Those still skeptical of why Carmelo Anthony stayed in New York need to find the black doors plastered with an iconic white logo on West 32nd Street. Jordan Brand's Terminal 23 has become a well-regarded spot for NBA players to scrimmage during the offseason, and Monday it was transformed into a neon-lit Palace Of Melo.

No press conference was needed to mark the release of the Jordan Melo M11, the 11th model named after the line's most tenured athlete. Instead, to unveil his boldest and most intimate design to date Anthony walked a small group of reporters through the Terminal hallways, sharing stories of life in Denver, Syracuse, Baltimore and New York's Red Hook projects.

Talk of the lightweight M11 was colored by memories of falling in love with the game in high school, getting scolded by teachers for drawing sneakers on desks and confusion over where to get his braids fixed as a Nuggets rookie.

Jordan Brand's latest version of the Melo is its most breathable and uses the brand's FlightPlate technology, allowing for a more explosive liftoff and padded landing. An updated foam heel counter was birthed from Anthony's interest in Mystique's suit from X-Men, and the additional ankle support is only logical for a player seeing increasingly more time at the 3 position.

The M11 comes in four color schemes:

  • A gray and pink "Concrete Island" that juxtaposes grit and flair.
  • A blue, pink and orange "Red Hook Sunset" that is just as current as it is nostalgic.
  • A red, black and white "Jordan Family."
  • An untitled black and gold design that will find an official name through fan suggestions on social media.

ThePostGame sat down with Carmelo Anthony to discuss how the M11 came about, his eye for sneaker design and what's next for him with Jordan Brand.

ThePostGame: You've been with Jordan from the moment you left Syracuse. Why does the fit still work a decade later?
CARMELO ANTHONY: It's just loyalty. We've grown together, I feel like. I came to Jordan at a very pivotal time, when they were still trying to figure out what the brand wanted to stand for. I helped create that buzz and the message of legacy that still exists. To be here talking about 10, 11 years in with them, I've seen the brand go from there to here. And it's still growing.

TPG: The brand was so dominant in the '80s and '90s, but you signed on as the league was going through a radical change in fashion and aesthetic.
ANTHONY: I had a following with me. I had kids from the city that were looking forward to me coming back home and telling them what's what. If I returned home saying, "This is what's poppin', these are the shoes to rock," they would follow that. It was a cult, and I was able to take all of that and help modernize what was going on here.

TPG: How much of this M11 is about that communal spirit?
ANTHONY: This is not just about me having a shoe. It's not the quote-unquote Melo shoe. It's about feeling included in what's going on. In this day and age, I wanted to give people a chance to enter my world or name a shoe. It's an opportunity to get more in depth with me, but not in an ordinary way. I felt that this was the best time to tell my story.

TPG: Why now?
ANTHONY: The story that I'm able to tell now, if I told it a couple of years ago, it wouldn't have made sense.

TPG: Re-signing in New York obviously gives the narrative a new layer.
ANTHONY: Exactly.

TPG: What really distinguishes the M11 from previous models?
ANTHONY: We went super light with this one, as light as we could without messing with the material or the technology. It's really comfortable. I took a very active role in designing this one as well.

TPG: What's your style as a designer summed up in one word?
ANTHONY: [Laughs] I'd have to say "creative."

TPG: What colors do you want to implement in the future? This edition obviously has the most dramatic palette.
ANTHONY: We're going to continue to go this route. When I was in Denver, I kept going back to the white and powder blue because those shoes were only for the Denver market. Now there's a bigger stage for the product. We can mess around with different colors, as well as different fabrics.

TPG Post Game: What shoes did you rock when you were growing up?
ANTHONY: I never had Jordans! Didn't have a pair until my senior year of high school. I used to love the Scottie Pippens, the Pennys, the Kevin Johnson Converses. Loved the Larry Johnson Grandmamas. But yeah I never had Jordans. Crazy.

TPG: Are you interested in working with other forms of clothing?
ANTHONY: We're working on breaking those walls down for me. I want to be innovative and bring something new to whatever it may be.

Of all the storylines surrounding the New York Knicks this year, this is perhaps the least important but the most curious.

