“Oakland taught him the good and the bad, toughness and determination,” explains Damian Lillard‘s mother, Gina Johnson. “Raising Damian…our family did it as a team. He understands how to help others because that’s what he’s been nurtured in to.”
Damian Lillard‘s third signature shoe „DAME 3“ shows the Blazers‘ Point Guard‘s true character. Born and raised in Oakland, California, the shoe does not only pay tribute to Dame‘s family and friends but to his hometown as well. It is a humble reminder of his beginnings in a neighborhood that laid the foundation to who Dame would become both on and off the court.
Through evolved storytellling adidas created a performance shoe that is full of personalized details, all referring to his roots, his basketball career, community efforts and his debut album „The Letter O“ (definitely worth listening to, btw!!). Dame said about the album, “I want people to get to know me. I think everybody talk about ‘I grew up like this and this is where I’m from, and blah blah blah.’ But I want people to hear like, this is how I really grew up, this is what has made me who I am. This is why I act how I act, this is why I feel how I feel about myself and the stuff that I do. I think it’ll explain a lot about who I am and why I do what I do, for real. Give people a chance to get to know me and the situations I’ve been in.” Same goes for the DAME 3 – From shooting on milk crates to playing as the captain of the Portland Trail Blazers in the best basketball league in the world, Dame‘s history gave the design team of the Three Stripes a lot to work with. Lessons that carried on past the basketball court. His awesome rap tracks as well as his collaboration with adidas express his true self. They allow kids and people to relate to the circumstances that made Lillard the person he is today. “He’s going to make sure everybody knows there’s an opportunity out there for them to make it.” – Gina Johnson, Dame’s mother.
Much like the first two iterations, the renamed DAME 3 – former adidas D Lillard 1.0 and 2.0 – features similiar aesthetic details hinting at Dame‘s close relationship to his family and his upbringing in Oakland‘s Brookfield neighborhood. Inspired by the family that helped Dame rise along his journey, references include:
The initials of his mother and two grandmothers (Gina, Cecilia, Ruth – G:C:R) are molded onto the right toe while the initials of his father and grandfather (Houston, Albert – H:A) are showcased on the left.
The longitude (37.737 degrees north) and latitude (-122.188 degrees west) of Oakland’s Brookfield neighborhood are featured on the outrigger of the left and right foot.
DAME‘S FIRST HOOD
56316, the code displayed on the telephone pole in front his grandparents’ house where Dame learned to shoot on a milk crate, is featured on the center of the outsole.
THE THREE O‘S
„WEARING THE LETTER O” is printed on the left sockliner as tribute to both Dame’s pre-game introduction in Portland and his debut album titled “The Letter O,” signifying the three locations most important to his career – Oakland, Ogden and Oregon – printed on the right sockliner.
Built with a breathable mesh upper with a bootee construction and a customizable lacing system for a secure lockdown, the DAME 3 is designed to elevate one of the game‘s most elite point guards. Dame‘s tough but calm style of play has been taken as inspiration, engineering dual-density BOUNCE cushioning for natural court feel from tip-off to the final buzzer and thus, delivering optimized balance and step-in comfort all day. The open collar might seem quite state-of-the-art for now, but it enables an easy entry. The high sides help to enhance control and stability when Dame is on fire on the hardwood.
The first chapter of DAME 3 – Roots – in its all-red colorway honors his early AAU days with the Oakland Rebels. Inspired by Dame‘s roots, adidas and Dame decided to pay tribute to his early moments that built this career later on. Especially his tough but fair head coach Raymond Young played an integral part in his development, creating a path for Dame‘s unrelenting attitude: players had to hold bricks in each hand while practicing their defensive stance. Thus, all-red for all the bricks Lillard had to carry in his youth. Coach, this one is for you.
Back to the roots, it is! Get the all-new DAME 3 at KICKZ.com:
Whoever you are – wherever you’re from – ALL RISE.
(Photo credits: adidas Basketball)