The 2022-23 KICKS Awards: First Staff, MVP and MORE!


Forward of this upcoming NBA season, we’re having a look at the most effective of a really lengthy record of SLAMKICKS-approved footwear giants. 

This story and a lot extra is featured within the newest situation of KICKS 26. Get your copy right here.

First Staff

P.J. Tucker

As certain because the solar rises within the jap sky, P.J. Tucker is again on our First Staff. There’s no one within the League extra versed, extra versatile and extra prepared to play in any pair. He cemented himself way back on this record, but he retains on proving himself again and again.

James Harden

James Harden is a reasonably unusual human being on the whole. He did, in spite of everything, assist to rewrite the NBA rule e-book together with his singular type of play. His seventh signature silhouette, the most effective of the 2022-23 marketing campaign, is especially distinctive. It’s obtained a cool form, it’s obtained an higher that appears like a puffer jacket, it’s stuffed with the most effective tech the Stripes has to supply and it had extremely onerous colorways all through the season. 

DeMar DeRozan

It’s not a shot at P.J. to say with confidence that DeMar DeRozan has the most effective Kobe assortment within the League. As has been printed in these pages many instances, he’s performed in each Nike Kobe silhouette all through his profession and continues so as to add Kobe PEs that look extra like artwork items than sneakers to his assortment.

Ja Morant

Earlier than his signature sneaker debuted on Christmas Day 2022, Ja Morant had been hooping in top quality Kobes and authentic variations of the early Kyries. Then he stomped into the signature recreation with a handful of distinctive colorways. And since he strikes otherwise than simply about everyone within the League, there’ll be extra originality in his future.

Stephen Curry

The very best shooter ever had selection in 2022-23. Curry 10s, FloTros of the 1 and a couple of, some sprinkling of the 4 FloTro all obtained courtroom time with No. 30. There aren’t many others who inform tales with their footwear like Stephen. His nonstop dedication to the underrated and underrepresented usually will get communicated via his footwear. 

Second Staff

LeBron James

Taste after taste after taste. LeBron James’ twentieth season will likely be remembered for the multitude of colorways he performed in. Each the Nike LeBron 20 and the Nike LeBron NXXT Gen appeared beneath the brilliant lights in equally delicate and outrageous makeups, night time after night time. 

Paul George

Despite the fact that his signature line has wrapped up, Paul George didn’t miss a step. Every recreation introduced a brand new probability for him to indicate off his surprising appreciation for basketball sneakers, like, for instance, carrying the “All-Star” Nike Kobe 6 whereas taking part in within the Metropolis of Angels. You get the connection?

Malik Monk

Malik Monk very a lot understands learn how to correctly apply hues to footwear. All of his Kobe PEs, be it 5s or 6s, are persistently hearth. None of them are actually that related, both. There’s a ton of variation from pair to pair, with browns and blues and purples and blacks and pinks
exhibiting up all through his secure. 

Trey Lyles

Look, let’s be trustworthy right here, yeah? Kobes are this era’s Jordans. Trey Lyles has a stockpile of uncommon warmth that he’s amassed over time and most of them aren’t protros. He’s on this record as a result of he persistently hoops in heavy hitters from the sport’s most cherished line, oftentimes reminding folks about pairs or colorways they’d beforehand forgotten. 

Jayson Tatum

One other visible storyteller, Jayson Tatum began the season with many variations of the Air Jordan 37 and Air Jordan 38 Low that permit the general public in on what issues most to him. As soon as ASW rolled round and he obtained to unveil his first signature with Jordan Model, the storytelling door flew clear off the hinges. Tatum tells us an entire lot about himself with out ever saying a phrase. 

MVP: P.J. Tucker

LeBron James solely has 4 MVPs. Michael Jordan solely has 5 MVPs. What within the hell is nice with that? That’s not the reality. Each deserve a minimal of 10. Within the context of basketball sneakers, P.J. Tucker is LeBron. He’s MJ. In our pages, he’ll proceed to get his shine till he hangs up his sneakers for good.

We’ve referred to as him numerous issues over time, just like the Michael Jordan of carrying Jordans. We’ve in contrast his conquering of basketball footwear to passages in Solar Tzu’s The Artwork of Conflict. Now that we’ve lastly gotten him on the quilt and had an opportunity to take heed to him communicate brazenly about sneakers, he’s the MVP as a result of he loves all of it greater than anybody else. We hear you, P.J. 

Rookie of the 12 months: Jalen Williams

The record of Stripes silhouettes that Jalen Williams performed in is mighty lengthy. It consists of the Harden Vol. 7s, Loopy 97s, Dame 5s, Prime 10 2000s, D.O.N. 4s, Agent Gils, Harden Vol. 4s, D Rose 1.5s and Dame 8s. 

Williams maintained a gentle rotation all through the season, different with many colours. He appears to be a pupil of the sneaker recreation. He joined the likes of Tracy McGrady, Nick Younger and Jaylen Brown when he rocked mismatched adi joints. The younger star popped out to All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake Metropolis with one white Harden Vol. 7 and one pink Harden Vol. 7. His identify will most undoubtedly present up once more in these pages subsequent yr.

Most Improved Participant: Paul George

The Swoosh determined to finish Paul George’s signature line on the PG6. It went out with a bang, concluding after the drop of his collab with Sizzling Wheels. 

The ending of 1 factor is the start of one other. Freed up from being required to play in his newest signature mannequin, PG hit the bottom operating by carrying Kobe 4s, Kobe 5s and Kobe 6s. He dug into the closet for the return of the PG1, the PG2 and the PG2.5. Strategically, he secured this spot when he performed within the “Draft Day” Kobe 4s in Charlotte. That was a wakeup name signifying there was one other educated sneakerhead prepared to indicate out. 

LeagueFits Arrival Sneaker of the 12 months: Russell Westbrook

Michael Jordan’s retirement in 1998 gave the primary class of Model Jordan athletes the total sneaker highlight. They have been attending to play in retro colorways made only for them. Guys like Ray Allen, Derek Anderson, Vin Baker, Eddie Jones and Michael Finley are the explanation each sneakerhead is aware of what PE (participant unique) stands for. Retro PEs continued for the subsequent couple of Jordan athlete generations, with guys like Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson gaining fame for his or her warmth. 

However Jordan Model modified up the general thought course of a number of years again. Retro PEs are way more uncommon now. 

Their shortage is why Russell Westbrook’s Air Jordan III colorway is getting the nod for the LeagueFits Arrival Sneaker of the 12 months. Seeing these IIIs within the wild is like seeing the Loch Ness Monster lastly reveal itself. 

Better of the Manufacturers:

Curry 10

adidas Harden Vol. 7

Jordan Tatum 1

New Stability TWO WXY v3

Nike LeBron 20





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