Nike unveils Christmas Day shoes for LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant

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In what has become a tradition, Nike Basketball will have its top players decked out in special edition colorways of their signature sneakers on Christmas Day.

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant will each be rocking shoes specially designed for the holiday, all of which will be available in limited quantities from retailers beginning Dec. 26.

From the official release:

LEBRON 11

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“Snow on the leaves?  Never in Miami, but this year LeBron James brings the spirit of the season to the beach with this special edition of the LEBRON 11.  A chilly mint color takes on a Christmas green with bold red accents and a frosty translucent outsole. The unique geometry of a snowflake combines with the royal palm to create a kaleidoscopic ‘palmsicle” print.”

KOBE 8 SYSTEM

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“Ready to strike at any moment, the KOBE 8 SYSTEM sheds its skin to prepare for the coming of the KOBE 9 Elite in February 2014. The essence of the shedding skin is exemplified in a bold modern interpretation of aggressive snake scales attached to a translucent mesh shroud. Hits of neon mamba green and chrome gold bring in the holiday season.”

KD VI

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“Kevin Durant takes the court in Christmas red with accents of gold and mint. With a twist on traditional Christmas prints, the KD VI features a Fair Isle style Christmas sweater pattern that incorporates trees, stripes, and his number 35. Christmas plaid adorns the collar lining, with decorative detail worked into the metallic red Nike Flywire technology upper and a mint green speckled sole. ”

Check out plenty more images in the gallery below, and let us know if you plan on copping a pair in the comments.


Nike Basketball Christmas

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?