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The 10 Best Basketball Shoes of 2020

Our 10 Best Basketball Shoe Reviews
 
Okay, for starters, let’s clarify what this post is and what it is NOT! 
It’s NOT…
… a complete guide to the absolutely “best” shoes you could ever buy to play basketball this year!  There are simply too many good shoes out there, and too many variables (like the shape of your foot) to conclusively tell you any particular shoe is the “best”.  Furthermore, what does the “best” mean?  Is it the best shoe for durability and longevity, or the best shoe for comfort?  What about the best shoe for the price?  You see where I’m going with this line of reasoning right?
Also, note that not every shoe is the absolute latest, since the latest doesn’t always mean it is “better” than last year’s model.  Shoe companies (especially basketball) are under pressure to come up with new designs that look cool and perform well, but the “improvement curve” can’t always rocket upwards just like your stock chart cannot always move steadily upward with no declines.  Some of the shoes listed here are from 1 or 2 years ago, but they are reviewed each year so our chart of recommendations is always no more than 12 months old.
It IS…
… our best overall choices (top 10) of shoes that fit the profiles of being AMONG the best in value, comfort, durability, style and relative “newness”.  As good as they are, most shoes from 2009 or 2013 don’t make our list because we’re assuming you’re looking for the latest (or thereabouts) basketball shoes.  It’s our “best shot” at giving you a good starting point to begin your research and hopefully helping you ultimately decide on what basketball shoes to buy for this season!
Get the Most Out of This Review
When reading the guide make sure you list what the most important priorities are to you, for example,  traction, comfort, breathability, high top/low top, durability, and much more. This guide should help you find the best combination of these things, as well as the best price.
In this article, we’ll begin by detailing some of the biggest names and releases out there in the world of performance basketball shoes. Then, we’ll rank the shoes by different factors to help you get a better sense of which shoes are best fit for you. Then, there will be a bonus section on how to jump higher with your shoe purchase, as well as a secret shoe not made by NIKE or any other popular brand that may be the key to helping you jump higher. We want you to maximize your knowledge about basketball shoes and make the best decision for the best basketball shoes for you!  Let’s get into it now!

UA Curry 7 (6)
Curry 6
Curry 7
This is a bit of an unusual pick for #1 because we’re featuring the Curry 6 (available on Amazon) for a great price, compared to the Curry 7 (not on Amazon as of the writing of this review).  The 7 is the latest iteration of Steph Curry’s shoe, but the 6 is (practically speaking) just as good but for a smaller “investment”!  We’ll touch on both for good measure!
The Curry 6 has a relatively good sole with good grip.  It’s interesting to note that Under Armour wanted to incorporate as much of “Steph” as they could in the shoe by including a cross-thatch pattern on part of the sole which is reminiscent of the stucco on Curry’s home where he grew up in Charlotte, NC.
The insole of the Curry 6 consists of full-length HOVR cushioning and it’s included in the entire midsole.  For those who care, some past versions didn’t have enough cushioning for lots of players and others had a bit too much so your foot felt like it was moving a bit too much on a hard stop.  The Curry 6 has a very good happy medium between those extremes, and that’s a bit plus for this shoe.
The shoe itself is knit front to back but there are areas that are reinforced (ie. the toe) so there’s not much foot movement or wear in areas prone to it.  The knit material mimics leather in its ability to mold well to your foot and retain memory after repeated use, so that feature gets high marks from us.
Without boring you with exact widths of soles and all that other technical stuff other reviewers load into their reviews, let’s just say we found traction and stability to be about as good as it gets.  Some of the LeBron models have double layers of mesh (of varying degrees of stretch) to offer still more support, but the difference between the two shoes is not that big as far as stability goes.
As expected, the Curry 6 is a tongue-less one-piece construction and it retains its flat laces to increase surface area (for better snug-ness) and eliminate any potential sore pressure areas.  
The Curry 7’s are every bit as good as any previous version (especially regarding support, cushioning and stability).  Micro G cushioning makes sure of that!  It features a synthetic leather on the upper with a translucent layering that’s very cool-looking.  The outsole has a herringbone pattern for ultimate floor grip.
The 7’s a tad bit heavier at 13.2 oz. compared to the 12.0 oz. of the Curry 6’s.

 
Nike Men’s Kyrie 5 Nylon Basketball Shoes

While not exactly “inexpensive”, the Kyrie 5’s fall in around the lower end of the signature series of shoes offered by nearly every company.  The shoe’s namesake Kyrie Irving is not only one of the most well-known players in the NBA, but in 2017, the Kyrie was THE number one selling performance basketball shoe on the planet – PERIOD!  So, the Kyrie’s have been popular over the past few years, but here’s the kicker:  They haven’t really changed much over the past few years!
Cushioning has been a problem for the Kyrie in the past and only decent cushioning is used in the heel rather than the ball (front) of the foot.  The 5’s now address that problem and the feedback has been very positive!  
Ankle support, while being quite ample, is somewhat restrictive given the high supportive collar at the back of the shoe, which offers lots of stability but little in the way of flexibility and that limits comfort.
The Kyrie is not a low-cut shoe and may not be your best choice if you’re into low-cuts, but the tradeoff is outstanding stability and resistance to ankle-turning with the extended outsole.

Nike Jordan Jumpman 2020

We like the look of simplicity mixed with modernity as seen on the Jumpman 2020.  We’re happy to see the traditional herringbone tread which is still one of the very best designs (we believe) for overall indoor hardwood court performance.  Sure, we use our sweaty hands to wipe dust just like the rest of you, but even compared to other sole tread designs.
The sheer height of this shoe (A.K.A. “sole volume”) is significant.  It sits higher off the floor than most basketball shoes and that due in large part to Nike Zoom outsole design features.  The shoe feels solid enough so the extra height of the sole doesn’t significantly affect the performance of the shoe in a negative way.  The clear “gel” style section in the forefoot of the sole is a bit “stickier” than the rest of the shoe and that helps for traction.  It seems there’s a negative for every positive because for the extra traction this “gel” features offers, it also attracts more dust and needs to be cleaned more often (if only with a sweaty palm).
The heel is not overly-cushioned but does have a “landing zone” which is the indented part just under the heel on the sole of the shoe.  This allows for a slightly “softer” landing for the heel in the absence of serious cushioning.
The mesh upper and overall design make this a less expensive and very functional shoe with very little “flashiness” but overall good value.

Adidas Men’s Dame 5

The Dame 5 is of course, named for its player, who, in this case is Damian Lillard (point guard for the Portland Trailblazers).  They’re officially a “low-cut” shoe, but I’d call them mid-cut at least!  The sole is a bit harder than many other models and that means they’ll fare better on an outdoor court than most.  Of course, that comes at a price.  The harder sole makes it less “sticky” on an indoor court, and combined with the fact that the herringbone pattern (which we like), is flat (ish) along the surface (as opposed to a “wiper blade” edge hitting the floor), this makes the shoe slide on a hard stop (especially on a dusty floor).
We like the real tongue (no one-piece construction) and we like that even though there’s a lot of padding, the shoe does not feel as puffy as it looks.  That’s a good thing as far as performance goes.  The suede upper doesn’t really serve any special purpose other than breaking up the look (visual aesthetics).  It’s not a great material for performance (holds heat and wears poorly) and we’d like to see a full mesh instead, but what the hey – you can’t have it all!
The midfoot is wide but very stable and these shoes fit tightly and feel like you’ll never get them off – all the while being very comfortable!

Nike Men’s Lebron 17

While nowhere near the lower price point of some very good shoes, the Lebron 17’s are very funky to look at and have some excellent features – especially for a player like its namesake – a big man!
The Lebron 17’s offer up something pretty darn good given the issues we find in nearly every other shoe.  The price point is one of the higher in the industry, but if you either have the money or wait til the price drops a bit through the rest of the year, you may get a good deal!  Let’s see what Nike says about them:
The LeBron 17 harnesses LeBron’s strength and speed with containment and support for all-court domination. It features a lightweight mix of knit and heat-moulded yarns that gives each one a durable look and feel. Combined cushioning provides LeBron with the impact support and responsive energy return he needs to power through the long season.
Okay, so there’s a huge blurb about them on their website but what do normal testers think about them?  Let’s unpack our thoughts!
The notable feature is the height of the zoom air, air-filled sole.  It makes your foot sit way higher from the surface of the court than a foam shoe.  Our first thought was that the excessive height on top of air would decrease lateral support and make the shoe feel “gushy” and “sloshy”, but in fact, we were pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case.  Stability was very good.  A bonus was that we just gained an extra inch over our competitors’ height!  Even Nike boasts about how these shoes have extra cushioning, but they don’t sacrifice “give” or responsiveness during quick, explosive accelerations.
Here’s another quote from Nike that outlines their love affair with performance:
The LeBron 17 combines first-of-its-kind Max Air in the heel with two Zoom Air pods in the forefoot for comfort and responsiveness. The LeBron 17 also features an innovative, incredibly lightweight Knitposite upper for ultimate movement and flexibility.
Both Flyknit (uppers) and Foamposite (outsoles) have been staples in the Nike design arsenal, but this shoe combines them by offering something called “knitposite” which features a lightweight, sock-like upper, with a hard shell in key areas.  Nike says that will increase your aggressiveness since you’ll have “no fear” to crash the boards and get in the middle of a scrum.  I think that if you play that aggressively, you may have other problems like a black eye, elbow to the head or a fat lip!  Try and stop that NIKE!!
Overall, we found very little to criticize about this shoe other than the price!  Fit, performance, comfort, and all that good stuff received high praise from our team, so it’s a two thumbs up (if you can stomach the cost).  I keep bringing that up don’t I?

Nike Zoom KD 12

The KD-12’s are, of course, named after Kevin Durant whose career is well-documented and colorful!  He’s quite a personality, but do his shoes live up to the hype?  Let’s see!
Starting at the sole, we find it’s clear and translucent.  We’ve found that most outsole materials (whether they fully or partially cover the sole) are softer and grippier if they’re clear.  I’m guessing it’s because of the chemical composition that is used for clear and colorless rubbers.  This sole is probably the absolute grippiest sole of our entire recommended list.  As usual, with that positive comes the inevitable negative, and that is that they wear out stupid fast!  After only a few games, there is evidence of breakdown on the highest spots of the ridges ont he sole.  It’s grippy because it’s soft, and because it’s soft, it wears down quickly!  Oh the joys of living in a world where scientific principles never really change!!
The Zoom Air cushions are coveted by many players and touted as the best type of cushion offered by Nike.  It features a FULL-LENGTH Zoom Air cushion directly beneath your entire foot.  For those of you who care, that’s not what you would normally expect from a Nike basketball shoe, but here it is!  It’s a VERY good thing!
The shoes themselves feel quite tight when you try on your size in-store, but they do conform nicely to your foot as you play.  The mesh and fuse exterior doesn’t feel overly premium at all, but the shoe plays like a premium shoe without a doubt!  
The KD’s feature a “Quad-Axial Flywire” which is like a finger-trap mesh material under the main mesh exterior.  It’s there for extra snugness and it works!
The shoe does not have an “outrigger” or flare on either side of the forefoot and while some may view that as lacking in lateral support, we like it because it allows you to be far more nimble and minimalistic in your approach to the game.
Finally, we have to chuckle at the variety and customized approach to this line.  There’s a KD-12 colorway that pays a “tribute” to Kevin D’s YouTube channel.  Not only do the colors smack of YouTube (red and white) but little heel tags contain quotes and quips you’d see while watching like “Skip Ad” and “Video will Play After Ad”.  And did I mention, the label on the tongue of the right shoe actually says YOUTUBE with the little arrow.
KD-12s have a colorway that recognizes Kevin Durant’s YouTube channel.
Overall, it’s a tighter shoe than many others but fits true to size and is a bargain anywhere south of the $150 price point.

