Nike Basketball honors MLK day with special edition shoes for LeBron, Kobe, and Durant

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If you look closely, you’ll see a lot of players wearing shoes with some bright orange laces on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. That’s just part of the detail on the special edition shoes that Nike Basketball rolled out to honor Black History Month.

The official release:

“Nike recognizes the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the power of sports to impact society.

“Athletes at all levels have the unique ability to extend their voice beyond sports. This is true for Kevin Durant, who provides creative inspiration for the Nike Black History Month product collection based on his commitment to giving back to his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Md.

“The 2013 Nike BHM Collection will debut in stores and online beginning January 26, but the first glimpse of the product will occur during pro basketball’s nine MLK Day commemorative games on January 21.

“A consistent design aesthetic weaves through each shoe, with a color palette including black and grey highlighted in orange. The color orange is particularly meaningful with its bold hue and tie to Nike’s DNA since its 1972 inception.

“Nike Basketball shoes include special versions of the KD VLEBRON X and KOBE 8 SYSTEM; all three featuring black, grey and orange with the signature Nike BHM print. Kobe will wear his BHM KOBE 8 SYSTEM shoe as Los Angeles takes on Chicago. Additional Nike BHM styles including the Hyperdunk 2012 will also be worn on court January 21, and Kevin Durant will wear his BHM KD V on January 22 as Oklahoma City takes on the Los Angeles Clippers.

“The 2013 Nike Black History Month Collection mantra “Be Bold. Be True.” celebrates athletes who are fearless in action and fueled by a purpose.

“In keeping with a tradition of honoring organizations that give back and inspire youth, NIKE, Inc. will make a financial contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America with proceeds from the Nike BHM Collection.”

Check out the photos below and let us know what you think in the comments.


Nike Basketball MLK Day Tribute

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.

LeBron James: Reporter warned me about question on Gregg Popovich’s wife before live TV interview

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In her on-court interview with LeBron James following the Cavaliers’ Game 2 win over the Pacers last night, TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce asked him about the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife.

LeBron appeared emotional as he gathered his thoughts.

That prompted some to criticize LaForce for ambushing LeBron on a sensitive subject on live TV. But that’s not what happened.

Uninterrupted:

LeBron:

I’m not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends through texts that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel I was blindsided. That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask the question and if it was OK.

And once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions kind of took over. And that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich.

It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers, once again goes out to the Popovich family, to Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base.

And also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’ back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. So, get off her back, man. She’s very professional, and she does a great job at her work.

Like I said, thoughts and prayers to the heavens above. We all know the man above never makes mistakes, even when we question it. But it’s a sad, tragic time right now for the NBA family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.

It would have been surprising if LaForce hadn’t done that. Somewhere between nearly nobody and absolutely nobody in her position is trying to embarrass players.

PBT Extra: If Portland is going to turn series around it starts with Damian Lillard

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This was the year the Trail Blazers were going to break through. They were defending better as a team. There was some depth on offense. And Damian Lillard was playing at a level that will get him on many voters’ MVP ballots.

Instead, they are down 0-2 to Anthony Davis and New Orleans, having dropped both games at home to open the series. Portland is on the verge of being bounced in the first round for the third time in four years.

If Portland is going to turn this series around, it starts with Lillard, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. C.J. McCollum needs to get more buckets, Jusuf Nurkic needs to contribute more on both ends, but for Portland it all begins and ends with Lillard and it’s on him to start the turnaround.