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December 29th, 2011 by Aaron Kr. / 40
#20 – NIKE HYPERDUNK 2011 – BLAKE GRIFFIN ’10.0′ PE
Last year’s NBA season was chock full of intriguing stories, but for most of the year, there was no hotter topic than the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin. After being selected as the #1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, a pre-season stress fracture kept Blake sidelined for the entire 2009-2010 stretch, only to return last season with a vengeance and full arsenal of acrobatic power dunks. Blessed with a rare blend of size, strength and athleticism, Blake pretty much single-handedly made the Staples Center the place to be on Lakers off-nights for the first time in a long while. When it came time for Blake to suit up for his first NBA All-Star Weekend in hometown LA, it was a primetime opportunity for Nike to flaunt their newest posterboy and some new product in the process. It was all set for Griffin to debut a crazy bright red pair of glow-in-the-dark Zoom Hyperdunk 2011′s, a model that was months away from an actual release, but the night of the
Slam Dunk Contest, some technical issues with the glow charge delayed the unveiling, and he soared over a KIA on the way to the trophy in a pair of Air Max Fly By PE’s instead. Pics of the “10.0 Blake Quake” shoe had already leaked and everyone was expecting to see them on Blake’s feet during the competition, but it wasn’t until Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game that they made their official splash, and on national television to boot. In addition to its eye-popping Bright Mango paint job, the shoe featured a cracked quake pattern on various sections of the upper and the midsole, complete with a BG32 callout inside the heel window. The shoe immediately became the paramount PE release of the year, although folks had to wait until August to get their hands on a pair. As we look back, the shoe will go down as a moment in time, capturing the 2010-2011 Rookie of the Year’s official coming out party and the beginning of a potentially fruitful tenure as a Nike Basketball endorser.