The Detroit Pistons announced hip-hop icon and Detroit-native Big Sean will become the organization’s Creative Director of Innovation. In this role, Big Sean will provide creative counsel and strategic guidance on a variety of Pistons off-the-court initiatives, including team merchandise design, in-game experience, co-branded community, and social responsibility activation, and more.
To kick off the partnership, Big Sean has added his Don Life logo to the Pistons practice jersey. Photos of the jerseys are attached.
“Sean is an accomplished artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Having spent time with him and his family I know how deeply he cares about the city of Detroit,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “We share a common desire to use the power of sports and entertainment to improve our community and make a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m excited to see what we can do working together.”
Central to the partnership, the Pistons and the Sean Anderson Foundation will work together and engage Detroiters through future community initiatives and programming. The six-time Grammy nominee will also curate music for Pistons in-game entertainment, including halftime performances and DJ playlists. Additionally, Big Sean will participate in creative sessions and spearhead collaborations with the Pistons design team to launch custom merchandise line extensions.
“It’s a dream come true and a real honor to get to work with the iconic Detroit Pistons,” said Big Sean. “I grew up in the city, which naturally made me a fan of the Bad Boys. I would later have a Grant Hill poster on my wall and then, against all odds, would watch the ’04 Pistons go on to win the Championship, inspiring the whole city of Detroit. I look forward to creatively finding new ways to contribute to their legacy and continue their dedication to the community through sports, art, and, of course, music.”
Detroit Pistons Chief Business Officer Mike Zavodsky lauded the addition of Big Sean and sees the partnership as a natural fit for the Pistons and their newly launched D-Up brand campaign.
“Big Sean embodies everything the Pistons organization and our D-Up campaign is about – creativity, hard work, and the people of Detroit,” said Zavodsky. “Big Sean and the Pistons are both a part of the fabric of Detroit, and we look forward to this partnership reflecting the culture of the city we both call home.”
Donovan Mitchell is fresh off a five-year, $195 million extension with the Utah Jazz, and now he’s dropping some fresh, new kicks.
The star guard teamed up with BODYARMOR for a collaboration with adidas to create a limited edition version of his D.O.N. Issue #2 sneaker called the adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR.
The shoe features a brand new colorway inspired by Mitchell’s favorite BODYARMOR flavor, Tropical Punch.
D.O.N., which stands for “Determination Over Negativity,” is representative of Mitchell’s mindset both on and off the court.
The new shoe features the BOUNCE midsole, which enhances comfort and stability. It is also a higher heel counter, which provides even more containment and support. A webbed lacing system and the soft, breathable mesh upper provide even more lateral support.
The D.O.N. Issue #2 x BODYARMOR will not be available for purchase. Rather, it is available to fans and consumers nationwide through giveaways on BODYARMOR social platforms beginning Tuesday.
There will be just 100 pairs, so those who can get their hands on the shoes will be the envy of sneaker collectors everywhere.
Mitchell took the league by storm in the 2017-2018 season. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft and was traded to the Utah Jazz the same night.
He won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest and was named an All-Star during the 2019-2020 season. Through the first three seasons of his career, he is averaging 22.7 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game.
BODYARMOR is now the No. 2 sports drink sold nationwide.
Ball said he’s excited to join the PUMA family as he kicks off his basketball career.
“I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because PUMA will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100-percent authentic whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that’s what I want to do with PUMA,” Ball said.
The 6-foot-7-inch guard with elite passing skills opted out of college basketball in favor of professional contracts in Lithuania and Australia.
Adam Petrick, the global director of brand and marketing at PUMA, said Ball is a natural fit for PUMA because of his personal style and his “physical gifts and dynamic play on the court.”
“We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball,” Petrick said.
The first collaboration between the young phenom and PUMA will come in the form of a PUMA x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie set. The set will release Nov. 18, the same day as the 2020 NBA Draft where Ball is expected to go in the top five.
PUMA also intends to blur lines between sports, culture, music and fashion with its approach to the collaboration with Ball, which will likely be seen in the form of shirts, shoes and other apparel.
The partnership will follow PUMA’s “Not From Here” concept, something Ball cooked up himself to represent his unique attitude.
“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” Ball said. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one of one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with PUMA.”
Ball and PUMA will also join forces to host basketball camps, clothing donations, court refurbishments and more to support programs that encourage young athletes stay active.
In Ball’s 2019-2020 season as a member of the Illawarra Hawks, he played just 12 games before injuring himself during practice and deciding to leave for the NBA Draft. He averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Without a consensus first pick, there is also speculation that Minnesota could trade out of the first pick, opening an opportunity for a team looking for a point guard with passing abilities like Ball’s.
It all remains to be seen the night of the Draft Nov. 18, where one thing is for sure: LaMelo Ball’s name will be called.
