KU student who a university investigation found Vick likely committed domestic violence against more than a year ago.

Calvert reportedly threw a drink on a male patron while leaving the bar. The Star has learned that the patron was Vick.

Jackson followed Calvert to her car, according to the release, and they argued. Witnesses saw Jackson kick the driver’s door of Calvert’s car and kick a rear taillight.

The Star has learned that Calvert — a standout on the women’s team — was in the driver’s seat while Jackson kicked her car.

Investigators have interviewed several people who witnessed the reported crime. A police report categorized the $2,991 in total damage to the car as a felony. But Friday’s release listed the damage at a higher amount, $3,150.45.

“Felony criminal damage (damage in excess of $1,000) was not charged because the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all the damage to the door and taillight were caused by Jackson,” the release said.

Jackson said in a statement he would pay for damage he “directly caused.” Kansas coach Bill Self, in his statement, called Jackson a “great ambassador for this university.”

NBA teams shouldn’t and probably won’t blindly accept Self’s self-interested assessment. Jackson’s conduct will likely be investigated during the pre-draft process, determining where it falls on the spectrum of a youthful transgression and the hot-button issue of domestic violence.

The better Jackson plays, the more forgiving teams will be. Right or wrong, that’s how it works. But this incident will be included in the overall assessment of Jackson.