Superstar Carmelo Anthony, who inked a five-year, $124 million contract with the Knicks during the summer, has been sporting a new hat practically every week.

Anthony is know to love hats and recently hinted that he may be starting a line of headware. In the past few weeks he's sported a wide array of hats, spanning all different shapes and colors:





After Sunday's loss to the Toronto Raptors, Anthony sported another hat, which has been called a "Grandma Church Hat":


Twitter users, of course, had a lot to say about this:





Maybe, just maybe, this is a brilliant ploy from Anthony to distract from his team's on-court woes. In coach Derek Fisher's first year in charge, the Knicks are off to a 5-21 start.

Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list Sunday night when he hit two free throws early in the Lakers' win at Minnesota.

To commemorate the occasion, Nike released a special edition of Bryant's signature sneaker, the Kobe 9 Elite Low "Mamba Moment."

From Nike:

The shoe's purple and green multicolor Flyknit upper is a pre-set design while the fully customizable options include: the laces, midsole, tongue and Swoosh. There are up to 21 color choices available including glow-in-the-dark and metallic colors. A personalized name and number can be printed on the inside of the tongue.

Basketball shoes remain a hot commodity years after Michael Jordan turned them into a mainstream retail item. That means they've also become a hot target for criminals.

Nike narrowly missed being the victim of a huge attempted heist in Memphis, Tennessee, home to one of the company's major shipping facilities. One man managed to steal an entire trailer loaded with 7,500 pairs of LeBron 12s, the latest basketball shoe in the LeBron James line.

Considering those shoes can retail for as high as $250, such a large payload represents huge value -- anywhere from $700,000 to $1 million, according to Memphis police.

And as easy as it would seem to track down a trailer of Nike products, police said 700 pairs are yet to be found.

Whether as a status symbol or a way of investing further into the identity of their favorite athletes, fans have built a huge shoe market that can't seem to satisfy demand.

For as cool as LeBron's latest shoe and its marketing campaign have come off, they face many competitors on the market.

Chicago's Derrick Rose has his own line of shoes with Adidas known as the adiRose collection, which claims to be the lightest line of basketball shoes ever made. Portland's Damian Lillard has his own shoe from Adidas that features his rap lyrics on the exterior.

LeBron has competition with Nike, too. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant made headlines earlier this week for gifting an autographed pair of his Nike shoes to a teen who was mugged and had his shoes stolen off his feet. And this month, Nike announced that LeBron teammate Kyrie Irving would be coming out with his own line of basketball shoes.

And don't forget about MJ: Air Jordans remain a hot seller even though its namesake is 51.

According to Forbes, the basketball shoe market is only growing, reaching a new peak of $4.5 billion in sales in 2013. With those kinds of numbers, don't expect criminals to stop targeting the footwear.

In a sport where showy is celebrated and image is paramount, Amir Khan may have taken flashy to a new level.

For his welterweight fight Saturday against Devon Alexander, the 28-year-old British boxer will wear shorts valued at around $50,000.

Just how, you ask, can a pair of trunks be worth $50,000? Khan's shorts have crocodile trim and 24-carat gold woven through the waist band. The shorts are, perhaps not surprisingly, the most expensive boxing trunks ever worn.


Khan, who dubs himself "King Khan," has never been known for humility.


Representing Britain, Khan won the Olympic silver medal in the lightweight division at the 2004 Athens Games, and his career took off as he started working with storied boxing trainer Freddie Roach in 2008 (the pair split up in 2012). Now, according to one estimate, Khan is worth $30 million.

After losing consecutive bouts to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Khan has won all three of his fights the past two years. Heading into the fight against Alexander, Khan is 29-3 all time.

With so many people organizing their schedules on electronic devices, paper calendars aren't as popular as they used to be. But perhaps this offering from the Italian soccer club Napoli will prompt some fans to re-consider. Its 2015 calendar features a gladiator theme and very little clothing.

According to a translation from the team website, the "players and coach Benitez are portrayed in a mix of fashion, irony and sensuality."