Adidas Harden Vol 4

Adidas rolls out yet another signature shoe for NBA star James Harden.  It’s seriously one of the most unusual shoes on our list.  From some angles, this low-cut shoe looks more like a casual shoe meant for style than a performance basketball shoe.  It appears to have very little sole volume but in fact it’s quite adequate.  The look of the sole is rather like something futuristic and meant to impress the eyes of the buyer rather than perform well.
The shoe itself is low profile which can help faster, more nimble players (ie. point guards) feel like they should perform – quickly and nimbly!  
The synthetic (super-thin) skin fuse upper laid over primeknit material is unsurprising and performs relatively well.  There is a mid-foot lockdown strap and the lacing system is geared toward making the shoe fit very snugly to avoid any sloppiness or movement in the mid-foot, for-foot and heel.
Adidas says the outsole has something called “generative traction” (crazy all these made-up terms to make your innovations look better!) which is supposedly inspired by, and tailored to the actual, physical movements of James Harden.  How they know that is a mystery to me, but what do I know about modern tech and magic?
The general consensus among quite a number of reviewers and customers is that this shoe is the best of all previous Volumes of the Harden.  If that’s true, Adidas really hit the sweet spot on this one.

Nike Kobe AD NXT FF  (FF = “FastFit”)

Welcome to one of Nike’s insanely-priced signature shoes!  At over $100 more than most other signature shoes from Under Armour, Adidas and yes, even Nike, the Kobe AD NXT’s are a cut above any competition – if only in the price category! 
The sole of the AD NXT is a bit unusual.  It features a scaled pattern rather than a herringbone or really anything we’ve seen recently.  Once again, we see a clear and colorless rubber which typically means it’s quite grippy, but also tends to gather detritus (that means dust and dirt and junk) which is usually taken care of with a good swift wipe from a sweaty palm.  
The entire shoe (but specifically the insole, outsole and footbed construction is very pliable which maximizes comfort. Nike’s React cushioning is used through the full length of the shoe and it works nicely in this pair (though some examples of React were not so great like the 2017 Hyperdunk).  React is a cushioning foam material that is a result of over 400 attempts at combining various compounds to come up with a cushioning system that returns energy very effectively instead of just cushioning and NOT bouncing back (ie. your feather pillow on your bed – great cushioning but lousy return of energy).
The “laceless” fast-fit system is almost gimmicky, but it works as advertised no matter what else you might think of it.  The strap across the top is for you to just grab and pull.  It tightens all the laces for a firm fit.  You won’t be able to tight each section of the shoe separately, but after feeling the result, I’m not sure anyone really needs to pull each section separately.
The shoe itself is made much like a sturdy sock and the synthetic mesh and other materials along the top are so thin you can pinch and pull them up with your fingers.  The ankle strap is needed to secure the top of the shoe since the laces don’t go that high.
The Kobe AD NXT FF is an unusual shoe for a number of reasons but one thing I can’t say is that they’ll hinder your game.  They fit snugly and move with no sluggishness at all.  Hovering around the mid $200’s, we’re not sure this is worth the price when compared to all the great alternatives closer to $150, but it is a good shoe and I’d love to get some feedback from anyone to grabs a pair and gives them a chance to prove their worth!
Features at a Glance

An internal 4-way mesh material stretches over the contours of your foot for a locked, snug feel
Open-hole mesh on the inner side of the shoe exposes the interior
Adjustable strap crosses over the tongue to secure your ankle
An external plastic clip provides stability
Thin rubber outsole with multidirectional tread provides traction

Jordan Air 34

If you thought the Kobe AD NXT’s were expensive, get ready for yet another bout of sticker shock.  Weighing in at $300 (ish) is the Jordan Air 34!
Here’s a generally well-made shoe with a unique heel cup design that is so sturdy (and a little bit bulky) that it tends to cause discomfort on many an ankle bone!  We suspect that may not be a problem for every player, but it is for many.
One of the only other negatives for this shoe (besides the scary price) is that the laces have a hard time staying tight as you’re lacing them up.  It can be frustrating to see your efforts undone every few seconds!  Still with lacing, players with a wider foot may like these given that the “default” position of the material on the top of the shoe is set for a wider foot and it buckles as it gets laced tighter for a narrower foot.
We like the look and performance of the herringbone pattern that has a fan shape to it rather than just a plain herringbone look.  We’re not sure that actually helps performance or not, but it looks kinda cool and aggressive.
Zoom Air cushioning is included in most of the foot bed, so that’s a big plus.  More than previous versions with Zoom Air, this shoe feels like it’s propelling you forward with each step – especially if you’re aggressively accelerating.
Screen mesh makes up the main body of MOST Air 34’s (some will have a different material).  This makes the shoe really light.  Better still is the performance material (another mesh – basket weave style) in the forefoot for lateral stability.  The mesh tightens as you put pressure on it laterally so it keeps your foot from rolling over the edge of the sole.
One last comment about the exterior material/design; the back half of the shoe (near the ankle) is just a see-through mesh with virtually no support at all and that does not inspire confidence for aggressive lateral moves all day long in spite of the better performance materials on the front of the shoe.
Overall, it feels good and generally performs well, but in this man’s opinion, the $300 price tag is not worth it.  I’d stick with the Kobes or the KD-12s.

Under Armour Men’s Lockdown 4

Okay, now let’s go WAAAAAYY down the price scale from $300 (the Air 34s) to a whopping $65-ish for the Lockdown 4’s. 
Full disclosure here – when I first laid eyes on these I did like them, but when I saw the price tag, I started to like them a whole lot more!  It’s truly amazing how price mixed with quality can affect your views.  It was like someone offering to sell me a 2019 Volkswagen Beetle in excellent condition for a “good price”.  I likely wouldn’t be interested and I would politely decline because I’m not a huge fan of the VW Beetle.  However, if he told me the “good price” was $150 bucks, then I’d suddenly become very interested and I’d probably start liking the Beetle a bit more.  Well, this is JUST like that.
The Lockdown 4 has a modern, sleek look not unlike a Nike or Adidas design and they’re quite light. The tech is not overly-amazing, but it’s a good all-around shoe that will suit you well at your skill level.  It won’t make you better or worse than you actually are! 
It features a traditional lace design with a molded synthetic upper, and it has a pretty beefy injection molded EVA midsole/outsole with a good degree of flare around the edges to minimize the chance of an ankle rollover.
The tread design is adequate though not overly aggressive with deep grooves or super-soft rubber.
If I were to compare the features of this shoe to a premium signature brand, I’d say the price difference shouldn’t be so huge.  That’s another way of saying this is a good deal for just about everyone other than an actual pro or semi-pro player.
Features at a Glance

Molded synthetic upper for a snug fit & very cool look
Perforated leather for enhanced breathability
Lightweight, super-breathable sock liner provides underfoot cushioning & support
Injection molded EVA midsole offers a lightweight & responsive ride
Rubber outsole with multi-level adaptive traction patterns to provide exceptional on-court movement & control that won’t wear down
Weight: 13.2 oz.

NOT on our list, but decent shoes from a few years ago!
 
Nike Lebron XI

 
“Cushion” is the word to describe this shoe more than any other feature!   The Lebron XI has what some would say is an excessive amount of bounce, which can be a good thing for wear and tear prevention on sore knees, but as with any great advantage, there’s usually an equal and opposite disadvantage.  In this case, court “feel” or responsiveness is sacrificed when the sole is soft and “bouncy”.   The good news is that given a bit of time (approximately 5-10 good, hard practice sessions or scrimmages) they do “break in” to give you a better court responsiveness.
Another cool feature is the full-length zoom along the bottom of the shoe which absorbs a whole lot of the impact of landing and running (works as advertised)!
I’d go out on a limb and say these are one of the very best and most balanced cushions Nike has created to date!  If you decide to grab a pair of these, you’re in the ballpark of one of the best shoes on the market, but as you’d expect, the price tag is no bargain.
The materials are also a notable feature.  The iconic foamposite (material that supports and surrounds much of the exterior of the shoe) has received some new chemistry, and now a newer material called Hyperposite (merging of Nike’s foamposite and Hyperfuse) takes center stage on this shoe.  That brings us to the next feature;  Ventilation.  The ventilation is decent, but the Hyperposite needs heat and moisture to help it mold to your foot’s specific structural features.  Too much ventilation means a longer break-in time, and the Lebron XI has (in my opinion) just the right amount of ventilation.
The shoe’s support score is pretty high given that it’s designed to support a big player.  In this particular case, the designers got it right when they allowed for excellent support AND great mobility range.  Kudos to Nike designers here (or maybe it was just dumb luck!).  The best part about this is that while it supports a big center, this shoe is just as good for a point guard.  You won’t feel like your feet are laced into concrete slabs since they are delightfully ….. well, light!  They look good and perform well on every count.  I’d say you can’t go wrong!  Top marks from us!

