Style Points: Earl Thomas Rocks Jordan 11 Cleats; North Carolina Gets New Jordan Brand Uniforms

What a blessed time in sports for sure. The beginning of the NBA season is just around the corner with teams and players–even in preseason mode–starting to cook things up early, and there’s Week 5 in the NFL in the bag. Every sports fan should have at least one stake in everything that is happening right now, whether you’re busy making power moves in your fantasy league or enjoying the games for what they are, you know, the good old fashioned way. For now though, let’s put faces on the future by declaring the present.

Adding to the unveiling of new uniforms in the NBA, this week we got a preview of yet another Drake and Toronto Raptors collaboration: OVO brand is gilding with a new issue of alternate uniforms with the same love that their Jordan X sneaker collaboration was imbued with. College Basketball is getting in on the new wave as well with UNC previewing a new Jordan Brand black uniform, blending the sophistication of Chapel Hill’s “Carolina blue” with the black gravel demeanor of streetball. There are more teams and organizations aligning themselves with influential entertainers and brands now than ever before, and we’re seeing examples of how culture impacts the game rather than it just being the other way around. Jerseys worn off the court are seeing a shine right now in the streets, so load up both on your swag and team support by shopping at all the latest drops at Champs Sports.

Stephen Curry, who rose to supremacy last season, looks more confident now than ever, which is a scary thought for any defender whose assignment is to guard him. While his stock continues to soar past the heavens, similarly is the acceptance and establishment of Curry’s Under Armour signature sneaker as a reliable sneaker option for players everywhere. Paul George, who is initiating himself with playing the four position, has heralded himself as the “best player in the league” and isn’t just paying lip service to it. For George, the real rigor will start on the defensive end–there’s more bulk to defend, but long as he keeps healthy and competes ably, there’s no reason not to believe in his confidence.

Meanwhile, Odell Beckham Jr. is learning that being on top always renders you an easy target. Last week, several Bills players threw jabs at the Giants star receiver in response to his aggressive on-the-field demeanor. The stats he’s putting up (outside of his off-game against the Bills) don’t really align with any of their remarks and so long as you’re burning them on the field, the vitriol spewing out from the mouths of defenders won’t cease anytime soon.

Check it all out in Style Points: Earl Thomas Rocks Jordan 11 Cleats; North Carolina Gets New Jordan Brand Uniforms.

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Earl Thomas
We’ve already seen a slew of PE cleats that Jordan Brand has given to top athletes in the league but here’s a sight always sweet to behold. Clearly the “Tuxedo” Jordan XI lows being reinterpreted as football cleats, Seattle defensive back Earl Thomas came correct this weekend on the gridiron. Even though the team lost to Cincinnati, Thomas also had an interception. You look good, you play good, right?

OVO x Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors have put in considerable rebranding efforts as of late, keeping in line with the creative energy booming out the city. First, they unveiled newly redesigned team logos and uniforms while also showing off a new court design at the Air Canada Centre. Now, OVO’S trademark gilded owl lends its colors and dark spirit to an alternate uniform release by the Raptors. Just the thing you need if you were looking for the right top to match your OVO Jordan X. The impact of entertainer on sport–Drake’s impact on basketball in the city of Toronto–is in fluid form right now, and as the season progresses, one can only anticipate more to come from both sides.
Toronto Raptors Drake

Odell Beckham Jr.
So long as you’re the top gun, you have to expect it when people have it out for you. ODB didn’t start off the NFL season all on the right foot, thanks to his talent drawing a larger crowd of defenders around him. If there’s another opportunity then there’s a way, meaning show resilience–the quick-showing amnesia after a previous dismal effort. In Week 5 against the 49ers, Beckham wasn’t spectacular in his usual form but did show off the burst and explosiveness after the catch, which helped to set his team up for the win.

Your swag means nothing if you don’t have the play to complement it. The title of “best dancer” in the league still belongs to his teammate Victor Cruz, though.
Odell Beckham Jr.
via NFL

Stephen Curry
The scary thought that surrounds Stephen Curry is that he’ll only get better with time. He hasn’t even peaked as a player yet and has an NBA championship to his name. While it’s only the preseason, it’s a safe bet to say Stephen Curry, leader of the new school, will be one of the most impactful players in the league this season. His stock as a player isn’t the only thing soaring. Curry’s signature sneaker with Under Armour, rising rapidly in the sneaker world, is rallying through success the same way Curry is: by using increased expectations as a springboard for bigger and better future plans. It’s all coming together right now for Curry and the Warriors.

UNC
No one will ever surpass Michael Jordan’s legacy on the court. His playing days (as basketball’s GOAT, at least) are well behind him but his impact on the game shows no mercy. Whether it’s players on and off the court sporting a pair of Js on their feet or Jordan Brand creating heat for the North Carolina Tar Heels, his alma mater, his legacy–stamped with a Jumpman logo–continues to flourish. Team uniforms are best (in my opinion) when the design is kept minimal but there are enough details here that certainly give way for a desirable pick-up.

Jordan Brand North Carolina uniforms
@uncbb