Here are some preview photos making the rounds and a behind-the-scenes video:




Tags:
Soccer

Kyrie Irving is joining some select company with the introduction of a signature shoe from Nike.

Nike hasn't created a signature shoe for a basketball player since Kevin Durant in 2007. For Irving, it developed the Kyrie 1, which will be released to the public Dec. 23 and retails for $110.

Irving is the 20th basketball player to earn a signature shoe from Nike. Michael Jordan was the first in 1985. As part of the Kyrie 1's official unveiling, Nike trotted out some of the others to talk about earning this distinction, including Charles Barkley and Penny Hardaway. Here's some video of the special occasion with Kenny Smith serving as the event's host:

During the past few years, the NCAA has cracked down significantly on eye black, making it illegal to wear painted messages or wedge blocks. But nothing is stopping college football players from smearing the stuff on their face with no discernible rhyme or reason.

A few UCLA players on Saturday took eye black to a new level, painting their faces in unusual patterns for the Bruins' rivalry game against USC.


Defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes one-upped Mengel with this "design":


Excessive eye black has been somewhat of a tradition for UCLA under head coach Jim Mora. Before a big game against Arizona two years ago, Mora told his assistants to apply eye black as war paint. The Bruins crushed the Wildcats 66-10. They did the same for this year's matchup with Arizona.

Mengel went with a different look for a game earlier this year:


When asked about the eye black following UCLA's 38-20 win over USC, Mora played dumb.

"You know, the lights," Mora said. "The guys just wear eye black. I don't know."

The looks got some funny responses on Twitter:






Whatever the reason for the paint, no one's complaining about the eye black because UCLA beat USC for the third straight year. The Bruins now control their own destiny heading into the Pac-12 championship game. Should they beat Stanford this week, the Bruins will play Oregon for the conference crown.

Morale among Jets fans is low.

After the team cut bait on Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith was touted as the future. But Smith performed far worse than Sanchez ever did, and it seems coach Rex Ryan has finally had enough, handing the offense over to veteran Michael Vick.

The one constant among this quarterback rotation? If you look in the stands at Jets home games, you'll see a surprising amount of Tim Tebow jerseys.

No, Tim Tebow isn't on the team -- he hasn't been a Jet for almost two years. And it's hard to say that a measurable segment of fans genuinely believe Tebow could be a viable solution at quarterback -- despite leading the Denver Broncos to a playoff game victory in 2012, Tebow is out of the NFL, and no teams appear to be knocking on his door.


How, then, do you explain the enduring presence of those Tebow jerseys? Sports Illustrated hit the pavement and found a general theme among fans continuing to wear the gear: many were doing so as a jab at the organization.

"You want to wear this in protest of what the Jets are doing," said one fan, 27-year-old Jeff Smith, to SI. "Because obviously what they are doing now is not working."

Some fans didn't even buy their Tebow jerseys until after he had been released from the team. For fans wearing that gear, Tim Tebow stands as an example of the troublesome leadership that has led the Jets from a Super Bowl contender to a 2-8 team near the bottom of the NFL's standings.

Short of an outright ban -- which wouldn't earn any grace from fans -- the Jets probably only have one viable strategy for scrubbing their home stadium of Tebow reminders:

They need to start winning football games.

The most polarizing and recognizable celebrity sports fan was it at again this weekend.

Toronto native and Raptors' global ambassador Drake took in his team's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, and his interesting outfit overshadowed an easy win.

Drake appeared to go with a 1980s theme for the day, wearing a nondescript cream sweater and some eyewear that might be described as Granny Glasses.


Twitter users had a lot to say about Drake's outfit, and the comparisons were spot-on:





Drake's glasses were featured prominently when the cameras cut to him celebrating after James Johnson's thunderous dunk:


The last time Drake earned this much attention at a Raptors game, it was because he was caught using a lint roller on his pants. Sure enough, Drake and the Raptors turned that into a marketing opportunity.

Could the same be true of this outfit?


While Drake is tearing down courtside fashion boundaries, his Raptors are off to the best start in the Eastern Conference. At 6-1, Toronto is atop the Atlantic Division and leading the NBA with an average of 107.4 points.

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