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Art of a Champion – Launch event in Berlin

Basketball is a funny thing. Great moments in this sport are almost always connected to other things  and as time goes on you can not remember one thing without the other. Take Michael Jordan for example. His comeback from Baseball will always be linked to jersey number 45. His 1997 heroics against Utah will always be known as “The Flu Game”. And his 3-point barrage in 1992 would have never been remembered if not for “The Shrug” that followed. That’s not just a Michael Jordan phenomenon. That’s NBA basketball. Unforgettable moments & timeless players. For most basketball fans these moments are etched into their memory bank, readily available at the drop of a dime.

Art of a Champion

“Unforgettable moments & timeless players”

Like in no other sport footwear plays an important – in some cases iconic – role in basketball. So it comes as no surprise that basketball history and sneaker history are inseparable. You simply can not mention one without the other.

For the first time Nike now connects these unforgettable basketball moments with their sneaker moment counterparts. 16 magic NBA moments and 16 legendary shoes immortalized in 16 artworks from 16 selected artists. The “Art of a Champion” collection is as much a history lesson as a homage to the greatest moments in NBA history.

“A homage to the greatest moments in NBA history”

For the launch of this amazing collection and the opening of the “Art of a Champion” exhibition we were honored to host a unique event at our Premium location “KICKZ Torstrasse” in Berlin. As one of very few hand picked retailers getting these shoes, we took the start of the NBA Playoffs as the perfect kickoff opportunity. Because who knows, maybe another memorable NBA Playoffs moment will happen this year…

 

A string quartet wearing AJ3 Black Cements playing Dr. Dre’s hiphop anthem “Still D.R.E.” gave only a glimpse of things to come when the two worlds of basketball and art clashed together on April 13th, 2018. Usually never mentioned in the same breath, blending these themes as one on this occasion made total sense. Artwork for each moment was presented as what looked like an old painting in a gold frame. The shoes were placed on pedestals underneath each frame and iPads on stands showed the original TV footage and commentary of each moment. And QR codes which linked to specially built landing pages equipped with audio files explained the moment perfectly to fans that learned about it for the first time.

“A string quartet wearing Black Cements”

Later in the evening I had the pleasure to talk about some of the moments that stood out the most for me personally. Of course the “Final Seconds” Kobe moment was among them as well as the hard foul on Kurt Rambis by Kevin McHale which is aptly named “No Easy Buckets”. My buddy Phil made the intro and also spoke about some of his own favorite moments like the “25 Straight” by Lebron James. All in all I think we managed to explain the significance of these moments and therefore the value of the shoes very well. Talking about the NBA greatest moments was right in our wheelhouse.

I was also happy to see the interest for this topic in many of our guests that evening. Several professional ball players from ALBA Berlin came to the launch event as well as sneakerheads who appreciate the history behind iconic basketball heritage sneakers like the “Converse All-Star” or “Nike Air Force 1”. KICKZ is able to tell these stories with an authenticity that nobody else has. As basketball always has and always will be in our DNA this collaboration was a natural match between Nike and KICKZ.

“A natural match”

The exhibition is open and of free admission in KICKZ Torstrasse (Torstrasse 86, 10119 Berlin) until June 20th, 2018. Opening times are Monday to Thursday 12pm to 8pm and Friday to Saturday 11am to 8pm. Swing by and get yourself some basketball history.

 

 

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About the author

Rob is the old-timer in the squad. He joined KICKZ in 2001 after a 5-year stint as a writer for a basketball magazine during which he talked face-to-face with numerous NBA players like Ray Allen, Charles Barkley & Kobe Bryant. After the 1997 NBA Finals he even managed to sneak in one lockerroom question to Michael Jordan just seconds after he got drenched in champagne. As the resident Lakers fan, he's been bleeding purple & gold ever since he saw Magic play in the Forum and his knowledge about all things NBA easily rivals the Wikipedia database.
Although he would not consider himself to be a sneakerhead by any means, he has a known weakness for Nike Air Trainers and Jordan 11s. Being with KICKZ for so long he is also the proud owner of an impressive walk-down-memory-lane-like-collection of K1X stuff. Hobbies include supermodels, sci-fi and all kinds of nerd stuff, movies & tv shows.

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