I’ve long had a strange relationship with basketball sneakers. After all, basketball is my favorite sport–to watch, to play–and as such, in my lifetime, accessorizing has long been a staple of the game. Getting the right jersey, wearing the right gear, having the best sneakers. Unfortunately, all that nonsense costs a lot of money. And as such, as a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have the brand new Jordans (not that I wanted anything from that punk. I was a Spurs fan on the futile search for a pair of Air-David-Robinsons…) or anything else that cost that much. Sneakers weren’t supposed to cost $75 for a 9-year old, my parents would say. I didn’t get it then, but I get it now.
That’s all a long way of saying, I may not buy the hottest new shoes (or, as our pals in London call ’em, “basketball boots”) but I do have a serious appreciation for the feeling of a new pair of kicks. And, what makes this feeling special is that it’s rare. Any jerk can buy a new pair of shiny sneakers. But, only a lucky few get to play indoors on a court that is clean. Not a court that has the same dust and residue left on it from when the kids had lunch that afternoon.
I can’t claim to have been that lucky that often, but I do know the feeling. And while at times the cut into that hardwood is so sharp it feels like my ACL is going to rip in half again, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Showing up to the park or the gym or wherever you play, with your new sneakers on for the first time, and having someone land on them within what, 30 seconds?, and scuff them permanently. That hasn’t happened to me the last three times I had new sneakers.