Nike Lebron Soldier XI

The shoes made for the best player in the world are built for a player with extreme power that needs to move fast and play explosively. The high top style is equipped with a velcro strap that will fasten the foot and prevent ankle sprains as you take off for dunks and contact layups. The shoe is revolutionary because of its shocking lightweight in contrast to its bulky experience. The Lebron XI is the obvious choice for bigger players that like to run and play fast. If you are a shooter, this may not be the shoe for you, but if you attack the basket and like to run up and down the court, this is the shoe for you. Inspired by the greatness of Lebron James, this shoe is one of the greatest performance basketball shoes ever produced.  Is it one of the best basketball shoes on the market today?  Ummm…. well, just maybe!
This shoe is one of the premium high top shoes on the market. If you are looking for a sterling level of ankle support, this is the shoe to buy. In addition to the high top structure, the shoe has a very solid velcro strap that will further fasten your ankle. Having increased ankle mobility like this will help you spin and turn quickly. However, at the cost of this ankle support is a slightly heavier shoe. Although the Lebron Soldier XI is amongst the lightest high top shoes ever created, by NIKE or anyone else.
The consensus is that the shoe has a very nice design and style. The Lebron XI is known for great traction, it is comfortable, and is very breathable. It is very important that the shoe is breathable because this makes sure your feet don’t sweat too much in the shoe. Some people complain that the colors on this shoe bleed. Some have reported that the color bled onto the white after only wearing them a few times. It’s possible for sure, but we’re looking at the bigger picture here.  Hopefully, that won’t be a deal killer issue!
Not everyone is a fan of the aesthetic and prefer basketball shoes that avoid using a velcro strap. Personally, I think that the velcro is optimized to tighten the grip of the shoe on your ankle, however, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Nike Kyrie 4

 
The hottest name on the streetball courts has surged ahead and built on its successful debut of the Kyrie line.  Inspired by the craftiness and speed of superstar guard and NBA Champion Kyrie Irving, these shoes are designed to help players plant and change direction quickly and to take advantage of their exceptional light weight.  In order to execute deadly crossovers and spin moves that leave your defender looking mesmerized, you will need a lightweight shoe with enough support to keep you from tearing your ankle apart. Look no further than the Kyrie 4s if you are after a lightweight shoe and quick changes of direction. The shoe features a mix of Flywire, Zoom Air cushioning and more!
Some users of the Kyrie 4 recommend altering the laces. The laces are very tight by default and cut off circulation. Because of this, some people complain about the breathability of the shoe which is very important when you are going to be playing for a long time and want to avoid fatigue in your feet or want to let your foot breathe in the shoe so you don’t have a nasty odor in the shoe. The Kyrie 4s are also by default very narrow. The Kyrie 4 is a great shoe for playing outside as well. The traction is versatile and will work just as well on the pavement as it does on the hardwood.
B/W colorway release date / December 20th, 2017

 
 AIR JORDAN 6 RETRO “LIKE MIKE” Gatorade

The shoes worn by the most explosive player in the world couldn’t be a more perfect fit. Anytime Jordan releases an AJ model, it is likely to be one of the best basketball shoes on the market (or even THE best shoe in the market) for jumping high and playing very explosively. The shoe is very compact, lightweight, and flexible. The only drawback to this shoe is it’s slightly hefty price and difficulty to order online or find in stores. The shoe is in high demand for a reason, however. If you are looking to jump a little higher to get that windmill dunk you have always dreamed of, this is the best shoe to get. The Jordan 6 (original) marked the year MJ led the Bulls to their first Championship title. This colorway of the Air Jordan 6 Retro Men’s Shoe pays homage to the original ’91 “Like Mike” campaign that captured a generation.  While the shoe is not identical in its construction, it is an “updated” replica of that design.  For those who care about the history, MJ left Coca-Cola to promote Gatorade (thus the Jordan 6 orange and green colorway).  Gatorade’s success exploded worldwide and brought to the mainstream the idea or concept of “sports drinks”.
This incredible shoe features genuine and synthetic leather for comfortable support, foam midsole with visible Nike Air cushioning in the heel, encapsulated Nike Air cushioning in the forefoot and a combination clear and solid rubber outsole.

Under Armour Curry 5

The shoes created for the reigning MVP are centered around comfort. These are going to be amongst the most comfortable and best basketball shoes on the market. The style of Steph Curry requires him to be comfortable doing all sorts of things. Because he is not the most explosive player, these shoes are not really suited for explosive jumping and if you are a very strong player, you may rip these shoes after a couple months of ownership.
Let’s break down the details from our tester wearing a pair of white Curry 5’s.  First of all, let’s see the specs and guts from Under Armour.

Lightweight for optimum speed & agility
Full-knit construction & lockdown lacing for a precise, 360° fit & feel
Built with Anafoam™ containment zones in the forefoot lateral wall & around the heel to lock in the foot
EVA cushioning midsole delivers underfoot responsiveness
All-court grip system for instant stops & quick cuts on any surface
Weight: 11.8 oz.

Okay, that’s the nice stuff from the manufacturer.  What about real testing?  Here’s what our test team says about them;
We like the herringbone traction in the sole, and the Curry 5 has a slightly more “tacky” texture compared to the previous versions.  The problem was that the sole is bit TOO sticky and tends to hold onto dust.  If the court is squeaky clean, you’re golden!  If it’s dusty, you’ll be wiping the soles every trip up the court, which becomes annoying for sure!   The EVA cushioning was adequate though unspectacular.  Most players won’t feel any real fatigue or pain, but there’s no special “cushiony” feel either.
Anafoam is used in the heel cage and around the forefoot, which is mostly a good thing.  As it heats up, it forms to the foot so it flexes with your ergonomic movements.  We didn’t notice too much on that end, and the theory of it sounds much more impressive than the reality.  No harm done though, maybe it does work!  We do get that this shoe has to be light and fast, so it will sacrifice something.  That’s just the reality of the physics!
An inner sock made of elastic, knit material contributes to a pretty decent comfort level.  We found that the arch of the foot barely touched the insole because of the compression quality of the inner sock.
However, because of the nature of the low-cut construction (ish), and the lace design, we found that our feet moved around a bit more than we would like.  The heel cup was not as sturdy as we would like but a sturdier, harder cup would probably add to the weight.
The last lace holes on the shoe tended to pull our feet downward rather than into the heel which made for a looser fit around the heel and made it feel like we could pull our foot out of the shoe without too much trouble even tied tight (we actually did do that!).  That’s not the best lacing scenario!  The other issue one of our guys had was that a seam on top of the arch of your foot can cause some discomfort.
The general consensus was to go up a size which added comfort but exacerbated the tight fit (or lack thereof).  They just don’t feel super secure.
Having said all that about the sole, lacing and fit, we have to be fair and say that this shoe is really adequate to get the job done.  There’s enough lateral support for most players and the weight is awesome!  Nice ‘n light.  They look good and perform well overall.
One last thing:  some of our team really liked the Curry 4 even though it’s an older model.  It does have some advantages, but that’s a whole different review!

Nike Kobe A.D.

The Kobe AD continues the legacy of one the greatest players of all time. The first thing that is important to note about this shoe is that it is low cut. If you have traditionally played in high top basketball shoes, these may not be the best basketball shoes for you.  Actually, it looks a lot more like a tennis shoe than any other basketball shoe we’ve seen. Granted that it is a super low top shoe, it has very poor ankle support. On the other hand, the Kobe XI is incredibly lightweight and is one of the best basketball shoes for heavier players who want to jump higher and run a little bit faster. However, it is very important to keep in mind that the risk of spraining your ankle skyrockets when you play in these shoes.
However, they are very heavily praised for their comfortability and lightweight though some have complained that these shoes are about the “middle-of-the-road” when it comes to comfort. These shoes would be perfect for someone who is just looking to do drills and shoot around by themselves. The Kobe AD’s come in some very interesting colorways. It is very rare for a performance shoe to have so many designer-inspired color options and combinations!  The construction is fairly durable with the textile mesh, and our reviewers reported that traction performance was above average across the board.
In addition to the many signature Kobe AD models such as the Mighty I.T. and the Black Mamba, you have the option of further customization on NikeID. NikeID lets you choose between many different color combinations as well as embed a personal logo or ID onto the shoe.
Overall, we’d suggest that because the cushioning is not as generous as it could be on these shoes, larger players might prefer a LeBron Soldier model while small guards would be better suited to the Kobe A.D.

Nike Hyperdunk 2017

Comes in 40 colors, Nike ID customizable
Lightweight, Responsive, Supportive
The Hyperdunk has been a very popular performance option since 2008. The Hyperdunk is one of the most versatile shoes made by Nike and is branded by its Lightweight, Responsiveness, and Support. The Hyperdunk 2017 continues the tradition of Flyknit technology and stellar performance. The Hyperdunk 2017 is a shoe technology beast featuring herringbone patterns to offer traction for multidirectional movement. The high-top design is sure to keep your ankle stable as you cross over and euro step your way to bucket paradise.
Owners of the Hyperdunk 2016 who have moved on to the 2017 edition are raving about the improvements from the previous model. However, the Hyperdunk 2017 does have its flaws. Many people disregard the Hyperdunk 2017 as an elite performance shoe because of its somewhat cheap looking or dare we say “grandma’s sweater” materials. The Flywire and Flyknit material can make the shoe feel uncomfortable for some. This is an example of a shoe that really needs to be broken in in order for you to be able to comfortably play in them. One of the major drawbacks of this shoe is the price. Since the Hyperdunk is already priced in the upper stratosphere, it might make sense to just spend the same money and get a higher quality shoe such as a signature player shoe or a Jordan edition. However, there is an appeal to making a name for yourself and wearing a shoe that doesn’t already have somebody else’s name on it.
With this cool grey edition, you can grab your own very clean and sleek-looking shoe which (contrary to the views of those who jump to conclusions) performs as well as any other pro shoe on the market.  The colorway of this model is understated and contrasts with those looking to “show off” or grab the spotlight.  This is OUR KIND of SHOE!

NIKE Lebron XII

 
The Shoe made famous by Lebron James and his triumphant NBA Finals campaign over the Golden State Warriors. These shoes are viewed to be of excellent caliber by even the most adamant shoe critics. This shoe can be quite pricey and a little heavy for a performance shoe.  However, these shoes can be worn in many different ways and as a performance shoe offers a unique blend of talents.
The Lebron XIII is most known for having elite traction and durability. These shoes are made of very high-quality material and therefore do not degrade or wear down as fast as the typical shoe. The traction has a unique pattern that is apparently very revolutionary. This shoe is also known for having very high-quality ventilation.
As is the case with many luxury items, the Lebron XIII comes with a hefty price tag. The Lebron XIII has sold out of many of its best colorways and can be very difficult to track down in stores or on the internet. The best options for buying this shoe may be to search Flight Club or eBay. Keep in mind that buying basketball shoes this way can be very expensive and you are likely to pay far more than their originally listed price.
If you can get your hands on it and have the extra cash these shoes are great for explosive movement and will last you a very long time.
Oh, and FEAR NOT the price.  We’ve featured a fairly pricey model here, but the price ranges are HUGE and you can get a pair for half of what these cost!  See them HERE!
 

Jordan Retro Editions
Jordan 7,11,12, 13
If you are looking to stun everyone on the court with impressive fashion, the best way to turn heads will be the retro Jordan collection.  These are definitely on the top of any list of best basketball shoes for pure style!  There are many different Jordans most popularly ranging from the first model to the fourteenth. Here are the best options to wear for real basketball style and performance.
Jordan 7s

 
The Design inspired by Western African “afro-pop”, the very popular Air Jordan is widely regarded as the best performance shoe of the early Jordan releases. These shoes are sure to make you look like a hardcore hoop fan who has a fat wallet and incredible sense of basketball style. These shoes are highly praised for their traction, cushion and comfort, and support. This shoe does share many problems with old shoes, however.  You can expect very poor ventilation and this shoe is likely to have a somewhat weird fit. These shoes can also be very pricey and difficult to even find an outlet with these in stock. Finding these types of shoes can be viewed as somewhat of a networking masterpiece. There are shoe groups on facebook to join that can help you locate these shoes. While you can find them on eBay, expect a bogus markup.

