Kevin Durant

Team USA revealed their 12-man roster that will take part in the 2016 Olympics in Rio on Monday morning. Despite several high profile names choosing not to participate due to injuries, other commitments and Zika virus scares, the squad is still top heavy, led by 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Durant and 2014 FIBA World Cup MVP Kyrie Irving. Anchored by fellow World Cup winners DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson and Olympic veteran Carmelo Anthony (it’s the only time he feels alive), this squad should prove to be more than capable of defending the crown.

Nike Basketball will once again shine on the Olympic stage as the team’s outfitter and with 9 out of the 12 players repping either the swoosh or Jordan Brand. Rounding out the sneaker roster are Harrison Barnes and Kyle Lowry for adidas and Klay Thompson rocking ANTA. Obviously every player will be wearing USA-themed sneakers to the games, but there are some not so obvious sneaker choices out there that would get everybody buzzing for sure. Here are our picks for What Kicks We Would Love To See The Team USA Basketball Squad Rock In Rio.

Carmelo Anthony (Jordan)

Getty Images
Getty Images

What He’ll Likely Wear: Jordan Melo M12 or M13 USA
What We’d Love To See Him Wear: Jordan Melo 1.5 USA

We joke a lot about Melo’s NBA futility here on Kicks On Fire, but there’s no denying that the man has not had the best of luck when it comes to roster composition, especially when compared to LeBron or D-Wade or Chris Bosh or basically every other star player in the league since 2003. And we also can’t deny that when paired up with other good players, he steps up his game and becomes a totally different beast. He’ll be overshadowed in 2016 by KD and Kyrie, but like in 2012, expect him to be at the top of the scoring list as he puts up record-breaking numbers in his Jordan signature shoes that few people care about.

Harrison Barnes (adidas)

ESPN
ESPN

What He’ll Likely Wear: adidas Crazylight Boost 2016 USA
What We’d Love To See Him Wear: adidas Yeezy Boost 350 USA

This is why Nick Young should be on Team USA. Not only would he be the most likely person to cause a hilarious international incident, but he would also defy logic and rock a pair of Yeezy Boosts during a game. As it stands, Barnes and Kyle Lowry won’t do such a thing as they will be pushing the new Crazylight Boosts that James Harden won’t be wearing to Rio.

Jimmy Butler (Jordan)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

What He’ll Likely Wear: Jordan Super.Fly 5 USA or Air Jordan XXX USA
What We’d Love To See Him Wear: Air Jordan 11 Space Jam 45 or Air Jordan XX1

With Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard all sitting out, Jimmy Butler will be the guy Jordan Brand turns to in Rio while ‘Melo wears his signature shoes. With the Jordan Super.Fly 5 announced just last week, we will more than likely see them on the court in the red, white and blue, but let’s also hope we see something unexpected, like a USA colorway of the Air Jordan XXX or maybe even a hint of the new Air Jordan XX1.

DeMarcus Cousins (Nike)

Getty Images
Getty Images

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike Hyperdunk Flyknit USA
What We’d Love To See Him Wear: Nike LeBron 13 Low Gold Medal

atmos
atmos

Boogie Cousins representing the USA is amazing for so many reasons, not the least of which will be his choices of kicks. He wore the Nike LeBron Soldier 8 in Spain for the FIBA World Cup in 2014, so the possibility is there he could break out the the new LeBron Soldier 10 or the golden LeBron 13 Low for Rio. But with the Olympics serving as the launching off point for new Hyperdunks the past two outings, the Flyknit Hyperdunk will likely be what’s on Boogie’s feet for much of the games.

DeMar DeRozan (Nike)

NBA
NBA

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike Kobe 11 4th Of July

Nike Kobe 11 Elite 1

What We’d Love To See Him Wear: Nike Hyperdunk Kobe PE

Getty Images
Getty Images

As my hopeful leader of a “Kobe Brand” at Nike, DeRozan will be representing for the Black Mamba in Rio, more than likely in the upcoming Nike Kobe 11 4th Of July. And since DeRozan is such a devout “Mamba Guy”, it would be cool to see him go back in the archives and dig up Kobe’s Nike Hyperdunk PE from the 2008 Olympics just for old time’s sake.

