Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 12/14/11

Not long after I became a basketball head, I became a sneaker head. I started collecting shoes around the age of 16, and although I’ve tossed most of my money at other things since graduating from high school in ’07, I still pay pretty close attention to the new releases and who’s wearing what. I think it’s awfully difficult to have a passionate interest in basketball without having a secondary interest in the shoes, as footwear has always been a huge part of the sport’s culture. From Chuck Taylors to Puma Clydes to Nike Air Forces to Air Jordans, the sneaker has evolved with the game. This season’s media day not only gave us the first look at a new NBA season, but also showcased the newest wave of basketball footwear–or the game’s latest evolution, you could say.

Here are a few pairs that caught my eye as I scanned through a sea of photos…

Jameer Nelson + Reebok Zig Pro Future: Reebok has unquestionably fallen off (at least in the basketball market) since the Allen Iverson era, and to be perfectly honest, most of their offerings since The Answer’s Sixer days have been pretty whack. A few years back they lost their licensing agreement with the NBA, and they’d already lost pretty much all of their big-name stars. Slowly but surely, rising star John Wall and the Zigtech are bringing ‘em back, though. Here’s Jameer Nelson rocking an updated version of the original Zigtech, which, in my opinion, is a pretty nice looking sneaker.

Brandon Jennings + Under Armour Bloodline: I consider Under Armour a football brand. I’ve never messed with their apparel or their sneakers, which, to be perfectly honest, have always been a little… blah. There’s simply nothing that makes ‘em stand out, ya know? That being said, I kinda like this all-red colorway of The Bloodline. They’re simple, but clean… and I’ve always been partial towards sneakers with straps.

Dorell Wright + Peak Team Dynamic: Peak is a relatively new Chinese brand that’s worn by NBA players such as Wright, Shane Battier, and Baron Davis. I’ve still never seen a pair in real life, but they seem to add more and more NBA players to their stable each year. I think most of their kicks look pretty cheap and generic–like something you’d see at Payless–but Dorell makes these look alright, despite the mustard-on-mustard colorway.

Joe Johnson + Air Jordan XI Retro: Ah, the concords; a classic sneaker. I suppose the cameras probably inspired JJ to step out of the team js and into a pair of these bad boys…

Gilbert Brown + Air Jordan XIV Retro: No, not the 400-pound Packer; the 6’6 forward from Pitt! Gilbert Brown may be one of the most little-known ballers to show up at Cs camp, but his kicks will get him noticed. They don’t match his uniform, but his XIVs in light graphite/midnight navy do look exceptionally fresh…

Quentin Richardson + Air Jordan XIII Retro: Q-Rich has been rocking Jordan Brand since his Clipper days, and he, along with Mike Bibby, Ray Allen, and Rip Hamilton, has been known to sport some of the most beautiful player exclusives in the league. That’s not just my opinion, but pretty much the consensus. Proof can be found in the prices his colorways regularly fetch on Ebay–prices that would boggle the mind of a non-collector. He easily takes best kicks at media day 2011 honors with this gorgeous pair of white and blue 13s…

I didn’t break out the –Swag-O-Meter– for this post because that would’ve been OD on the pictures, but if I had, these would’ve scored the first ever six out of five.

I plan to post more kicks tomorrow, so stay tuned, sneaker heads!

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