Tip-Off for 8/23/12 (featuring Talib Kweli): I like Nike, but wait a minute…


You better earn a king’s ransom to pay for the King’s latest shoe

I’ve been an avid supporter of Nike products since I can remember. You name it, I’ve had it at some point. I’ve lived through the Air Jordan phenomenon and as LeBron James begins to enter the prime years of his career his sneaker brand is beginning to take off.

Like Jordans, the LeBron X is a shoe priced out of the league of his most loyal supporters. With a sticker price of $315 (standard version is $180) Nike is sending the wrong message once again.

The inaugural Air Jordan shoe hit the sneaker shelves at $65 bucks in 1985. More than a buck a point in his epic performance against the Boston Celtics in the 1986 playoffs. There was no room for a $65 sneaker in the Glover household in 1986. The closest I came to a pair of Jordans was a pair of Nike Dunks that went for about $35 and that was the low top edition. God bless my uncle who gave me a pair of his hi-tops that he wore a handful of times. They even had that new sneaker smell.

Those Nike dunks saved my life, literally.

Scandal & Crime,

In the early 1990’s young African-American men were losing their lives for Air Jordans in every major city. Atlanta, Philly, New York and even Chicago where Jordan made his living. Not far from old Chicago Stadium, young men were doing what they had to do to cop the latest ‘hood trend. If that meant dealing drugs, robbing, stealing of taking a life, so be it. If you were lucky to escape with your life, the worst that happened was a roughing up and your shoes were taken. Public Enemy even spoke of the effect in Shut ‘Em Down.

There was something about Jordans that captivated us. Maybe it was the genius work that went into the unique design of the shoe. Maybe it was the street cred that came with owning a pair. I know it was the first status symbol for young African-American males in my lifetime. I saw kids in Jordans and knew damn well it wasn’t in their family’s budget. It was one of those scenarios where a kid was in tattered gear top to bottom, running on an empty stomach but his sneaks were immaculate.

And that fever still exists today.

LeBron James is to my son what Michael was to me. He’s asked for the LeBron IXs which check in at about $110 for his size and Q’s only 9 years old. He knows that Dad will kick out for him, he also knows that there are more important things than wearing $110 sneakers. I’m sure millions of parents have the same thought process but there are those who don’t.

The streets are meaner and hungrier today than they ever have been. If a kid looks like a potential come up to someone looking to make a name, he’s gonna be tested.

Parents are to blame for placing false sense in a dollar. Nike is at fault for pricing a shoe that’s more in the area of a car note than recreation footwear. These shoes are made in sweatshops and cost less than a blue-ray disc to make. Nike’s target group is the African-American community which is dealing with crime at a catatonic level in cities across the United States. African-Americans have done their part in keeping Nike in profitable. At one time Nike would sponsor different sports leagues in the inner cities but I don’t see much of that any more.

The price is too great for Phil Knight to ignore.

The Lineup:

Release date for Grand Theft Auto V is unknown (In Flex We Trust).

Skip Bayless has officially lost his mind (In Flex We Trust).

Young Jeezy might have to hit the block again (In Flex We Trust).

Romney gets no love from us (MSNBC).

Stephen Strasburg will be shut down two weeks early (CBS Sports).

Fuel tanker collides with freight train (In Flex We Trust).

MJD confident that things will work out (Pro Football Talk).

Happy Birthday Kobe Bryant (Wild Thing Football).

Florida in crosshairs of Issac (CNN).

Brooklyn Nets new court design (In Flex We Trust).


The great Talib Kweli

18 Responses to “Tip-Off for 8/23/12 (featuring Talib Kweli): I like Nike, but wait a minute…”

  1. Elijah says:

    Anybody who shells out massive bucks for shoes just because athletes sponsor them is a complete tool of the system. And yet idiots out there kill each other over these shoes. Free your mind, people, and give Nike the finger. Stop being name brand slaves. It’s highly probable you won’t die as a result of wearing $50 sneakers.

  2. Elijah says:

    And a big fuck you to Lebron James for endorsing this product. Is it the guy’s mission to be completely unlikable or something? Maybe success on the court isn’t sitting well with him and he’s compelled to be the smiling villain again.

  3. D.N. says:

    As long as parents brag about their own possessions and talk constantly about money and things, their children will continue to hear the message. Can’t blame advertising or good ole American marketing. Women do it with purses, men do it with cars etc etc. You made good points Ron.

  4. Ron Glover says:

    I wanted to get into that whole bragging thing but it would’ve turned into a serious rant.

  5. Modds says:

    Word It companies fault they make to much paper I’m getting me some still LeBron best be payed

  6. ch555x says:

    Yeah, I remember the days of the $60 Air Jordans, which was considered pretty steep in those days. Not much I can say that hasn’t already been said, but I figured folks would take cues from “Starbury” and get this thing moving…:/

  7. C. N. says:

    Maybe parents need to stop letting their children run the show? I have ten year old Nike shoes that are still good. My kids have always had to pass down shoes. Yes, their sizes change so quickly when they are little that sometimes the shoes look brand new. We get our moneys worth out of everything and part of the plan has been teaching them self discipline, value for your $, and — compassion for others not as lucky as they are. Im the same as Dest – I better NEVER hear or know of them ever making fun of somebody who has less and they are being constantly shown generosity. I dont know how to teach them NOT to like Jordans and want them, but I do know how to teach them what OTHER things matter. My purse collection closet is a joke at our house though!

