At one point in time in a land long, long ago, basketball sneakers were only a means of footwear, rocked on the court until they essentially fell apart and then replaced. Then there was the day Michael Jordan laced up a pair of Chicago 1's in 1984 and changed the sneaker game forever.
Basketball shoes, more specifically Jordans, have become a staple of the game of basketball. They're fashion statements, stunted by kids and grown men alike on and off the hardwood looking to turn some heads. But what comes with the shoes themselves other than the hefty price tag of $170 is the addictive feeling. Shoes are a form of self expression, and there's a certain sense of pride put behind the shoes you're rocking. Quickly, you learn to understand that these are more than some rubber covering your feet. There's a movement behind it . Fellow LB'er Tanner Steidel is also a sneaker aficionado, telling me at one point, "I had almost 50 pairs. I needed to stop." We'll have a Kickstarter to fund his necessary rehab in the coming days.
I've started a minute collection of J's (three pairs and slowly growing), and have completely become immersed in the culture. I know Jordan's 1-14 like the back of my hand. Walk through the mall with me, and I'll probably shout out "that guy is wearing Concord 11's", or "Black Cement 3's", at which point you'll promptly tell me to shut up because you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.
But there are those out there like Tanner and myself that understand the love for these pairs of shoes. One of them just happens to be the Sixers Tony Wroten. Wroten boasts "the best shoe game in the league", and he has a darn good case. He has a wide array of pairs to chose from, including a pair of rarely seen Jordan 21's, which I couldn't even figure out without the help of Google. One fateful night in March, his several hundred pair collection lost a member of the family. Trying to post up in a game against the Pacers, Wroten stuck his pair of Cherry 10's into the ground, which proceeded to implode. The sole ripped clean off and thus a classic was ruined.
It felt only natural that this atrocity occurred with Evan Turner defending, who does a really good job of ruining absolutely everything. Tony runs off the court to change sneaks and likely running on adrenaline, as I can only imagine he would be reduced to tears in any other situation. All wounds eventually heal and Wroten's collection will continue to grow, but those Jordan's are simply irreplaceable.