Melo deserved better from Jordan Brand

There is word circulating on the World Wide Web that Carmelo Anthony might be losing his signature shoe with Jordan Brand. He also might not be; he called the reports “false news,” which I like to imagine as Fake News’ more sophisticated older brother who went to law school rather than joining a band. But regardless, the very idea of Melo losing his shoe deal raises the important question: What do Melo’s shoes even look like?

Before I started writing this blog, I had absolutely no idea. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone wearing Melo’s signature sneakers. I can’t see where they would’ve been flying off the shelves during his last few lackluster seasons with Phil Jackson’s garbage fire of a Knicks team.

Sure, Melo has had something to do with his less-than-great performance, but it hasn’t been only his fault. The Knicks really screwed the pooch when it comes to — okay, when it comes to mostly everything, except for barely managing to hang onto everyone’s favorite large adult Latvian son Kristaps Porzingis. Melo was largely a casualty of the organization’s sucknitude.

You know what else Melo was a casualty of? Jordan Brand. I just looked up his shoes, and, wow, they’re … I’m having trouble expressing how bad they are, because while I don’t want to be mean, I can’t stop laughing as I scroll through the various versions.

Sole Collector has a full history of his line, but here are the highlights: Our story begins with the Carmelo 1.5s in 2004. Check them out:

I think that top strap-y thing is supposed to suggest a headband, because before the Hoodie Melo, there was the Headband Melo. D’Wayne Edwards, who used to be the footwear design director at Jordan Brand, is the man responsible for these bad boys, which debuted in 2004 and are decidedly 2004.

Maybe these shoes were cool when they debuted. While they look like something Drake would’ve worn before he got a stylist, there’s a chance they were desirable at the time. I honestly wouldn’t know. In 2004, I wore Polo shirts that I’d occasionally layer over other Polo shirts so that the color of the bottom Polo corresponded to the color of the pony logo of the top shirt. I also wore jeans that flared, belts made out of ribbon, spaghetti-strap tank tops, Uggs, and North Face fleeces. I am, by all intents and purposes, the last human alive who would have a leg to stand on when it comes to judging anything related to style from the era that Melo’s sneakers first debuted.

Here’s the problem though. Melo’s shoes haven’t really gotten any better since I was in high school. I may not have matured since 2004, but I like to think that I’ve improved sartorially (says the girl who recently wrote a blog in which the fact that she was wearing a D.A.R.E. t-shirt featured prominently, and who wears a fanny pack, non-ironically, to do errands in public on the weekend).

[Sighs] Okay, shit. Maybe I haven’t improved, maybe I’ve just gotten weirder. But so have Melo’s shoes!!!! Look at a few of the past iterations Jordan Brand released before considering pulling the plug to make room for Melo’s new teammate Russell Westbrook’s signature line.

They’re just … they’re half brick, half shoe. And the most recent version, the M13s …

… look like the feet of a Smurf covered in Subway tile.

I’m really not trying to be nasty here. I don’t think this is Melo’s fault at all. If anything, I’m sad. I think it’s too bad that Jordan Brand couldn’t give this guy better shoes! Granted, most of their sneakers suck these days anyway (sorry, it’s the truth), but we’re talking about the brand that brought us the iconic Air Force 1s, Air Jordans, Air Max 90s. And Jordan Brand is Nike, and Nike hasn’t dropped the ball* with other players; Kyrie’s shoes are cool! LeBron’s shoes are cool! It’s like Melo was the only guy they totally phoned it in for!

I don’t know, man. I think Melo’s had a rough go. And now he might not even have any shoes at all. What a horrible, cruel world.


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