Photography and Layout by Zach Rotstein
Do you have a basketball fan in your life that is going to need gifting this year? Wait, are you not sure if they're a basketball fan or not? Well there are a couple signs you can look out for that should point you in the right direction. Do they sit around screaming at the TV and clapping loudly whenever the UCONN Women are on? Like the Richard Sachs team at NBX? Do they routinely bring up people you've never heard of like Jason Williams and Russell Westbrook and refer to them as their "buds?" As in, did you see what Westie did the other night when he threw that inbounds off of that dude's back? Crazy." If one of these things routinely happens to you, you might have a basketball fan on your hands. Well, here's what to get them for the holidays... but do it quick!
WILL BRYANT X THE ATHLETIC BASKETBALL COLLECTION - $18 - 135
SHOP THE COLLECTION HERE
Not going to lie, pretty excited about all this. Our good friend Will Bryant came through with some awesome squiggles. The first time I became aware of it was when he put them on a backboard that he had decorated for a local show highlighting Portland Trailblazers themed art. Of course I was hooked, of course I bought the backboard and then proceeded to try and convince Will that we should do a whole collection around these little black and white jammers. Guess what? It worked! It probably helped that I let Will dive into the lane and score on nearly every play at Sunday night basketball until he did. Then, I went back to playing defense.
All of the products you see here work great on their own. I mean who couldn't use a kick ass set of black and white waterbottles? Or a cap that makes you look just a little bit like Woody or Wesley in White Men Can't Jump? The real action here though is to have the entire collection. Those are the days that I dream of, when someone will show up at their local Tuesday night basketball session wearing all of these pieces at once. Damn, we should have done a sweatband.
YO! BLOCKNATION STICKER PACK - $12
How I came across these stickers, I'm not exactly sure — most likely it was over at the Blocknation instagram which does an awesome job of highlighting the illustrations and inspiration behind the scenes. Bonus points at that account for the Marvel Comics appearances that show up as well. Hell, there are some great sneaker illustrations too, so it's just great all around. This should go as a nod that this is just a great instagram account to follow.
Now, let’s talk about the stickers themselves. Sure, there is James Harden in all his bearded glory. That works. And yes, Steph Curry, can’t leave that one out. It is interesting to note that these are from last year and still oh so amazingly current. I really bought the pack for Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. Does it get any better than that? Well, actually it does, because at the time it was hyped that the pack came with a surprise player, and who did that turn out to be? PG-13 himself — Paul George. Now, at first it was a little surprising because of his lack of floor time last year, but this year he has become an absolute delight to watch terrorize the court and his opponents. Success.
The only problem at this point, is where do you place such good looking stickers? Obviously a problem because it has been the better part of a year and I still have these in pristine shape.
ERRATIC FIRE, ERRATIC PASSION - $15:
Not sure what to say about this book other than hilarity ensues from its first pages. In fact, it’s first pages are the introduction which was written by Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko fame. Great to see him popping up from time to time and all the more reason why Erratic Fire deserves to be on the list of any basketball fan. You see, what they have done is taken the words of so many famous athletes, from Darryl Dawkins and Don Cherry to Travis Brown and Doc Rivers. But, most excitingly — Meta World Peace — whos “poetry” opens the book and provides the first, and one of the most hilarious excerpts:
Kobe passed me the ball
Kobe never passed me the ball.
And I could hear Phil Jackson —
He’s the Zen Master,
So you can just hear him in your head.
Saying, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!”
And bam! I shot it.
The book deserves much deeper attention than we’ve been able to give it since we’ve had it in the shop for the last week or so. But, it is definitely worth exploring, plus, the paper cut outs by our pal Nathan McKee are great and provide awesome and necessary interstitials between the sections. But more on that later.
NIKE LEBRON 12 BHM - $220:
You can’t really have a basketball collection without shoes. The LeBron’s keep getting weirder and weirder as they get older, but last February Nike put out their Black History Month Collection and these were a part of it. Aaaand they’re pretty good looking. From the little flare at the outsole to the black and white dashes — these shoes are pretty damn good looking. You’ll have to find them on eBay or Flight Club at this point
WILL BRYANT BASKETBALL HOOP - $INFINITY:
This is the hoop that started it all. This will be installed in the shop shortly, but if you have a hankering to see some of Will Bryant’s artwork, there are a few little pieces that he did already “hanging” in the shop. The wall in the bathroom is adorned with these black squiggles that he did mere hours before we celebrated our 1 year anniversary in October.
It was actually pretty awesome to see him work on the piece. He put his headphones in and just turned to the wall and let er rip. No projectors. No sketching on the wall first. He just took his Krink marker and the squiggles just started flowing. It makes for a sweet selfie wall as well.
GOOD SPORT ISSUE 01 - $20:
Ok, so we covered this one last week in our Gimme Gimme Publications Guide. What do you want from us? It's got a basketball on it.
GRAFLETICS ROSE CITY BALLER TEE - $28:
What says Rose City Baller more blatantly than a shirt that says “Rose City Baller?” Rick from Grafletics dropped off a few of his caps (we are a big fan of the Game On and it’s state of Oregon cut out of basketball material) and this shirt as well. We worked a Holiday Market with Rick last week and he brings it when it comes to his booth set up as well. He had everyone eating out of his hands as he showed off his styled out shirts and caps and special die cut stickers. Damn is it cool to be in a town that supports all of this.
NATHAN MCKEE BASKETBALL CARDS - $5:
This is going to be the best way to top off your basketball themed gift selections. With one of Nathan McKee’s amazing basketball themed cards. They are mostly Blazer themed and that is a good thing. As we were working the aforementioned market last week it was almost silly to watch the fans ooh and ahh over their favorite cards. “LaMarcus, we need you back” is what one lady said as she lovingly stared at his grey and black Spurs Jersey. And yet, sometimes the other side of the spectrum was represented as well “Meyers? Seriously? We need to get rid of Meyers.” But, either way, it was a reaction that spoke of a fan’s love for their team that runs so deep, even it’s players shall not get in the way. Side Note: Keep an eye out early next year for a show at our space that is being spearheaded by Mr. McKee himself. It's going to be good!
But that is not all. You would think that at some point we would run out of cool basketball things to talk about or stock in our shop. The Jordan books are gone, but Ren Quarterly continues to impress. Or how about our reversible jersey? That could work as well. But the fact of the matter is that we're basketball fans, certainly, but with the growing list of mashed up art / sport / creative endeavors only growing, we are more than happy to play along.