SLAM KICKS: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Universe Publishing (a division of Rizzoli)
Editor: Ben Osborne
Contributors: Russ Bengston, Scoop Jackson, Lang Whitaker and John Brilliant
Edited by Ben Osborne, the then Editor-in-Chief of SLAM Magazine and current EOC for The Bleacher Report, SLAM KICKS presents a primarily visual history of basketball shoes by focusing on 33 pairs of sneakers that, “changed the game”. Each shoe has a brief history told in the context of being a game-changer. Additionally there are 4 essays in the book: Digging and Deadstock by Russ Bengston (Complex); A Shoe Fixation by Lang Whitaker (NBA TV); Nike.BBall.Dominance. by Scoop Jackson (ESPN); and The New Golden Age of Sneaker Innovation by John Brilliant (CounterKicks).
Sneakerature’s Take: Ask a proverbial fly on the wall at any major athletic shoe company and they’re likely to tell you that the term ‘game-changer’ is thrown around with the type of reckless abandon that inevitably elevates the cliché to the blasé. What many (most) who use the expression are missing, is the understanding of the interconnection of ‘games’ that are actually changed by a pair of sneakers. This is where SLAM KICKS excels; it loosens the braided intricacies of basketball, fashion, culture and sneakers just enough to find the common threads, and uses them to show how each of the 33 pairs documented on its pages brought forth a redefining novelty, be it on the court, in the store, for the brand or somewhere else.