Jordan 11

 
Widely regarded as one of the coolest basketball shoes of all time. Jordan 11 models such as the cool greys, concords, and reds (black and red Jordan colorway) are all famous colorways closely associated with basketball prestige. These shoes aren’t just one of the most impressively designed basketball shoes of all time, but they can also make quite an excellent performance shoe. Many sneakerheads may cringe seeing these played in on the court but they can be very good for basketball playing purposes as well. The ventilation in the Jordan 11s was game-changing for its time and remains today to be in the upper category of breathable shoes. The 11s are known for their supportive material and their mid-high top design will be very supportive for your ankle and also light enough to avoid robbing you of that explosiveness you have been hitting the gym so hard to acquire. The 11s have very supportive material and good traction. Obviously, these shoes are going to be very, very expensive. Good luck finding these in a store or anywhere else, seriously.

Jordan 12

 
The Jordan 12s are known for having great traction as well as a very supportive high top. These shoes are dripping in style and the design is very, very nice. These shoes are likely to be very expensive, as is the case with any retro Jordan. Users of these shoes on the court complain about their poor breathability.

  Jordan 13

 
These shoes are insanely stylish and offer great high top support. They are very comfortable, although not very lightweight. Sneakerheads will cringe if you test the durability of these shoes, but they are very likely to last you for a long time. These shoes are not very breathable compared to newer models.  Colorways are extensive, and we’ve featured a “not-so-common” wheat color model.
 
 
Cheaper Shoes (Under $75)
 
Nike Air Ring Leader

If you are looking to save money on your basketball shoes, the Nike Air Ring Leader is currently the cheapest basketball shoe featured. These shoes are very durable and comfortable for their price. These shoes are not very expensive and are likely to last you for a long time.  It’s one of the best basketball shoes for versatility since it can be used comfortably for other purposes.  The material of the shoe also makes it very easy to clean. Many users of the shoe agree that it runs true to size and is lightweight. It is also worth keeping in mind that these are low top shoes, meaning that you are sacrificing a lot of ankle support in favor of lighter weight.
As with any shoe, it does have some drawbacks. The major drawback to buying these shoes has to be the aesthetic. If you wear these shoes in a pickup game, odds are nobody will want to play with you unless you happen to be 6’10 with a Ray Allen-esque jump shot. These shoes scream that you are a new player. Users of the shoe also complain that it is weirdly proportioned. The toe area is disproportionately wider than the rest of the shoe. The insole of the shoe is also non-removable which makes it hard to slip in orthotics if need be. These shoes only come in one color, white, which can be hard to keep clean. These can be great shoes for playing in and exercising in, and they are very affordable.  They offer a great option as a starter shoe if you are not yet sure how passionate you are about the game of basketball. The Nike Air Ring Leader Low is a great place to also test try low top shoes and see if you can handle the lack of ankle support.
 
Under Armour Jet

If you are looking to make a more financially sound decision as well as avoid sacrificing your court style, the Under Armour Jet model is a great option. The shoe has a very sleek design and comes in 4 different color combos. This is a high top shoe so you won’t have to worry about snapping your ankle on a vicious crossover in these bad boys. The Jet is widely acclaimed for it’s comfort, cool colors, traction, and breathability. The breathability is especially interesting as it will help you avoid fatigue and keep your shoes smelling fresh.
Some people complain that these shoes run small, so be cautious when ordering them online. It might be best advised to go to a local house of hoops or dick’s sporting goods to try them on before purchasing.
 
 
 
Under Armour Lockdown

Priced very reasonably these are one of the best basketball shoes that still offer good performance on a low budget. They have a nice design that doesn’t instantly reveal its status on the lower end of the price range. They have a nice high top design to keep your ankle together. This rating is very impressive for a shoe at this price. Reviewers of the Under Armour Lockdown rave about its style and comfort. This shoe is without a doubt a great blend of price and comfortability. However, these shoes are not very lightweight and they do not have the same mesh and flexibility of a higher ranking performance shoe. The material of the shoe has many customers worried about the durability of the shoe. It is likely that cheaper shoes are more likely to break down fast.
 
 
Finding the Right Shoe by Focus
We hope we’ve given you some food for thought, but in case you’re still looking for more, here are some great factors to consider when looking for the best basketball shoes for you.
Lightweight
The importance of having a lightweight shoe is unquestionable. Being lighter will help you run faster, jump higher, and turn quicker. When Adidas first debuted the crazy light model, the basketball world went bananas over its shocking lightweight.
Comfortability
For most people, style comes from how you feel. In order to feel good and play at your maximized potential, you need to feel comfortable. Sometimes the comfort of the shoes heavily varies amongst users.
Durability
What is the point in buying the best pair of basketball shoes you can afford if they can only last for a couple weeks? There is nothing more annoying as a basketball player than coming home and noticing that you’ve ripped a hole through the toe of your shoe, or that the precious Nike logo has been creased in half and now looks like a weird white line glued together on the back of your shoe.
Traction
How can you possibly expect to crossover like Kyrie Irving or Allen Iverson if your shoes are slipping and sliding all over the court? There are many different factors that determine the traction quality of a basketball shoe such as whether you are playing outside or inside.
Style
Look good, play well. One of the most important things to being a basketball player is looking like you are one hell of a player. There are certain shoes that warrant a head nod of respect from all basketball players. Having your style together can make the difference between getting picked up on a team or watching the game from the sideline. Whether your style comes from developing your own look or being inspired by the look of an NBA superstar, we’ve reviewed some of the best basketball shoes out there with the most prestige and style.
Ankle Support
One of the most important factors to making the right decision about your best basketball shoes, is guaranteeing that you are avoiding the risk of injury. Spraining ankles is the most common injury amongst basketball players and it is very important that you do your research so you can stay off the long list of players who sprain their ankle every day. One of the most important qualities in ankle support is the difference between high and low top shoes. However, there are many models of low top shoes that offer a surprising amount of ankle support.
Price
It is always a smart idea to make sure you are getting the most out of your money. Maybe you or your family member is a newer player, just looking to try basketball out and see how it goes. Buying a cheap pair of basketball shoes can be difficult, but this list will comb out the lowest priced shoes and help you see which ones are not only the cheapest but a good value for their price.
SO YOU WANT TO JUMP HIGHER?
We all have dreams of jumping higher and higher, eventually getting over the rim and smashing down a ferocious two-hand dunk. There are many rumors that shoes are everything when it comes to jumping higher.  Although shoes alone probably won’t be the difference between barely touching the rim and taking off from the free throw line, putting the ball between your legs, and shattering the backboard into a million pieces, having the right pair of shoes can definitely be the difference between skimming the rim and grabbing it. Here are some suggestions that will help you throw down a powerful enough dunk to get the guy from the front desk to come into the basketball gym and threaten to kick you out because of your intimidating aerial showcase.
There are two kinds of jumpers in basketball, one leg dominant jumpers, and two leg dominant jumpers, (I know Harvard stuff right). You are a one leg jumper if you like to run and take off of one foot to dunk, you are a two-foot jumper if you gather yourself by putting both feet on the ground and then powering up to dunk. As such, the best basketball shoes will be different, for different jumpers.
One Leg Jumper
If you are a one leg jumper it is going to be important to have enough support to support transferring the momentum of your sprint into your jump. Here are three best basketball shoes I recommend: 1. Nike Lebron Soldier 10 2. Nike Hyperdunk 2016 3. Jordan AJ XXXI
Two Leg Jumper
If you are a two-leg jumper then support won’t be quite as important because you probably already have pretty good balance. The most important things for a two-leg jumper will be two have a lightweight shoe that won’t cause any additional resistance. Here are three shoes I recommend: 1. Nike Kobe 11 Low 2. Jordan AJ XXXI 3. Nike Kyrie 2
SECRET WEAPONS TO JUMPING HIGHER WITH YOUR SHOES ALONE
In this section, I will show you a top secret shoe banned by the NBA that, although not a traditional basketball shoe produced by a blue chip company like NIKE or Under Armour, is very likely to help you jump higher. I will also show you an insole that is nearly guaranteed to add an inch or two to your vertical jump.
Athletic Propulsion Labs
The APL basketball shoes are famous for their “load-n-launch” technology that is designed to help you jump higher. This is truly one of the best basketball shoes to get you airborne.  The insole is supposed to be more responsive to your jump and will spring you up to that rim. The shoes tend to have better reviews from people who jump higher, if you jump high already, these shoes will likely work better for you. The higher you jump, the more you get out of them.
APL’s most famous model out right now is called the Vision. It has a very nice design, but it comes at a very steep price. If jumping higher is very important to you and you aren’t looking for a traditional basketball shoe, these may be the shoes for you.  With all the nice sales stuff out of the way, let me REALLY honest.  Over the years, APL has had different models on the market with some really great feedback.  Head to head tests gave us some indication that they DO in fact improve your vertical if only slightly.  However, in recent months, we’ve received some feedback APL’s latest offering (the Vision) has some issues with a squeaking sole after some use.  With that information, what would we suggest?  Okay, I’ll be totally upfront (and personal) with you at the risk of sounding “sales-ee”.  If I were an 18-year old hot shot getting ready to go play U.S. College ball (like I was in 1987), and there was some hope of improving my vertical (if only by 1 inch) I would buy these shoes in a heartbeat – in spite of some technical concerns – like the squeak.  However, if I was a 35-year old dude looking to stay in shape for the next 20 years, I’d stick with a nice, safe shoe like something that helps with ankle support – like the Adidas DeRose 7.  It’s a proven shoe that’s virtually guaranteed to perform and keep me as safe as any shoe possibly can!
So that’s the skinny.  I love the shoe, but don’t freak on me if it squeaks.  All shoes are prone to squeaking (I have a pair of Nike running shoes that do that NOW!), so it’s a matter of trust (and a bit of gambling!).
Springbak Insoles
These insoles are used by world-class athletes across the world. In addition to helping you run faster and jump higher with a more responsive insole, they can also greatly help alleviate shin splint pain. These are priced between cheaply on Amazon and can fit into any shoe. They are not likely to stack well with the APL shoes, however.
Conclusion
In Conclusion, there are many different basketball shoes to choose from. Choosing the right pair is completely dependent on your needs as a basketball player and the design/colorway that best suits you. One of the biggest differences between shoes to note is the low top vs. mid vs. high top. High top shoes will give you much better ankle support whereas low top will usually be much lighter, mid being a blend in between. If you are looking for upper echelon style, you can’t go wrong with the Air Jordan retro collection. However, if you are looking for the best basketball shoes for performance, you are probably best going with the Nike Hyperdunks, Jordan AJ XXXI, or a signature player collection. Rocking your favorite players’ kicks may help you become inspired and add their flare to your game. It is also very important to see if the shoe is durable and versatile between indoor and outdoor courts. Also, keep in mind that buying white shoes may be problematic to keep clean and maintain that fresh white color. Good luck with your decision, and hopefully, this guide helped you gain some insight on the best basketball shoes to get for YOU! Thank you for reading!
P.S. Looking for women’s basketball shoes? Check out my Best Basketball Shoes for Women Guide!
 

