This is the first of my performance reviews during the winter of 2010-2011.
The good folk at Jordan Brand laced me with a pair of light blue and white Carmelo’s for my run at NYC’s top 40 and over league – The Pelham Fritz Tournament, held on 128th street between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Harlem for our new Player Performance Column. I slid the kicks on in the locker room and tuned my mind in for that first all-important comfort check – How hard are they on the bottom of the foot? I took the first step in comfort, and the shoe was light against the top of my foot. The style test was confirmed when my coach’s eyes went straight to the sneaker for more than 2 seconds, he being always laced in Nike or Jordan crispy cream on the sidelines.
It was a strong beginning.
As I stepped on the court, my grip was firm although the court was a bit waxy. The first move that showed me the shoe was real was when I hit my defender with a jab-step-one-dribble-sudden-stop-step back, a la Paul Pierce last night against the Amar’e, testing the toe box comfort and outsole grip. The shoe held up nicely. I felt no inner discomfort in the toe box or at the top of my foot, and the stop was smooth.
In the second quarter, I tested the ankle support when I pressed my man defensively, quickly making him turn suddenly and spin to his left hand. I slid quickly and denied him with a long lateral stride, and again the shoe performed. I experienced no rollover, and I trusted that I could continue with the pressure and move laterally without a problem.
During the fourth quarter the shoe was beginning to settle around my foot, shaping itself to my movements, and after the game I had no soreness at the top or bottom of my foot. It was a good look all the way around, and I strongly recommend the shoe for a good season of tournament ball.