LeBron James recorded a triple-double, dropping 28 points with 14 rebounds and ten assists, en route to his fourth career NBA title. It is his first with the Lakers, who are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the most championships as a franchise with 17 wins.
Though ratings for NBA Finals games were lower than in previous years, this brings closure to a successfully executed bubble from Commissioner Adam Silver. With players spending months quarantined in Orlando and no fans in attendance, the NBA was still able to complete its season despite a pandemic and a boycott for social justice.
This obviously strengthens James’ argument as the greatest basketball player in history. Michael Jordan won six NBA titles and six NBA Finals MVP Awards, but with James on the books for two more years with the Lakers and Davis for another year and potentially more, the Lakers will look to compete in and lengthen the “LeBron James era.”
While accepting the Finals MVP Award, James said, “We just want our respect. Rob wants his respect. Coach Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker Nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect, too.”
Well, if the perspective of fans and journalists means anything to James, it seems as though levels of respect towards him rose last night.
James hugged Davis while holding the MVP trophy and thanked Davis in his speech.
James called working with Davis “easy,” saying, “We want the best from each other every single day, both on and off the floor. To be able to put him where he is today, that means so much to me, and the fact that he trusts me means even more.”
Finally, he spoke about the NBA’s impact on social change while in the bubble.
“You hear Golden State always use the phrase ‘strength in numbers,’ and that’s exactly what it was. As the NBA, the NBPA, all of our players, everybody had a voice on what’s going on in America. We know we all want to see better days, and when we leave here we know we’ve got to continue to push that,” James said.
The loss in the finals comes in heart-breaking fashion for the Miami Heat, as three of their stars played most of the series at less than full health. Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo all faced injuries at some point in the Finals.
There are positives for the Heat, as Butler cemented himself as a player teams vying for a championship will want. Luckily for the Heat, Butler has three more years left in his deal with Miami.
20-year-old rookie Tyler Herro also garnered national attention with his offensive ability. He put an exclamation point on his playoff performance with 37 points in the fourth game of the Eastern Conference Finals.
There is no official opening date scheduled for the next basketball season, but Adam Silver said it is likely to begin in 2021.
TMNA is releasing a new and updated version of the faithful Toyota Corolla in 2021: the limited edition Corolla Apex Edition. The company will manufacture only 6,000 editions of the SE and XSE editions.
As a bonus, Puma and Toyota collaborated on a limited edition Corolla Apex sneaker that corresponds with the car’s launch. Only 50 units were fabricated – we got number 25! They perfectly match the vehicle and they came just in time as we celebrated the Los Angeles Lakers Championship win, honking and flickering our lights in Downtown LA near the Staples Center. Just like LeBron during the NBA playoffs, this compact car was the star attraction. After all, it is one of the top selling cars in the world.
This new model has the same horsepower as its predecessor, same TNGA-C platform, but is nearly unrecognizable in its new form.
Most of the editions will be equipped with the Dynamic Shift CVT, otherwise known as a continuously variable transmission, and colloquially known as an automatic. For those who love driving stick, Toyota is also offering just 120 models based on the SE edition that are equipped with a 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission.
This car leans into sportiness that has never been characteristic of a Corolla, yet does so gracefully. The new model rides lower to the ground, flaunts bronze accents, a front spoiler, fog light covers, side moldings, a rear diffuser aid in high-speed vehicle stability, and an optional rear trunk aero spoiler for those who wish it theirs.
Chrome exhaust tips accent the vehicle and black mirror caps give it an edge. Low profile, black, 18-inch wheels that are lighter than Corolla’s standard and unique to the Apex, according to Anthony Alaniz of Motor1, add to its humble discretion. LED headlights, turn signals, and taillights make sure you are safe, while the smoked-out light lenses of the taillights add to its undeniable dominance, and a large sunroof is an added bonus, especially on lazy summer nights.
The SE model is attired in premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE edition sports black SofTex®-trimmed fabric upholstery, heated front seats, and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.
This Corolla is powered by its 2.0-liter Dynamic Force Engine, which obtains its power from high-compression Toyota D4-S fuel injection system (13:1), according to Toyota’s press release. The VVT-i on the exhausts uses an electric motor instead of oil, making for a more eco-friendly and efficient exhaust.
The limited edition model has a 169 peak horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. peak torque at 4,800 rpm, which is standard in previous Toyota models.
With the automatic transmission in the SE model, the EPA-estimated fuel economy is 31 city / 41 highway / 34 combined MPG, and the XSE’s is 31/38/34, respectively. With the manual transmission, the fuel economy is 29/36/32 MPG.