The post The 10 Best Basketball Shoes of 2020 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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Toronto Raptors Spirit Will Live On Amidst Parade Chaos

TORONTO– It was supposed to be a day of celebration. The Toronto Raptors were coming home to party with their fans, in the franchise’s inaugural championship parade. A historical moment that the Raptors fan base had been waiting for since the organization’s first game in 1995.

The parade featured all of these realities. While lengthy in time, the crowd was energetic and jubilant. Thousands congregated at Nathan Philips Square to be a part of this commemoration that hasn’t happened in Toronto for 26 years. Lifelong Raptors fans, like myself, hugged the street lines of Lakeshore Boulevard or University Avenue. To get a glimpse of the basketball heroes that brought a city and country together.

An unforgettable moment turned dark in a heartbeat. The raucous enthusiasm switched to intense fear and uncertainty. People scattered from Nathan Philips Square to take cover. Sounds of gunshots were heard throughout the crowd.

This was not supposed to happen. Images of violence and horror did not fit the canvas of love and positive spirit that was felt throughout the city. But the show would go on. Amidst the chaos of the tragic events, the first responders acted quickly to diffuse the situation. And the ceremony would continue on as planned. No act of evil was going to interfere with the zestful spirit of celebrating an NBA Championship. That is the Raptors way; a testament to a franchise that has been waiting decades for glory.
***
From the moment the buzzer sounded in Game 6, signifying the Toronto Raptors were going to be NBA Champions, I knew I wanted to be a part of the championship parade festivities. In my lifetime, I have never seen a major Toronto sports franchise win a championship. Let alone be relevant in their respective leagues. My Dad, whom I watched the Raptors’ 114-110 Game 6 win over the Golden State Warriors with, has seen seven in his life.

The Raptors were once irrelevant and doomed to fail. I was often jeered by my peers for saying I was a Raptors fan. Until they underwent a significant branding transformation. Or when they brought superstar talent, like general manager Masai Ujiri or Kawhi Leonard, to the organization.

The movement reached an all-time high with memorable moments like Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer beater in Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers. And exploded when the Raptors complete team effort stymied a Golden State Warriors squad that had won three NBA championships in the last four years.

When Kyle Lowry raised the Larry O’Brien trophy, it was more than just the Raptors winning an NBA Championship. It was the years of heartbreak that Raptors fans had to endure. Canada was becoming a basketball country before our very eyes. And the proof was in the thousands that stormed out to the streets of Toronto, to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime frenzy that many reckoned to be impossible.
Unforgettable Moment Witnessing Toronto Raptors Procession
I got to University Avenue just past nine in the morning. Nathan Philips Square was filled to the brim and many more were lining up on the streets where the parade would pass by. I was lucky enough to get a spot right near the front, to witness the procession proceed through.

It would take four hours before the parade arrived. All throughout the wait, the crowd got to witness the newly-anointed “Plant Guy,” someone with “chips and dip”, and cheer “Let’s Go Raptors” at the top of their lungs. Red and purple smoke blazed the scene when the Raptors championship buses slowly came through to meet the rowdy fans. First, it was Grand Marshal and Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, waving his white towel. Then, the sound management of Masai Ujiri and rookie head coach Nick Nurse.

It culminated with the players, those who sacrificed their body and mind to put forward an inspiring product of basketball. Kyle Lowry with his Damon Stoudemire jersey holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Danny Green conducting a “Let’s Go Raptors” chant. Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet smoking cigars. Drake observing the crowd in disbelief and awe. Kawhi holding up his second NBA Finals MVP. And finishing with Pascal Siakam, spraying the crowd with beer and champagne.

It was a painting out of a fantasy novel. There were those who had recently become fans of basketball. And others like myself, who have followed the Toronto Raptors all throughout the team’s peaks and troughs. A father who brought his young children said it was one of the “greatest moments of his life.”

A scene like this could not get more perfect.
***
To avoid the commotion of fans trying to watch the rally at Nathan Philips Square, I went inside the nearby Sheraton Hotel. I was gassed and desired to view the commemorative speeches in a calmer atmosphere.

Energy and excitement turned into utter chaos. People stormed through the hotel at a lightning pace. Fear and worry was visible on every single one of their faces.

“Get down,” people were exclaiming.

I was in the hotel’s restaurant and was moved to the backroom exit to take cover. No one had any idea what was going on. The minutes in that room, entrenched with worried individuals, felt like hours. There were tears streaming down people’s faces. Mothers were screaming to make sure their kids were safe. Something terrible had clearly happened.

Updates soon came in on social media. There was a shooting in Nathan Philips Square. The ceremony had been paused. A scene of jubilation became one of tremendous anxiety. Would more violence occur or was this just a one-time incident?

What would subsequently transpire demonstrated proper action in the face of tragedy. With gunfire breaking out, one reaction may have been to suspend the ceremony entirely. Or remove the political dignitaries and Raptors personnel from the stage. But this would ultimately stoke more fear within the crowd that was on the precipice of stampeding out of the square.

Matt Devlin, the Raptors play-by-play announcer and the emcee for the ceremony, displayed tremendous calm in a treacherous situation. He told the crowd to “stay together” and remain calm during this emergency.

“This is about love, it’s about rejoicing,” Devlin told an estimated one million people gathered city hall’s public square. 
The Toronto Raptors Spirit Lives On
The situation was dealt with immediately by first responders. The ceremony marched on. The crowd at Nathan Philips Square returned to its lively exuberance. The players would get the opportunity to thank the fans for their support all throughout this historic run. And Kawhi Leonard would get the last laugh, mimicking the awkward chuckle at his Toronto Raptors introduction that sent social media awry.

A vigorous celebration would unfortunately forever be marred by a senseless act of violence. Four individuals would be sent to hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries. A day that will change these Raptors fans’ lives forever for all the wrong reasons.

The true heroes were the first responders. As well as those involved in making the decision to keep the ceremony going, quashing the fear of individuals in the area. No violent act was going to prevent the city of Toronto and the country of Canada from showing their love towards the Toronto Raptors. The accomplishment that this team achieved transcended the meaning of sports.

Canada isn’t perfect, neither is Toronto. But communities from coast to coast could escape their present challenges to unite in their spirit and passion for the Toronto Raptors and basketball.

“Man, it was a great experience. Everybody off the court was great,” said Kawhi Leonard during the parade. “The fans, just meeting people in Canada. It’s been fun.”

Everyone present at the parade will never be the same. Toronto showed great resiliency. And the Raptors are now forever etched into the Canadian identity.The post Toronto Raptors Spirit Will Live On Amidst Parade Chaos appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Fred VanVleet: The Unexpected Playoff Hero

Entering the NBA Playoffs, Fred VanVleet would not have popped into your mind as a player to turn into a postseason hero. For the season, the Toronto Raptors backup point guard averaged only 11 points per game, on 41 percent shooting from the field.

But suddenly, when premier performance was required in big games, VanVleet stepped up. Shots that were hitting the rim were going in from beyond the arc. Off the bench, VanVleet is the catalyst of a supporting cast that has played a pivotal role in getting the Raptors to the franchise’s first NBA Finals.

Even in defeat against the Golden State Warriors in Game 2, VanVleet remains positive. He knows what his team must do in order to steal a game in Oakland.

“You can’t start slow against this team,” said VanVleet after the Raptors 109-104 defeat in Game 2. “We got to be better to start the third and we know that,
and that’s something that we’ll focus on and look at the tape and see how we can be better next game.”
VanVleet Credits Birth of Son for Offensive Resurgence
Fred VanVleet’s personal motto is “Bet on Yourself.” This phrase inspires the point guard whenever he steps out on the court. It got him through college playing for the Wichita State Shockers. And it enabled perseverance when the 25-year-old was undrafted in 2016.

Entering this year’s NBA Playoffs, VanVleet was struggling. In the Philadelphia 76ers series, VanVleet and the entire secondary cast of players could not provide the consistent scoring to support Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry. Averaging only seven points per game in the postseason, something needed to change.

After the Raptors tenacious Game 3 double-overtime victory against the Milwaukee Bucks, Fred heard the news that his long-time girlfriend, Shontai Neal, was giving birth to their son Fred Jr. Rushing back to Illinois, the Raptors backup point guard was able to be with Shontai, cradling baby Fred Jr. in his arms. He was joyous. Overwhelmed with happiness. And ready to get back to playing great basketball.

In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, VanVleet had a career playoff-high 21 points as the Raptors stole the game on the road in Milwaukee. The finals-clinching Game 6 saw the point guard generate 14 points off the bench. It’s a whole new Fred VanVleet on the court. Gone is the tentative point guard who couldn’t hit shots. The new Fred is setting up the offense, draining shots and playing aggressive defense. Credit the birth of his son for providing this inspiration.

“I’m getting better looks, more open looks, and as you make them, your teammates start to look for you more and more and the game kind of opens up all at once,” stated VanVleet. 
VanVleet Critical for Raptors Defending the Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have won three of the past four championships. Steph Curry, one of the all-time premier shooters, has been integral in leading the charge from beyond the arc. But one player has been able to effectively stymie Steph. Fred VanVleet.

In the Raptors 118-109 Game 1 victory, VanVleet held Steph to just one field goal when he was defending him. This went on for 33 possessions. VanVleet has displayed the capacity to navigate screens effectively while chasing down Curry whenever he doesn’t have the ball.

“You just got to try to be as physical as you can, slow him down and keep the contest,” says VanVleet on how to defend Curry. “A guy like that, who is a really good shooter against contest, you can’t really give him free looks and let him feel free and easy.”

As the series shifts to the Bay Area, the Raptors have a plethora of areas to work on. Hitting open shots is one. Preventing the open space for ball movement is another. But the scrappy Fred VanVleet is used to performing on the big stage. When he is on the floor for the Raptors, the team is a +76, compared to +39 overall. If the team needs an injection of energy and offense, Fred VanVleet is the player to call. And he will need to deliver if the Raptors have any hope of winning the NBA Championship.

“I’m not too worried about Freddie,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Freddie’s an ice water-in-his-veins-type-of-guy. He took a mid-major school to the Final Four. He took a mid-major school to 35-0.”

Maybe it’s a sign that Fred should have more kids. So his basketball play can be stellar on a consistent basis.

