Your pseudo-NBA Finals. Image: Chicago Bulls

Your pseudo-NBA Finals. Image: Chicago Bulls

People like to say that the NBA doesn’t matter anymore. Influencers and internet experts alike are constantly talking about how celebrities today are now the new sneaker icons and that what they wear dictates the direction of the sneakerhead community. They yearn for the good old days when somebody like Michael Jordan or Allen Iverson could be the leader of fashion movements with their sporadic appearances on television and print ads. These old heads look back at those times with fondness as somebody of marginal star power like Tim Hardaway had a signature shoe, as if that was a good thing.

Believe me, the further we get away from those days when Tim Hardaway could have a signature shoe the better. For people who like to complain that the younger generation doesn’t have an original bone in their body, we celebrate individuality now more than ever. Before the age of social media, we were practically force fed a select group of people to follow like our heroes Jordan and Iverson. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing is up to debate, but what about those fans that lived and breathed for a Mitch Richmond, who wore Jordans almost in secret for a good chunk of his career? If he was around in this day and age, he would be a regular headliner of our NBA Kicks recaps regardless of geography. We missed out on players like that; but not anymore.

Today, we can pick and choose who we want to follow and who we can literally block from our lives with a simple tap on a smartphone screen. Whereas we were just receivers of culture in the past, we are now all curators. The NBA plays into that because now we can find out very minute detail of every player right down to the kicks they wear. If you’re among a group of 10 friends who love kicks and the NBA, there’s a very distinct chance maybe only half of you have heard about Jordan Hamilton and how he wore the Nike LeBron 9 “Cannon” while the other half might be hyped that Jimmy Butler loves to rock the red adidas Crazy 8 and that’s pretty cool.  We don’t all have to like the same things, which is kind of the point of being an individual. Yes, the days of the super duper star might be gone, but we got something better in return: choice.

And if the NBA was so irrelevant, LeBron James rocking something as bat s**t insane as last season’s “What The MVP” shouldn’t be a big deal. It shouldn’t have garnered the attention that it got. Wale could have worn the exact same pair a day before and the sneakerhead public would have just nodded and moved on to the next one. So yeah, the NBA still matters; it’s just different now.

And with that in mind, here is our annual 20 NBA Kicks Predictions for the 2013-14 season. We ended up barely going over .500 in our prognostications last year, so here’s hoping we do a little bit better this time around.

20. Andre Drummond might have just tipped off whether he has a Jordan Brand deal or not

So Andre Drummond tweeted this yesterday:

Here’s what we think we know: Andre Drummond signed a multi-year deal with adidas. For most of the summer while he was champagning and campaigning with Hollywood types and becoming a social media darling, he was rocking adidas. But as soon as the NBA preseason hit, he started rocking the Air Jordan 3 “Fire Red” and the Air Jordan 7 “Raptors”. One has to assume Drummond would in no way shape or form mess with his adidas deal by rocking Js on the court so maybe it wasn’t a multi-year deal after all. And so the sneaker story behind the NBA’s most intriguing young big man continues.

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