Toyota also took the model one step further in safety. The Apex Edition, along with all 2021 Corolla models, will have Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver-assist technologies, standard. This includes a pre-collision system with daytime/low-light vehicle and pedestrian detection, plus daytime bicycle detection, full-speed range dynamic cruise control (CVT only), lane departure alert with steering assist and road edge detection, automatic high beams, lane tracing and road sign assist.
In addition, rear side airbags were added to the design, bringing the total number of airbags in the vehicle up to 10. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with a Blind Spot Monitor is now standard on XSE models, and optional for SE models with CVT. In addition, all 2020 Corollas gain an Automatic Engine Shut-Off. This add-on will automatically turn off the engine after a designated period in the event it is left running.
As a special value, Toyota’s press release notes that, “the 2021 Corolla LE grade (gas model) will offer a new Convenience Package that combines Blind Spot Monitor, Smart Key system and 16-inch alloy wheels.”
The new Corolla Apex Edition sports new Android Auto compatibility, which complements the Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa potential connections already standard in this model’s predecessor, the 2020 Corolla. In addition, SiriusXM and its 3-month trial period is now available across every Corolla model.
Furthermore, the vehicle is endowed with a more efficient cooling system; the two-discharge-port oil pump and variable cooling system with an electric water pump maximizes engine engine performance and efficiency. This ensures quicker cabin heating on cold days and quicker cool-down when the A/C is on. When combined with ultra-low internal friction, the 2.0-liter engine operates at a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent, which is among the highest for a current passenger vehicle, according to Toyota.
The least expensive edition of the Corolla Apex, the Corolla Apex SE with a CVT, is $2,695 more than its predecessor, which brings it to $25,070. The Corolla Apex SE with a six-speed manual transmission clocks in at $25,460, and the Corolla Apex XSE at $28,210.
Ultimately, the new model’s suspension and fresh look are most noteworthy. New coil springs with internal rebound shocks allowed designers to lower the suspension 0.6 inches. This, combined with rigid, stabilizer bars, creates a stiffer suspension. Roll stiffness is now 47% more stiff in the front and 33% more in the rear—a marked improvement. And, its look undeniably transforms any preconceived notions about the Toyota Corolla, as it seems to have evolved into a chic sports car.
If you are looking to surprise your significant other with a luxurious present, look no further. If you are a young professional looking to impress your colleagues in the parking lot, you have come to the right vehicle. If you are a new parent concerned with style, safety, and reliability, this is your car. Whoever you are, the Toyota Corolla Apex can be the ideal vehicle for you.
Highly sought-after NBA skills trainer Chris Brickley has partnered with Lids, the leading sports retailer announced today. This fall, Lids will unveil new Chris Brickley customizations available at all retail locations with Lids Custom. The duo is also working on a new custom hat design with Brickley’s streetwear brand Color Blind as well as a series of branded content, both set to be released later this year.
“Growing up, it meant a lot when I was able to walk into Lids with my Dad and get a hat,” said Brickley. “Years later, to be partners with Lids is a dream come true.”
With over 60 NBA players as clients including eight of the last 11 NBA MVPs, 10 of the last 12 NBA scoring champions, and 29 NBA All-Stars as well as a loyal online following, Brickley has carved out a niche as an influencer at the intersection of sports, fashion, music, and lifestyle. A hat enthusiast since he was a kid, Brickley started channeling his positive energy into streetwear in 2016 when he launched Color Blind. The apparel line promotes racial inclusivity and has become a streetwear mainstay amongst athletes and celebrities alike.
“Chris Brickley is one of the most well-connected and trusted figures in the NBA circle,” said Lawrence Berger, Chairman of FanzzLids Holdings. “His visibility and influence in basketball and streetwear are unmatched. We’re excited to partner with Chris and share his passion for basketball culture with his fans and our customers through his customizations and hat design.”
Brickley is the first athlete trainer to be signed as an ambassador to Lids. His announcement comes on the heels of Lids’ partnership with Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon who is the first NFL player to formally team up with the brand. Additionally, best-selling musician and social justice activist Meek Mill joined Lids as a part co-owner last year. The two have since debuted limited-edition and exclusive to Lids ‘DreamChasers’ headwear collections with a new colorway set to launch later this year.
Lids is the largest retailer of hats in North America, with over 28 million sold per year across their 1,200 locations. Beyond hats, Lids is the largest brick and mortar retailer of licensed sports product in North America and has a fast-growing non-sports branded business.
Lids Sports Group is the largest licensed sports retailer in North America, selling fan and fashion-oriented headwear and apparel across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico through over 1,200 retail locations. Indianapolis-based Lids Sports Group carries officially-licensed and branded gear aimed at empowering customers to represent their unique and individual style, team, passion and fun. Lids Sports Group operates stores under the Lids, Locker Room by Lids, Fanzz, Yankees Clubhouse Shops, Dodgers Clubhouse, Cardinals Clubhouse, and numerous other nameplates. Lids also has locations within select Macy’s department stores nationwide. To find a retail location near you visit blog.lids.com or join the #LidsLoyal on Instagram (@lids), Facebook (@lids), Twitter (@lids), or LinkedIn.