 The post Fred VanVleet: The Unexpected Playoff Hero appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam Inspired from Father’s Death

Pascal Siakam has waited his whole life for this opportunity. The young rising star for the Toronto Raptors is playing in his first NBA Finals, and rising to the big stage. Siakam put up 32 points and eight rebounds, carrying the Raptors to the franchise’s inaugural victory in the NBA Finals.

Amidst the excitement across Canada, the Raptors forward is playing for a greater purpose. For Siakam, every chance he gets to play basketball is an opportunity he does not take for granted.

“Every night that I go out there, I have a bigger purpose, and I play for something greater than just basketball,” said Siakam after the 118-109 Raptors victory over the Golden State Warriors. 
Siakam Battles Adversity of Father’s Death
Pascal Siakam was born in Cameroon. Youngest of four brothers, Siakam initially did not have an interest in basketball. He was poised to become a priest, cherry-picked from an early age to embrace the Catholic values of his family.

Pascal was particularly close to his Father, Tchamo, who worked at a local transit company. It was Tchamo who encouraged his son to go pursue his dreams of playing basketball in the United States. While playing at New Mexico State, Siakam would receive the unfortunate news of his Father’s passing in a car accident. A numbing reality for a youngster trying to play basketball while adjust to life away from his parents.

“It was definitely one of the toughest moments in my life, not being able
to go home for the funeral,” revealed Siakam.

While a breakable moment for some, Siakam used the death of his Father as motivation to become a perennial basketball star. The desire and drive to get better is what attracted Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri to draft Pascal with the 27th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

“Pascal wants to be a versatile player in this league who could do it all. He wants to be a star,” states Ujiri. 
Siakam Has Performed Strongly for Toronto Raptors
The 2018-19 NBA season has demonstrated Pascal Siakam’s transcendent rise in stardom. Not only is he a physical defender, but Siakam is able to utilize his size to attack the basket in the post with ease. For the season, Siakam averaged 16.9 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists with game, on 54.9 percent shooting.

While Kawhi Leonard has claimed the spotlight as the Raptors’ premier superstar, Siakam has epitomized playoff toughness and tenacity. In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with Kawhi being targeted defensively, Siakam took control offensively, putting up 25 points and 11 rebounds. There was a stretch in Game 1 of the NBA Finals where the Siakam went 15-for-15 from the field. Nick Nurse was quick to praise his big man, who has been consistently improving since last summer.

“He’s worked his tail off,” said Nurse after Game 1. “His work ethic and his mindset just keeps building for him.
The Ceiling is High for Raptors Big Man
Adverse moments shape the makeup of an individual. For Pascal Siakam, it made him a tougher, grounded human being.

In NBA history, the Finals came up North to Canada. While Siakam is grateful for the fan support, his purpose of playing is far greater. There was a day where a young kid from Africa would never have thought to go professional and play in the NBA. With the Toronto Raptors up 1-0 in the NBA Finals, Siakam is focused on being a critical impetus to help his team win. At the same time, honouring his Father’s legacy and the country of Cameroon.

“I have a lot of support from my fellow Cameroonians and just Africa
in general,” says Siakam. “When my Dad died,  it was a turning point in my life, just going through that type of adversity. It definitely made me the
person I am today.”The post Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam Inspired from Father’s Death appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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We (Win) The North: An Ode to the Toronto Raptors and Canada

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Category : Basketball , NBA

It was a sunny Sunday morning. Blue skies, birds chirping. Summer was in the air.

There was an energy felt inside of me as I poured my morning coffee to start the day. I was wearing my bright red Toronto Raptors “We The North” T-shirt. In May. Seems a little exaggerated for this time of year, right?

In reality, this is the new normal. As I turned on the TV to catch the sports highlights, the anchors could not contain their enthusiasm. Shots of Kawhi Leonard dunking, Kyle Lowry draining threes, Drake shoulder rubbing was scrolled across the morning highlight package.

I thought what happened the night before was a dream. But it was the opposite. The Toronto Raptors were the 2018-19 Eastern Conference Champions, advancing to their first NBA Finals in franchise history. The first time that the National Basketball Championship, once considered the culmination of an American cultural obsession, will now occur north of the border.

This is the new normal. This is Toronto sports. It’s real and it is time to embrace the basketball revolution that is about to sweep across Canada.
***
I was born in February of 1996, halfway through the inaugural season of the Toronto Raptors. In 1993, Toronto businessman John Bitove paid an expansion fee of $125 million USD to establish the 28th NBA franchise. Along with the Vancouver Grizzlies out west, it was NBA Commissioner David Stern’s attempt to open the borders, diversifying the portfolio of basketball franchises.

The first game of the Raptors franchise occurred at SkyDome, the home of the two-time World Series champions Toronto Blue Jays. In front of a small crowd of 33,306, the Raptors defeated the New Jersey Nets by 15 points, led by stellar performances of Alvin Robertson and Damon Stoudemire.

But the initial enthusiasm for a new franchise in Toronto, was met with subsequent uncertainty and doubt. Toronto, and Canada in general, is first and foremost a hockey country. Regardless of their performance, the Toronto Maple Leafs will always be the talk of the city. The hype surrounding the Blue Jays was still high, after winning their second consecutive World Series in 1993. Ask a sample of Torontonians certain basketball terms and phrases, and they wouldn’t know the answer. Toronto residents easily can recollect the household names of Joe Carter and Doug Gilmour but would have to scratch their head to know who Alvin Williams was.

South of the border, the Canadian franchises were ostracized and shunned. While many were wishing Toronto and Vancouver well, the economic prosperity of American markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago far outweigh any success of Toronto or Vancouver. The NBA was still enthralled by Michael Jordan and were beginning to embrace the greatness of stars such as Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

With the non-existent basketball culture in Canada, coupled with the NBA’s desire to expand within America, the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis after six years in existence. The Raptors stayed as the lone Canadian team, about to undergo the long and arduous journey to national consciousness and relevance.
Love Affair Instant with Toronto Raptors
I grew up in a sports family. My Father was a recreational golfer, my Mom was integral in Canadian tennis tournament operations. And my older brother got blessed with athletic genes, specializing in competitive tennis.

I unfortunately have chronic asthma and motor dyspraxia. While exerting physical activity, it causes me to get out of breath instantaneously, coupled with the inability to accomplish the motor skills necessary to play competitive sports. Gym class was difficult, seeing other kids who were more athletic than I am accomplishing drills with ease. But what they did not have that I did was a deep, burning passion and love for the stories and narratives that arise from sports.

On TV, the main subject were big sporting events. Dinner conversations at the table with the family were about various sports issues. Playing video games such as NBA Live or NHL became a routine. It was through this where I got my first initial wave of love for Toronto sports teams, including the Raptors.
***
I remember rising from my couch to watch Vince Carter’s all-time unforgettable dunk at the Slam Dunk Contest. Little did I know at the time, but it would live on for years to be the biggest moment in the franchise’s history. I would watch Canadian sportscasters such as Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro on The Score, Leo Rautins, Chuck Swirsky and Jack Armstrong, make the Raptors entertaining to follow, despite underwhelming results. When I was old enough to read, I was an avid disciple of Toronto Star columnist Doug Smith’s Raptors coverage, who would consistently write thorough, engaging content since the franchise’s inception.

There were dark years for the Toronto Raptors franchise. Moments that were difficult to cover the team, when stars such as Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh would leave for warmer climates. But the Raptors gave me an avenue to follow and love basketball, despite being unable to play it well. The team provided inspiration, hope and belief that one day, enduring the troubling times would be worth it, when the franchise would become relevant. It only took 23 years of my life to make that happen.
***
In 2013, the Toronto Raptors underwent a massive branding change. They brought new general manager named Masai Ujiri. They made significant in-season trades to bring the pair of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry together. As social media ramped up its influence on daily society, phrases such as “We The North” and “The Northern Uprising Has Begun” became mainstream vernacular for basketball fans. The Air Canada Centre, now ScotiaBank Arena, started to fill seats for basketball games. And the Raptors formed Jurassic Park, a mosh pit of enthusiasm and energy for fans outside the arena to watch the games on the big screen. Drake became the team’s global ambassador and Nav Bhatia was an overnight superfan sensation. The Raptors were starting to put a dent into the trifecta of the Toronto sports market.

As the Raptors became a consistent playoff team, fans across the country demanded more. They were tired of seeing LeBron James beat their team on a consistent basis in the playoffs. The fanbase yearned for a superstar that could lift this team to new heights. After getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second consecutive year, Masai Ujiri had tough decisions to make. He would fire the NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey and bring in Nick Nurse. And he would trade DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poetl for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. A superstar, who was considered the best two-way player in the NBA, and a proven playoff performer were coming to Toronto.

Toronto, a city used to sports teams always falling short of expectations, did not know how to react. The regular season was filled with questions and skepticism. Was the “load management” strategy for Kawhi Leonard going to work? Will the experienced Raptor players such as Kyle Lowry, able to galvanize this team and perform in the adverse moments? We were about to find out.
Toronto Raptors Provide Hope and Optimism
2019 has been a difficult year for me personally. My Grandma, full of vigor and spirit, had to be moved from her lifelong residence to a senior’s home for long-term care. My brother was in a serious car accident, which led to a debilitating concussion. And my Dad, who never had any health concerns, would be in hospital with blood clots in his lungs. Instantly, life changed forever.

But through those difficult moments, there was a light at the end of the tunnel that kept me going. It was the Toronto Raptors. A team that every single time, elated my spirits and exceeded my expectations. When they were down 0-1 to the Orlando Magic, the Raptors rattled off four straight wins with dominance. Down 2-1 to the Philadelphia 76ers, Kawhi Leonard would put the team on his back to force a Game 7. Only to convert the only Game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA Playoffs history, sending Toronto into pandemonium.

And then down 0-2 to the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, it would be a complete team effort that would enable Toronto to win four consecutive games, sending the Raptors to their franchise’s first NBA Finals. All the while this happened, the city and country began to rally behind the Raptors. More people were wearing Raptors apparel and jerseys. People at local establishments and work offices were for once discussing basketball in their daily conversations. And when it became official that the Raptors advanced to the team’s first championship, the city erupted. Cars were honking and stopped to take in the scene that was downtown Toronto. Fans were in constant jubilation to the early hours of the morning.

For once, a major Toronto sports franchise gave a city and a country something to be proud of.
***
Who knows what the outcome will be in the NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors are on the precipice of their own basketball history, trying to become the dynasty of the 21st century with their fourth championship in five years. But what the Raptors have accomplished this season cannot be ignored or understated.

Canada has its issues. America has never been more politically polarizing. As our society tries to conquer certain challenges, we turn to sports as a platform for escape and unity. For all its problems, Canada and Toronto have shown why multiculturalism and diversity works. The Toronto Raptors fan base comes from all colours and stripes, it doesn’t matter who you are or your socioeconomic status. Canadians who never would think of tuning into basketball and are now beginning to love the sport.

