It’s safe to say by this point, that Blake Griffin will forever be inextricably tied to the Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011. Blake broke out onto the national stage at last year’s dunk contest, debuted the Hyperdunk 2011 in his rookie ASG appearance the following night, then proceeded to posterize half of the league in the shoe before they could even get a pair. And because he was the first on board with the current model, Griffin also got a ‘Galaxy’ PE this year, in addition to standout colorways like the ‘Blake Show’ and Supreme-level player exclusives. With all this mutual success in the rear view, it wasn’t at all shocking when Blake suited up with the Hyperdunk 2011 Elite for the Clippers’ playoff run, but what’s happened in that series has been unexpected to say the least.
A series marked by blown leads, remarkable comebacks and a couple of dangerous dark horse championship contenders took another turn on Wednesday night at FedEx Forum. The Memphis Grizzlies avoided blowing another game and forced the series back to Los Angeles, where Blake Griffin switches back to a white ‘home’ Hyperdunk Elite not just to match the Clippers’ white home unis. Blake’s tendency to get punished by the opposing team continued as 265lb Grizz center Marc Gasol (who ironically enough, was also wearing Hyperdunk Elites after switching from the same Air Max Fly By Griffin rocked during his dunk contest win) plodded onto Griffin’s left foot, causing an awkwardly trapped ankle and a torn toe on the black ‘away’ edition.
This is a case where the substantial performance advantages conferred by modern synthetics can quickly turn into reminiscing on the durability of an ‘old fashioned’ postseason sneaker like the just-retroed Air Jordan XII ‘Playoffs’. But if the past is any indication, this modest setback will likely result in further innovation in Beaverton’s most famous kitchen in the name of addressing such issues. The Grizzlies and Clippers have also demonstrated they know all about that old what-doesn’t-kill-you adage during this series; which of your basketball sneakers has proved the most durable over the years?