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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Lonzo Ball finishes one-handed alley-oop on Willie Cauley-Stein (video)

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So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.

But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.

But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.

Marc Gasol makes 3/4-court shot just after buzzer (video)

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When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.

Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.

Watch Knicks string together 28-0 run against Raptors

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Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.

Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.

Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.

New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.

Devin Booker forces OT with deep turnaround buzzer-beating 3-pointer, but Bucks beat Suns (video)

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I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.

But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.