He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.
“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”
Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”
The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.
First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.
Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.
Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.
It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.
Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.
A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.
“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.
While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.
Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.
The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.
The clock struck 4:05 p.m. on Aug 26 in Orlando, and neither the Magic nor the Bucks were on the court for the tip-off of the fifth game of their playoff series.
Playing their home games just 40 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, it’s safe to say that the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police literally hit close to home for the Bucks players.
The Orlando Magic originally took the court for their game, but they decided to leave when it appeared the Bucks weren’t coming. That court was now empty aside from the NBA logos, the regulation markings and “Black Lives Matter” in bold text across the side closest to the scorer’s table.
Then, the tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski came at 4:13 p.m. Orlando time saying that the Bucks officially decided to boycott the fifth game of the series.
It was the spark that started the fire, as basketball wouldn’t be played again until Aug. 29.
Bucks guard George Hill was one of the most outspoken players on the team regarding the shooting of Jacob Blake, making it very clear that he couldn’t continue to play basketball to distract from the reality of what’s happening in the United States.
The Brewers, the Milwaukee baseball team that plays its home games just a short drive from where the Bucks play, also decided to cancel their Aug. 26 game against the Reds.
Brewers star Christian Yelich said it was a unanimous decision from the team to not play.
“I think the Bucks spearheaded it for us,” Yelich said. “They started the discussion. It gave us a conversation to have. It was eye-opening for us, and we felt like it was the right thing to do.”
The NHL also joined in the protests, postponing games Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.
Later on the night of Aug. 26, Shams Charania reported via Twitter that the Lakers and Clippers, both of which are still contenders for the title, voted to boycott the rest of the season. LeBron James reportedly led the movement to cancel the season, which is no surprise given his history of fighting for social justice.
Giannis Antetokounmpo said the Bucks were able to get in contact with Blake’s father very quickly. Blake’s father was moved to tears by the gesture.
According to an article from ESPN, Antetokounmpo said, “Obviously, it’s gonna be games that you come in and score 30, 35, 50 or whatever the case might be, but that you’re going to remember. The way we felt, we’re going to remember the way we felt for the rest of our lives.”
The Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday, which begs the question of how they will respond. Hill expressed disappointment that he had to be in the Orlando bubble instead of fighting for justice, so it should be interesting to see where the Bucks go from here.
Eyes are also shifting to the NFL, which starts Thursday. The entire nation will have its eyes on protests and social justice initiatives from a league that has been just as outspoken as the NBA.
PUMA teams up with the iconic video game brand, Nintendo, to bring consumers the latest of a string of J. Cole’s signature basketball shoes: the RS-Dreamer Super Mario 64. The launch is in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario, and is the successor of PUMA and J. Cole’s previous collaboration, the now sold-out RS-Dreamer ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears.’
The debut collaboration with Nintendo features design elements reminiscent of Super Mario 64. The new pair of J. Cole’s signature shoes take the quintessential video game to the basketball court with its striking red and blue colorway and animated feature font and design.
The silhouette features PUMA Hoops technology, which includes a disruptive cord lacing system for a snug and responsive fit, a ProFoam midsole and RS-Foam heel for maximum energy return, and a high abrasion rubber outsole for increased grip.
Like past collaborations between J. Cole and PUMA, the shoe will cross league boundaries and be worn by both NBA and WNBA players during their respective leagues’ play. The new release comes shortly after PUMA’s debut of the highly anticipated RS-Dreamer, J. Cole’s signature basketball sneaker in July, and its additional colorways in August.
The RS-Dreamer Super Mario 64 will retail for $125 and will be available starting this Friday, September 4, exclusively in store and online at the Foot Looker Inc., PUMA.com, and the PUMA NYC Store.
PUMA will release two brand new colorways of J. Cole’s signature collaboration basketball shoe, the RS-Dreamer.
The two new colorways are called “Concrete Jungle” and “Purple Heart.” The “Purple Heart” is inspired by the Los Angeles Lakers and sports their famous purple and gold while the “Concrete Jungle” design pays homage to street basketball and was repped by J. Cole himself as he sat courtside next to Kanye West at the 2020 NBA All Star Game.
The “Purple Heart” colorway can also be seen on the feet of Lakers stars Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma, and both designs will be worn by PUMA athletes across the NBA and WNBA.
Collectors, sneakerheads and bots alike can get ready for the shoe to drop online with FootLocker and with with PUMA this Friday, August 21 at 10 a.m. EST. They will retail for $125.
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