Kevin Durant (Nike)

GQ
GQ

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike KD 9 Premiere

Nike
Nike

What We’d Love To See Him Wear: Nike KD 9 Premiere (With Gold Accents)

Debuts the new Team USA uniforms and unveils the KD 9 at the same time. Yeah, I guess you could say Kevin Durant is going to be a big part of Team USA Basketball. Now, if only we can switch out the red swoosh for gold during the Medal round…

Paul George (Nike)

Getty Images
Getty Images

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike Hyperdunk Flyknit USA
What We’d Like To See Him Wear: A Paul George Nike Signature Shoe

Paul George’s Team USA experience hasn’t been all that great is maybe the biggest understatement ever. After suffering a terrible leg injury on a freak accident that robbed him of almost an entire NBA season, George has bounced back to All-Star form and will be looking to showcase his comeback on the world stage. There was once a time when we all thought that a George signature shoe was inevitable, but now that door seems to be closing with every passing year. Seeing him in a never-before-seen silhouette with cause the Internet to explode and get all sorts of “FINALLY” buzz. If there was ever a time to pull the trigger on a PG13 signature, this would be the time and place.

Draymond Green (Nike)

Getty Images
Getty Images

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike HyperRev 2016 USA
What We’d Like To See Him Wear: Nike LeBron 14

Right up until Green punched LeBron in the uh… lower extremities, we would consider Green a “LeBron Guy”. He has quite the collection of NIKEiD LeBrons and Soldiers that you would think they were business partners or something (hey, wait a minute…). Maybe things have changed since the shot that undoubtedly changed the NBA Finals, so maybe Green doesn’t debut the Nike LeBron 14 in Bron’s absence. Or maybe he does in between wearing the HyperRev. It’s a mystery, indeed…

Kyrie Irving (Nike)

Brad Penner/USA Today Sports
Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike Kyrie 2 4th Of July

Nike
Nike

What We’d Like To See Him Wear: Nike Kyrie 2 4th Of July (With Gold Accents)

Nike Kyrie 2 Gold MedalDo it, Uncle Drew. Also if we can get an Uncle Drew cameo in Rio that would be the best.

DeAndre Jordan (Nike)

Getty Images
Getty Images

What He’ll Likely Wear: Nike LeBron Soldier 10 4th Of July

Nike
Nike

What We’d Like To See Him Wear: Nike LeBron Soldier 10 4th Of July (With Gold Accents)

First Team All-NBA Center DeAndre Jordan (that’s still crazy to say, even though it’s well-deserved) will be one of two traditional big men on Team USA along with Boogie Cousins. Since they both have a penchant for wearing LeBrons, chances are one or both will rock these Soldier 10s in Rio since LeBron himself won’t be around. Now imagine how fire those kicks would be if some of the red hits were switched out to gold.

Kyle Lowry (adidas)

Getty Images
Getty Images

What He’ll Likely Wear: adidas Crazylight Boost 2016 USA
What We’d Like To See Him Wear: adidas Yeezy Boost 350 USA

(See: Harrison Barnes)

Klay Thompson (ANTA)

Cassy Athena
Cassy Athena

What He’ll Likely Wear: ANTA KT 1 USA
What We’d Like To See Him Wear: ANTA KT 2

The sting of losing the NBA Finals will no doubt be on Klay’s mind during the Olympics especially since Kyrie Irving is around, but he shouldn’t have any trouble accepting a bigger role as Team USA’s best shooter. ANTA will no doubt be pleased by the increased minutes as his signature KT shoes will no doubt be on display for much of the games. While he might stick to the KT 1 in Rio, it would be shocking if we didn’t get a peek at the KT 2 at the very least.

The post What Kicks We Would Love To See The Team USA Basketball Squad Rock In Rio appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.

The Nike KD 8 deserved better. As a performance basketball shoe, it was the logical next step following the Nike KD 7; it featured a new articulated Zoom Air unit and a Flyweave upper that improved upon its predecessor in every which way. The silhouette itself was slim and sleek and did away with some of the extraneous stuff that was found on the KD 7. The results showed on the the court as Kevin Durant had a bounce back year in the KD 8 after dealing with injuries the season prior.

But then it was priced at $180 and the first colorways did not pop the sneaker community like other KD debuts such as NERF Nike Zoom KD 4 or the Seat Pleasant Nike KD 6. KD promoted the shoe heavily over the summer and rocked them in a lot of colorways on the court that we would actually be able to purchase, but for one reason or another, the KD 8 just sat on shelves. Was it the price? Was it Stephen Curry and Under Armour stealing his uh, thunder as the most fun scorer to watch in the game? Was it the colorways that felt uninspired and did not take advantage of the promise of Flyweave upper (aka the same upper found on the the Air Jordan XX9 and XXX)? KD the person did all that he could to make KD the shoe a thing, but it just wasn’t enough. When we saw the Nike KD 9 introduced way ahead of schedule and priced for $30 less than the 8, it felt like Nike course correcting and getting back to what the KDs a hit in the first place.

