After another successful All-Star Game on Sunday, it’s back to business tonight for the stars of the NBA. Decent games, too, if you’ve got League Pass poppin’. Some might argue that the business never actually stopped, though. Because behind all the smiles and hugs and handshakes shared before, during, and after the big game last weekend (give it a rest, fellas), sneaker companies like Jordan, Nike, Adidas and Reebok were jockeying for prime position all weekend long.
That’s nothing new, of course. But more and more, these companies have used All-Star Weekend as a jumping off point for many of their new signature sneakers. So everyone from the All-Star Game MVP Dwyane Wade to the injured Chris Paul used this weekend to get word of their latest sneaks off the ground as they gear up for the second half of the NBA season. But that got us to thinking: While there are certainly plenty of guys that deserve the honor of having their own sneaker, there are also a lot of guys starting on the wrong foot tonight because they have a sneaker contract but don’t exactly deserve it. And while we’re not saying you shouldn’t support one of these guys if he happens to be your favorite player, we are encouraging you to show it by buying a jersey instead of their signature sneaker… —Chris Yuscavage
The Player: New York Knicks forward Al Harrington (above)
The Sneaker: Protege A3H
The Reason: Aside from the fact that we absolutely hate album titles, rap monikers and company names that also serve as awkward acronyms (Protege actually stands for “People Reaching Out To Everyone Gaining Everything”—um, yeah, okay…), Harrington and his company get props for dishing out affordable sneakers. But he’d be better served doing it if his name was Kevin Durant, Ben Wallace, or…hell, Stephon Marbury!
The Player: Houston Rockets (soon-to-be New York Knicks?) guard Tracy McGrady
The Sneaker: Adidas TS Supernatural Creator
The Reason: For starters, there’s a whole bunch of questionable NBA players (heeeellooooo, Adam Morrison!) on the Adidas roster right now. But attaching T-Mac’s name to any product right now seems like a futile effort. We understand riding for your guy (pause), but since McGrady hasn’t played all season, what exactly is this sneaker promising? A cozy spot on the end of the bench? Next!