“Look around at the square. I promise you right now, we did this.” said Drake.

The energy is palpable as Canada begins to place basketball on a pedestal with the other popular sports this nation has to offer. The Raptors represents the beauty of the North, as the entire country is united in their fervent support for a team that has transcended the concept of what is possible. Most importantly of all, the Toronto Raptors have solidified the hope, faith and belief that I and so many followers possessed many years ago, that one day, we could revel in the magnitude of an ultimate Canadian basketball moment.

Toronto is a basketball city. Canada is a basketball country. And the revolution is just getting started.The post We (Win) The North: An Ode to the Toronto Raptors and Canada appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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The Golden State Warriors and The Greatest Five-Year Run in NBA History

The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of the greatest five year run in the history of the NBA. They punched their ticket to their fifth consecutive trip to the NBA finals after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers and they did so in unbelievable fashion. In three of the four games, they trailed by as many as 17 points before coming back to win each of those games. Portland played very good basketball in games two through four but couldn’t keep the Warriors at bay. It’s no wonder live betting lines at 888 Sport New Jersey have had them as heavy favorites in each game this season. They refuse to lose.

The Assembling of a Juggernaut

The Golden State Warriors juggernaut started with the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. They selected an undersized, sharp shooting, point guard from a mid-major, Stephen Curry. Curry has revolutionized the game with his unlimited range and slick ball handling. Two years later they selected another sharp shooting guard with the eleventh pick, Klay Thompson. Thompson is the perfect compliment to Curry. He doesn’t need to have the ball in his hands to be a lethal scorer. In 2016, Thompson scored 60 points and this quote from Kevin Durant says it all, “I don’t even know what to say, it was crazy because he probably has the ball in his hand for probably not even two minutes in the whole game. He was catching, shooting, cutting.” Thompson only took 11 dribbles in that game. In the 2012 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors stole Draymond Green in the second round. Green has been their heartbeat ever since and a defensive stalwart. They also have added key bench pieces like Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, and many others who seem to fit like a glove.

Battling the Cleveland Cavaliers

There are two items that separate the Golden State Warriors from the early 1960s Boston Celtics. The first is the limited competition Boston had to run through, there were only eight teams in the NBA in 1960. The second is the team Golden State had to beat in the NBA finals. LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Before the return of James, Cleveland selected Andrew Wiggins with the number one overall pick in the NBA draft, and promptly traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love once James returned. This gave Cleveland a potent big three with James, Love, and Kyrie Irving; they were the favorites to win the NBA title going into the 2014-2015 season. Golden State ran into a bit of good luck in the playoffs as Love went down early in the playoffs and Irving fractured his knee cap in game one of the finals. However, Golden State finished the deal and won the NBA title. The following season proved to be the low point in the Warriors run, and that is amazing because the broke the regular season win record with 73 wins. The Cleveland Cavaliers saw historic performances from Lebron James and Kyrie Irving as they led them to the NBA title after falling in a three games to one deficit in the finals.

The Infamous Phone Call

The Golden State Warriors were devastated after losing at home in game seven of the NBA Finals. They were coming off an NBA title in the 2014-2015 season, and won 73 games in the regular season of the 2015-2016 season. After game seven of the NBA Finals in the 2015-2016 season, Draymond Green called Kevin Durant from the parking lot and told him they needed him. Durant was set to be a free agent and had come up short in the Western conference finals that year to these very same Golden State Warriors. Durant obliged and joined. The following two seasons saw Golden State dominate Cleveland and win two more NBA titles. Golden State is such a dominant juggernaut that they are making another team on a historic run, the Cleveland Cavaliers, an afterthought.

Finishing the Run

In order for Golden State to become the greatest dynasty in NBA history, they need to finish the run with another Larry O’Brien trophy this season. There are murmurs that Kevin Durant, a free agent following the season, has one foot out the door already. There are also talks that Klay Thompson, who is also a free agent following the season, might be looking to branch off on his own. The question is, if Golden State wins the NBA Championship this year, will they go down as the greatest dynasty in NBA history?

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EuroLeague Final Four Preview

While the NBA Playoffs have reached the conference finals, the Euroleague is also reaching its climax. The Euroleague Final Four tips off this Friday, May 17. The single-game-elimination matches will begin with Fenerbahce Beko and Anadolu Efes, both based out of Istanbul. That game begins at noon, and should prove to be a good one. The next game tips off directly after the first, in a matchup between Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow. Can Real Madrid defend their title without teen sensation Luka Doncic? Can Anadolu Efes pull off an upset? Let’s take a look.
Fenerbahce Beko vs. Anadolu Efes
These teams had an interesting season series. They faced off five times on the hardwood, with Fenerbahce Beko winning three games to Anadolu Efes’s two. A big reason why Fenerbahce is favoured by basketball betting to win in the Final Four is their dominance in the games that they did take in the regular season. Fenerbahce was plus-35 in their three wins, with their largest victory being by 18 points. Anadolu Efes, on the other hand, was just plus-eight in their two wins.

Familiar names to NBA fans are featured on both teams. Shane Larkin, formerly of the Brooklyn Nets, and former San Antonio Spur James Anderson are both key contributors for Efes, and Fenerbahce has former Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Tyler Ennis, former Denver Nuggets guard, Erick Green, and another former Spur in Joffrey Lauvergne.

The slight edge that Efes does have in this matchup is Fenerbahce’s injury-troubles. Lauvergne and Luigi Datome are out, and Czech big man Jan Vesely is doubtful. If Efes can exploit the absence of those key players, they could be moving on to the Euroleague championship.
CSKA Moscow vs. Real Madrid
This should be an interesting matchup. Real Madrid took the title last year, but that was with budding superstar Luka Doncic at the helm. With Doncic now in America playing in the NBA, it will be interesting to see if Real Madrid can repeat. CSKA Moscow took the season series 2-0, but the games were decided by just five and four points respectively. With the games being played in the Fernando Buesa Arena, Spain, Real Madrid will have the benefit of a home crowd.

Madrid has former Cleveland Cavaliers seven-footer Edy Tavares down low, who’s shooting 79% from the field this season. In addition, Anthony Randolph (12.6 points per game) and Sergio Llull (10.6 points per game) could present problems for Moscow.

CSKA Moscow has been getting hot-shooting from former Toronto Raptors guard, Nando de Colo. The Frenchman has averaged 18 points on 47.1% shooting from deep in the playoffs so far. All-Euroleague First Team performer, Will Clyburn (13.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game), and former Euroleague champion, Cory Higgins (14.8 points per game on 49% shooting from three-point range) are other names to watch for CSKA Moscow in the Final Four.
Looking Ahead to the Euroleague Championship
The winners of the two Euroleague Final Four matchups are to face off on Sunday, May 19, in a winner-takes-all-style game. The winner of Sunday’s game will be crowned the new Euroleague champion, or, in Madrid’s case, the repeat winner. Regardless of the outcome, it should prove to be an exciting weekend for European basketball.

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10 Best Men’s Basketball Shorts 2019: Adult & Youth