With the KD 9 soft launching across the country this week, we couldn’t leave KD 8 behind in Nike outlet stores just yet, as much as the community really wants to it seems. Here are our picks for the 10 Nike KD 8 Colorways That Weren’t So Bad. If that doesn’t inspire confidence that you should pick up a pair of KD 8s right now, I don’t know what will (there should be a snarky emoji in there somewhere)

Nike KD 8 Elite Away

Nike
Nike

How to make this a fire sneaker:

  1. Buy the shoe at the Nike Outlet for less than $100
  2. Go home and grab a pair of scissors
  3. Cut the sleeve
  4. Enjoy your championship colorway

Nike KD 8 BHM

Nike
Nike

Nike’s Black History Month collection has seen diminishing returns at least on the sales side with each passing year. While it absolutely makes sense for the brand to continue honoring African-Americans who have made great contributions to both sports and society, the sneakers themselves have not garnered the same attention as they had previously. Call it fatigue or lack of inspiring design, but when the same themed sneaker drops like clockwork every year, it creates a familiarity that softens the impact.

Nike KD 8 EXT Floral

Nike
Nike

Did Derrick Rose holler at Nike for gimmick infringement? Between the black, red, white and floral print, it’s not hard to imagine seeing this on an adidas D Rose sneaker. We’ll let it slide because these are a cool example of what was possible for the KD 8. The shoe needed more creative prints such as these that exploited the potential of the Flyweave upper, which used a textile material.

Nike KD 8 All-Star

Nike
Nike

After a sedated 2015 All-Star Game collection, Nike brought back the color for 2016 and the KD 8 was modeled after the international appeal of the city of Toronto and how it attracts people from all over the world. This is sociology on a sneaker and the little touches like the removable patches that highlight KD’s All-Star accomplishments only add to the beauty of the shoe.

Nike KD 8 4th Of July

Nike
Nike

For the Nike KD 7, one of their most popular NIKEiD options was the Fireworks as it gave the shoe’s Posite heel a celebratory feel. The KD 8 went to the Fireworks Factory again with the release of the KD 8 4th Of July colorway. The pops of blue and red on the Flyweave upper was promising because at the time it seemed to hint that Nike was going to be go crazy with the graphics on the KD 8 (think the awesome Photo Reel Air Jordan XX9). It did not turn out to be case, unfortunately.

Nike KD 8 N7

Nike
Nike

KD’s ties to the Nike’s N7 initiative has been going on for a few years now and this year’s iteration is one of the best KD N7s so far. The glow-in-the-dark outsole is complimented by a special graphic print featuring the work of Native American artist, Bunky Echo-Hawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. He is known for his live art installations that bring to light his influences that debunk Native American stereotypes but also respectfully honor his heritage.

Nike KD 8 Sabertooth Tiger

Nike
Nike

One of the first things we heard about the Nike KD 8 was how it was influenced by a Sabertooth Tiger. Well, it only made sense that a Sabertooth Tiger colorway would drop, but who knew that it could double as a Sabretooth cosplay sneaker?

Nike KD 8 Aunt Pearl

Nike
Nike

You can find the Nike KD 8 Aunt Pearl at any store for around $99. That was impossible as recently as a year ago. Despite being another great Aunt Pearl tribute colorway, it just shows you the fatigue the sneakerhead community has towards the same themed kicks every year and the apathy for the KD 8.

Nike KD 8 Perseverance

Nike
Nike

This Asia-exclusive colorway of the Nike KD 8 Perseverance features the Chinese national flower, the Plum Blossom, on the tongue of the shoe. It’s the perfect nickname because it highlights the struggle and actual perseverance KD had in order to get back to the superstar level that we all know that was still inside of him. It’s a shame that this pair never released in the US proper because it could have been a colorway that shined a very positive light on the KD 8.

Nike KD 8 EXT Vachetta Tan

Nike
Nike

Vachetta Tan became the new hotness in sneakers during the early part of 2016 thanks to Nike’s use of the material on the Air Jordan 1 Pinnacle and various other classic silhouettes. The KD 8 also got the nod and rather ironically, it is the best iteration of the KD 8. You might not want to rock these on the court because they are designed to be a lifestyle sneaker, but they are the eye-catcher that the shoe desperately needed but were in short supply of throughout its cycle. And no, the KD 8 What The is not what this shoe needs

The post The Top 10 Nike KD 8 Colorways That Weren’t So Bad appeared first on KicksOnFire.com.