CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – NBA players will once again share their personal stories this weekend during the All-Star festivities – and will use basketball shoes as a platform to spread their message.

When Kevin Durant speaks on Sunday, he will wear pink Nike KD 11 Aunt Pearls shoes bearing the names of 59 cancer survivors and telling inspirational stories.

His Golden State Warriors teammate Stephen Curry decided to make fun of his mischievous nature with his choice of shoes, unveiling the Under Armor Curry 6 "Coy Fish" colorway illustrating the moment when he and a former college teammate were in a little trouble for making a joke. in a Japanese steakhouse.

The fashion of All-Star shoes may not be as big as it was, but it's still a reality.

The shoes worn by the players are still considered a big problem, because the All-Star game is a real niche for fans of the basketball community called "sneakerheads" – even though the global market for basketball shoes Maybe it's not what he was. a decade ago.

Anyway, the stories behind them add meaning to the shoes.

Curry's "Coy Fish" shoe ($ 130, available Friday), for example, looks like the vibrant koi fish – and the story of when Curry and his former Davidson Wildcats teammate, Steve Rossiter, decided to jump into The koi fish pond at a local Japanese restaurant during a night celebrating. Curry was the lure of the getaway, distracting the hostess, while Rossiter jumped into the water and tried to catch one of the koi fish.

Unfortunately for Curry and Rossiter, the surveillance tape captured the antics and was referred to Davidson coach Bob McKillop.

"We were in the gym running the sprints for a good two hours," says Curry on the Under Armor website.

McKillop also urged players to return to the steakhouse and stand in front of the front door to greet guests for four hours.

Durant's shoe line is named after his favorite aunt, who died of lung cancer in 2000, so any new version has a personal meaning for him. The KD 11 aunt pearls ($ 150, available on Thursdays).

James Harden, Damian Lilllard and Kyle Lowry will wear "race-inspired" Adidas All-Star Weekend shoes with checkered flags, a nod to Charlotte's long history of racing. These shoes are only for players and are not available to the public, but the other colors of each sneaker are available.

While the unveiling of new shoes at the NBA's All-Star Game is a bit like Christmas morning for some shoe collectors, an industry advisor said it was not likely to affect consumers US.

"Basketball shoes are out of fashion," said Matt Powell, of the Sports NPD group, who has been researching shoes for more than two decades.

Powell said the trend of abandoning basketball shoes had started around 2015 and that sales had continued to decline. He said basketball shoe sales in the United States had dropped among "weak teenagers" in 2017 and in "single digits" last year.

He does not expect the trend to change, no matter how fancy the new line of basketball shoes unveiled this weekend in Charlotte.

Nevertheless, players continue to argue over the market in a shoe market where sometimes the brightest is the best. So, there will be a host of multicolors on the display.

Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City and Kyrie Irving of Boston could wear the most vibrant shoes.

Irving will wear the red, blue, black, yellow and white Nike Kyrie 5 X Rokit ($ 190, available on Saturday), which combines skating and hoop culture to highlight the mix between sports.

Westbrook will celebrate its eighth NBA star selection with a special edition coloring of its Jordan Brand Why Not Zer0.2 shoes ($ 125 available Sunday) that daringly combines the colors black, red, light blue and dark and lime green.

Like most players, Westbrook helped design his shoes. He said on the Nike website that "every color has a special meaning for me, I wanted to take this story to the next level with an exposed label that helps to illustrate the meaning behind the colors used."

In coordination with the All-Star weekend organized by Michael Jordan, former NBA star and current owner of the Hornets, the Jordan brand launches a series of off-road shoes to pay tribute to the sixth NBA champion, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. led the North Carolina Tar Heels to a national championship and became a household name with the Chicago Bulls.

The story continues

One of the shoes, the Air Jordan Royal Varsity ($ 200, available now), celebrates Jordan's legacy at Laney High School with a versatile royal shoe, corn and anthracite.

But the most popular shoe could be the re-release of what Jordan wore in the last All-Start match played in Charlotte in 1991 – the Jordan VI Infrared, essentially black and red ($ 200, available Saturday).

"We wanted to pay tribute to the most important moments of MJ's trip and you can see it materialize with the new and classic Air Jordans takes for men and women," said David Creech, vice president of Jordan Brand design.

Half of the 26 players selected for the All-Star Game will wear Nike shoes.

Five will wear Jordan Brand, three Adidas, two Under Armor and one each representing New Balance, Anta and the Chinese clothing company Li-Ning.


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