Basketball shorts are one of the most versatile forms of clothing in the world.  Basketball shorts are great for a number of activities and are also great for lounging around in.  Basketball shorts are obviously mostly connected to the sport of basketball, but they are also used in a variety of other activities.  They are commonly seen in gyms being worn by people who are working out and by those that are working outside.  They are also worn by people who just want to be comfortable around the house as they work and/or sit.  They’re great in the summertime, too, especially for those that don’t want to show off their white thighs or their chicken legs!  No matter the reason, basketball shorts are a great accessory to have around.  This buying guide will help you determine what you need to look for in a pair of basketball shorts.  There is a lot more than meets the eye, so you have to be careful when selecting which one best fits your needs.  We will then look at the ten basketball shorts of 2019!Top Basketball Shorts Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. POINT 3 DRYV Baller 3.0 Unisex Dry Hand Zone Basketball Shorts $$$Check Price on Amazon2. Under Armour Men’s Raid Shorts $$$Check Price on Amazon3. Champion Men’s Long Mesh Short $$Check Price on Amazon4. Under Armour Mo’ Money Basketball Shorts $$$Check Price on Amazon5. TopTie Men’s Basketball Shorts $Check Price on Amazon6. Adidas Performance Essential Basketball Shorts $$Check Price on Amazon7. Champion’s Men’s Crossover Basketball Shorts $$Check Price on Amazon8. Adidas Basketball 3G Speed 2.0 Shorts $$Check Price on Amazon9. Boy’s Nike Elite Stripe Short $$$Check Price on Amazon10. Nike HBR Basketball Shorts $$$$Check Price on AmazonBasketball Shorts Buying Guide MaterialsThe materials that are used in basketball shorts can make a world of difference in how you feel and move.  The materials also determine how much, or how little, air flow you receive.  This can be and will be a big deal as some gyms are simply heated differently than others.  We’ve all been to gyms that are super warm, and that is the absolute worst.  It may not help much, but the right pair of shorts can certainly help you stay sane.  It always seems like you make more bad plays when you are too hot.  The opposite could be true, too, though.  You may want a warmer pair of shorts for use in cold gyms.  This isn’t typically a big problem, though, because if you play at anywhere near a high intensity you’ll warm up fairly quickly.  At any rate, let’s look at the materials and see how they make you feel.CottonCotton is a popular option in just about any all clothing in the world.  Cotton has its advantages and disadvantages, just like anything else you’ll see.  The great thing that cotton is going to offer is going to be its comfort.  It is hard to match cotton in this regard.  They are also quite good for playing in colder environments, such as a gym that hasn’t been heated in quite a while.  However, that also means that they are not going to be very good when the weather turns warm.  Playing outside in cotton is a hugely unsatisfying experience that certainly isn’t encouraged.  It won’t hurt you, but you will feel like you’re going to die.  It’s also no fun in a warm gym full of people.  Cotton absorbs sweat, which is not a good thing.  Its fibers are the opposite or hydrophobic, which means it will gravitate toward sweat, which will eventually weigh you down as you play longer and longer.  As if this wouldn’t make you heavy enough, cotton is already fairly heavy on its own right!  The price of cotton, though, is usually fairly cheap in comparison to other materials, so if this is a consideration, it may be your way to go.PolyesterAnother choice out there is polyester.  This is a very commonly used material that you see in most basketball shorts made today.  It is also very popular in many other forms of sports materials.  Polyester is very good at reducing the amount of moisture.  This means that the shorts will weigh you down much less than a material like cotton would.  They allow your legs to ‘breathe’ this way.  This can make all the difference in a game, whether it’s very serious or just for fun.  It can also mean you feel better doing whatever you are doing.  A lot of companies, such as Adidas for example, will call their polyester fabric by a different name.  This is just done for proprietary reasons, and it does not mean that it’s a different sort of material at all.  Polyester is a little more expensive, as it is a man-made product.  It also will not last quite as long as cotton shorts, but this is due to them not being as thick.Hybrid BlendsSpecial or hybrid blends are also found as materials used to make basketball shorts.  These blends can include any number of materials such as cotton, polyester, and spandex.  It is a combination of these three that Nike uses for its “Dri-Fit line of clothing.  The cotton is essentially included to help you out so you can wash it in the dryer.  Whatever the combination of materials is, the primary goal of the hybrid blends is to almost always to keep moisture away.  As a result, these types of materials are typically higher priced than either polyester or cotton options.  They also have to be examined closely on the tags and instructions so that you can take care of them properly without ruining them!The fourth and final option that we will mention is mesh.  Mesh is an option you can choose because it is a cheaper price point option, like cotton, but it differs because it is more breathable than its cotton counterparts are.  They allow air to flow underneath garments much better than cotton would, but they are still no match for polyester or specially blended materials.  This is because 100% mesh does not wick moisture away.  It simply allows you better air flow.  This is a popular option for basketball because of its low price.Reversible ShortsIt was difficult trying to find a place to include this, so we’ve just put it here by itself.  Reversible shorts are a great option for all sorts of recreational play.  Whether it is a league or for pickup, they can be great because you can easily switch teams.  Reversible shorts are found in all sorts of different materials, but you can usually find them for pretty cheap.  You can even find really good shorts that have moisture-wicking properties that will allow you to reverse them.  If this is something you need, then you don’t have to settle for an inexpensive pair if you don’t want to!The Right FitFinding the right fit for basketball shorts can be very important.  It’s a big deal because you want to look good and feel good as well.  It’ll do you no good to look like a doofus on the court so that your friends, teammates, or rivals will make fun of you.  Yet, it’s also about being a little different.  Some people, like Larry Bird and John Stockton from years gone by, were still great basketball players that saw their greatness transcend whatever dorky look people might have perceived them to have.  Here is a general sizing run down to help you out.Small: 28-30 inchesMedium: 32-35 inchesLarge: 36-38 inchesExtra Large: 40-42 inchesExtra Extra Large: 44-46 inchesIf you find that your size’s waist size doesn’t correspond to the length that you want, you do have an alternative to choose from. Because most basketball shorts have drawstrings for you to tie together, you should easily be able to go up a size or maybe two.  Just don’t overdo it, as you could end up looking like a rodeo clown or trip over yourself.Basketball shorts should fit you well.  They can be a little baggy, but they shouldn’t be so baggy that they are difficult to keep up or look like they would be difficult to keep up.  Also, remember they are shorts.  They are not shants (short pants) or ¾ pants or capris.  Those will also make you the target of jokes and laughs!  Swinging too far away from the short look can also be bad, or get you into trouble if you are playing in a league.  So just know the rules and use common sense in choosing a pair that will suit your needs best!Best Basketball Shorts Reviews 1.  Point 3 DRYV Baller 3.0Point 3 is arguably the best pair of shorts available on the market today.  That’s why it made #1 on our list for this year!  More is said about this pair than any other single pair of shorts online.  Why?  Well, let’s see where I can start!  Firstly, they have a unique offering not available in any other companies shorts, and that is an unusual material built in to the shorts that allows a player to wipe his/her hands off during the game to minimize dirt from wiping shoe soles (to maintain good traction – trust me, I did this all the time during my college ball years!), or to get rid of extra sweat on your palms before you handle the ball.  In addition to that, they are extremely light and have little extras that “up” the game like exposed silicone beading on the inside of the waistband to keep them tight around your waist.  You can see the full line of features HERE.ProsHand drying technology is a unique additionLightweight adds to the overall appealAllows for exceptionally unrestricted movement due to careful design features in the crotch and elsewhereConsPriceyContains pockets which are highly unnecessary for competitive basketball apparel  2.  Under Armour Men’s Raid Shorts Coming in a multitude of colors is a fashionable yet refined look from Under Armour.  The Raid Shorts are great for getting rid of moisture as it has a four way system that allows you to move easier and have your sweat wicked while drying quickly. They are 90% polyester and 10% elastane, which is essentially spandex.  They have a loose fit, yet they are laced with heatgear technology to help you be all around more comfortable.  These have pockets in them, which aren’t always a given with basketball shorts, and they are made from mesh.  They are quite an expensive price, but you get what you pay for … sometimes!ProsDries sweat quicklyVery comfortableMore features than can be mentioned!ConsPrice is quite highNo built-in liner for those wanting that  3.  Champion Men’s Long Mesh Short Also coming in a variety of colors, though not as limitless as the #1 option, is the Champion option here at #2.  These shorts, as the title indicates, are mesh. But they aren’t 100% mesh like you would assume.  After some investigation, it is apparent that they are only mesh on the very outside to give it the bubble-like look and texture. On the inside, it is 100% polyester, which will breathe much better than the mesh would have allowed you to.  These also have pockets as well as a drawcord that you can adjust on the fly, and they come at a very low price, which has made them quite popular.ProsVery good priceMesh gives it that look and feel that reminds you of basketball as a kidVery comfortableConsThe pockets are very deep, which means whatever is in there will move around a lotDepending on the color, these can be see through- not a great thing to encounter  4.  Under Armour Mo’ Money Basketball Shorts Not sure who or what determines the name, but the Mo’ Money shorts moniker actually makes a little bit of sense as they are in the moderate to high price range, depending on the size and color.  These shorts have quite a few options of colors to choose from, each with a two-tone design with the Under Armour symbol on the left side of the shorts.  They are 100% polyester, but they have mesh pockets as well as mesh paneling to help increase ventilation.  The waistband is elastic, and it also has a drawcord.ProsGreat comfortWay more breathable than mostVery cool looksConsHigher price than a lot of store pairs of shortsSizing appears to run a little small  5.  TopTie Men’s Basketball Shorts these are your more traditional basketball shorts that we all know and love.  These shorts have no pockets because they are designed for actual in-game play only.  So, this would be great for a recreational league of some sort, but not as much if you are looking for versatility.  They are 100% polyester, which is becoming the norm in basketball as it is breathable and comfortable to wear.  They only offer two colors, but the contrasting colors look great.  The price is also exceptionally inexpensive, so it could be a very good option for bulk buying.ProsVery low priceTraditional basketball look and feelColors look great paired togetherConsNo pockets if you need themHas an inner lining that some people do not like  6.  Adidas Performance Essential Basketball Shorts Coming in around ten different color options and a moderate price level are the “Essential” basketball shorts from Adidas.  These shorts look great with Adidas’ classic three striped look, and most of them aren’t just white.  So you can match them to school colors if desired.  They are made of 100% polyester, have a drawstring to help you adjust if needed, and they are very comfortable and breathable.  They also have two full pockets for those that needed them!ProsHas pocketsMore of a versatile short than just basketballGreat designs from AdidasConsCan be see throughThey can run a little small and/or short  7.  Champion’s Men’s Crossover Basketball Shorts This offering by Champion has just seven colors to choose from and is in also in the very low price range.  These shorts, like most basketball shorts, are 100% polyester all the way around, so these do not have the look that the mesh ones had earlier.  Like the earlier Champion model, these have an elastic waistband with a draw string and they have pockets for storage.ProsHas pocketsGreat for people that have a hard time finding a good fitVery good priceConsPockets seem to be open at the bottomCan run small if you’re on the edges of the sizing chart  8.  Adidas Basketball 3G Speed 2.0 Shorts The Adidas 3G Speed shorts are built for speed and have a number of designs that look great with the three stripes look.  The front of the shorts have pockets that have zippers to help keep your stuff inside.  They are small pockets, but at least you won’t be losing things.  Unlike most of the other pairs on the list, this pair is not made from polyester.  Instead, it is made from nylon.  These are a decent option for the low to moderate price range.ProsDecent priceZippers to help keep things in placeNylon makes these weigh lessConsAppears to run too large, even for basketball shortsThe latest iPhone will not fit in the pockets  9.  Boy’s Nike Elite Stripe Short Here is a pair of shorts that are great for the younger players. These Nike’s are truly meant to make you feel elite because they look exactly like what some high schools and colleges would be wearing.  They are 100% Dri-Fit polyester with some mesh to help breathability, they have the inner drawcord as per usual, and they have many colors to choose from.  The prices can get to be a little high, but they are Nikes!ProsDri-Fit keeps you dry on the hottest of daysLooks like your traditional basketball shortsGreat for kids/smaller teensConsPrice can be highNot for adults or bigger kids  10.  Nike HBR Basketball Shorts Made from Dri-Fit and polyester with quite a few colors and designs is a moderate to high-ranging (in price) pair of shorts from Nike.  The HBR is very comfortable and will keep you dry, and they also have pockets despite looking like an on-court only type of short.  They have a drawstring in case you have any issues with fit as well.ProsComfortableKeep you dryHas pockets despite their great looksConsRun a little smallWaistband can be too tight  Point 3 Shorts = Genius?Additional Background InformationThe history of basketball shorts goes back a long way.  It was first created by a man named James Naismith for a Physical Education class.  Little did he know that the game would catch on and be a world phenomenon one day.  When it first began, it was a sport played much different than it is now.  This was also the case with the clothing.  Basketball is unique as the shirts are almost always sleeveless.  This no doubt made many of us smaller guys and girls a little bit intimidated.  Also included in the uniform are the shorts.For a long time, basketball shorts were always the same.  They were SHORT.  We are talking really short.  Like you can barely get your fingertips to the bottoms of the shorts SHORT.  This was not the trend with just women.  It was the case with full-grown men.  The sight was sometimes unseemly.  The shorts were usually also pretty tight, much like running shorts would be today, but without the comfort of them.  Basketball shorts were just traditionally short.That all began to change in the 1980s as players looked to be more stylish and more comfortable.  This carried over to just about all players of the game, and it’s presently difficult to find anyone that doesn’t wear long and baggy shorts.  These shorts are great because they allow much more air in and they are more comfortable and will chafe less than shorter shorts. There are occasionally players that buck the trend, however.  Larry Bird and John Stockton are two of the proponents of the classic look.  Michael Jordan, on the other hand, is seen as one of the innovators of the long shorts style.  But many argue over who started the trend.There is a debate over whether this whole thing is simply down to fashion or not.  Many people simply believe it is due to the fact that the “cool kids” don’t want to be seen wearing “old white guy shorts.”  But honestly, there is a functionality to basketball shorts that shouldn’t be overlooked.  We’ll discuss that further in the “materials” section.This is all said to let you know that there are a lot of different things that can be labeled as basketball shorts that are out there on the market.  So, you can see shorter ones out there.  And you might want to consider that if you want to have a different style or don’t like the feel of long shorts!  Don’t go around sagging when you simply don’t have to do so.  Get a pair of shorts that are longer and that cover more of your body, so that you don’t have to be a distraction or embarrassment on the court. The post 10 Best Men’s Basketball Shorts 2019: Adult & Youth appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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