Chris Paul charms sneakerheads at All-Star 2011.
With the 2010-11 NBA season coming to an end, we take a look back at happier times. A retrospective of sneaker events held during 2011 All-Star week festivities in Los Angeles…
Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but hype can overshadow it.
Team Jordan athlete Chris Paul was scheduled to appear inside the Footaction at Westfield Culver City Mall for 2011 NBA All-Star weekend. His slated arrival time was marked at 1PM that Saturday. Fans began lining up as early as 6AM, some even driving in excess of nine hours for a handshake and a moment with their favorite point guard. CP3′s arrival was unfortunately delayed due to infamous LA traffic. The small Footaction space quickly became a heat box thanks to all the huddled kids, teens and overzealous parents. The Jordan team and Footaction store staff did their best to keep the crowd from growing restless by handing out water and having the in-store host Bun B come out to chat with the assembled kids. Bun (who was wearing Nike Sportswear and Diamond Supply attire) was kind and charismatic and I don’t just say that as a major UGK head, too. Chants of “we want CP3!” rang through the store intermittently and faded as the minutes passed on.
Shortly after 2PM, to the glee of everyone, the Jordan Brand guest of honor had finally arrived. Chris Paul came out to cheers and sat down next to Bun B on a set of stools, getting ready to interact with Bun and the crowd. It’s clear why CP3 is a fan favorite with kids, parents and media – his answers were thoughtful, intelligent and charming. Paul’s quickness extends beyond his feet, with a display of a sharp wit to match. The throng of fans quickly forgot about the heat and the extended wait as CP3 lived up to the hype because he was so accessible and honest. There was also a significant emphasis on shoes, as after all, it’s a Footaction store and Jordan Brand event. Paul says he feels like coming out to LA is always a culture shock, being a North Carolina native and playing in New Orleans.
Sneaker wise, Chris Paul’s favorite flagship Jordan game shoes to play in are the Air Jordan XIII and Air Jordan XX3 (his Olympic shoe in 2008). Paul explains that his original pair of Jordan XIII’s were stolen out of his gym locker as a teenager and that he just received a new pair of original XIII’s last year, despite being on Jordan Brand for five years. Apparently even when you represent the brand, it’s still hard to come across an original pair of Air Jordans. CP3 also loves the early Jordan models but says they’re far too heavy for him to play in – he needs a quick, light shoe. Paul was once injured in a pair of Air Jordan V’s and hasn’t played in the shoes since. And yes, Jordan Brand is already working on designing his next signature shoe, but he couldn’t divulge any details just yet.
Paul also expressed his love for the city of New Orleans and that he intends to re-sign and wants to bring a championship to the New Orleans Hornets. The only time he dished out a “no comment” was when a fan asked if he would be a Knick in 2012. Hearing Paul fill us in on his Michael Jordan fandom was endearing – he went from wearing Jordan shoes as a kid to having MJ’s personal phone number now. Here are some of the best moments of the event as CP’s southern drawl and smile is something that needs to be shared, even when fashionably late.
His favorite Jordan (that isn’t his signature shoe), playing in early Jordan models:
On his shoe – the CP3.IV and what needs in a performance baketball shoe:
On being a part of Jordan Brand:
On what the Hornets need to do to contend for an NBA championship and who he would have liked to join him in New Orleans:
On his biggest basketball accomplishment thus far in his career:
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