  8. Ron Glover says:

    Starbury had the perfect concept sneakers and clothing that was really moving here in Philly. Parents were definitely on board and there were so many varieties of shoes to choose from it killed that BOBOs effect of looking like everyone else. Plus they held up well on the court.

  9. Cami says:

    I came up part of that underprivileged group. I did have Marburys because Mike Tyson brought them into the gym and hood and gave everybody a pair. I was happy to have new shoes. I’m 26 so dont know what age you have to be to have been part of the shoe thing because I dont remember anybody caring about shoes as much as they did Starter jackets. I’ve said it before – Im trying to buy a house and theres no shoe Im spending a lot of money on because of the NAME of it. I can’t say that I wouldnt though buy Jordans for the LOOK of them if I could afford it. Some of Nikes shoes are just hotter than any others so if money isnt a biggie, I can’t lie and say I wouldnt be buying them. I have to be honest and there’s a lot of clothing type things I like that I would buy if I could afford it AFTER the other more important things I want. Nike’s marketing worked on adults before it worked on kids.

  10. Nike says the price will be closer to $290. LOL (H/T) Eddie Maisonet Tha Thurd…of The Sports Fan Journal.

  11. ch555x says:


    You just reminded me of my Nike boots from the early ’90s. They have the look of classic high-tops w/ rugged boot soles (decent condition). I think the last pair of shoes I bought that had a price tag I questioned was a pair of all-black Converse All-Stars during the early ’00s.

  12. What I left over at TSFJ:

    I wouldn’t buy kicks costing that much unless I was collecting them. Easy to measure my vert by how high I get on a dunk. Don’t need the science. Others might. I beat up sneaks on the court so there’s no way my mind would allow my hand to take out my wallet and purchase these. Credit cards would resemble greedy kids at the cafeteria table so I wouldn’t even look at them. Chaperone or not. Blame my folks. School shopping. Back in the day. Walked into the store. 40 dollar kicks on the wall. The first time I saw leathers. I want. Step mom gives me the helllllll no look. Chucks it was. Obviously things are different now. If the technology leads to even better technology, I’m down…but…more importantly, if you got the dough, dowhatchalike. If you don’t “Chucks” it is.

    I think they were Top Tens. I just thought they were so beautiful…lol

  13. Miranda says:

    I dont get it…then again, as much as I want to chastise Nike for this…I wouldn’t hesitate to drop the $320 at the regular price for this pair of Marc Jacobs pumps sitting in Bloomingdale’s right now that I have been coveting for 4 months. Well, that’s not true…I DO hesitate because I won’t buy them now and am stalking them for the perfect clearance + special coupon offer that will get them to 75% off. I am trying to tell myself that Nike must be marketing these towards vain yuppies and buppies (i.e. Men between the ages of 27-45 with JOBS) instead of teens but I know they could really care less – its towards whoever will plunk down the money be it from Mama’s hard earned check or from their own.

  14. Miranda says:

    On a side note….just saw on twitter that Nike will continue to support Lance Armstrong and his foundation despite his decision to stop fighting the charges against him. This is HUGE. He’s gonna be stripped of all his Tour de France titles. WOW. this is BIG.

  15. sankofa says:

    I don’t get it…when did this become about Lebron and not about Nike. it’s slave labor policies, the protection it gets from various government including the American? Why is this Elijah dude saying fuck it to Lebron and not to Nike? Has anybody been shot over these like Jordan? How many people said fuck you to Jordan, who believed that Rethuglicans by shoes too? When did parents stopped being parents and become walking ATM machines? When did we stop being penny wise and become pound foolish? Why are we caught up in this distraction while Monsanto is putting corn on our table that has poisons specifically designed to literally explodes the belly of insects and has proven to cause organ failure in lab rats? Don’t you all realize that people can’t call on ignorance in 2012? You have to shake your head and pass them by.

  16. ch555x says:


    That’s why I used to laugh at certain discussions regarding “authentic” sports jerseys vs. counterfeit versions. One comment that pretty much nailed it in one board (most were obviously for “authentic”) generally said these so-called fakes are probably made at the same factory (or down the street) from where the real ones were produced.

    I want to say its that “inside the box” mentality or “lab mice in a maze” life that have folks looking at the name-sake (LeBron) and ignoring the cats behind the curtains (promoters and owners). I don’t think most folks could handle stepping outside the box or squeezing through the maze wall as collective heads would explode (sort of like The Running Man).

  17. ch555x says:


    I kind of mix that Lance fiasco in with Augusta’s admission of Condi and some other woman as members…I have no clue!

  18. Mapoui says:

    “” Don’t you all realize that people can’t call on ignorance in 2012? You have to shake your head and pass them by.””