Nike Basketball is paying tribute to the unique flavor of New Orleans with the 2014 NOLA Gumbo League Collection, including three shoes: LEBRON 11, KOBE 9 Elite and KD VI. A "gumbo" in the cultural sense, New Orleans is an eclectic mix of characters, music, cuisine and art.
Nike has simply outdone themselves this time around. It amazes me how they're able to take a silhouette and tell multiple stories with it. Same shoe; over and over again. They've mastered the art of storytelling. They seemed to have given the consumers more this time around also. Drawing from the roots and the mysteriousness of classic New Orleans, they've come up with one amazing story; and three amazing characters. How they've described these characters and made them relative to LeBron, KD and Kobe's style of play on court is beyond me. The materials, insole graphics, tarot cards and special box are something I know enthusiast are just waiting to get their hands on.
LEBRON 11 Gator King
Inspired by the fearsome alligator, the king of the bayou, the LEBRON 11 Gator King is a bold expression of royalty and power. Gators, often a symbol of protection in New Orleans culture, influence graphic textures throughout the shoe. Invisible to the naked eye, hand-drawn patterns come to life as the Hyperposite bucket of the shoe glows in the dark. The musings of majestic color in deep purples, greens and gold are derived from the "Rex" - king of carnival celebrations.
KD VI Illusion
Not everything is what it first appears to be in New Orleans. Similarly, Durant defies the perception of a near seven-footer - an illusion of sorts. His limitless scoring range is redefining the perception of a forward. Celebrating the magic of KD's versatility, the KD VI Illusion showcases hand-drawn patterns on the upper emulating Durant's fluidity on the court. A glow-in-the-dark outsole also represents the "spark" of KD's game.
KOBE 9 Elite Maestro
Nike Basketball pays tribute to the masters of Jazz in its birthplace. Like great jazz musicians who play instinctively, Bryant brings a similar improvisation to his game. Paying homage to this classic genre and some of its greatest musicians, theKOBE 9 Elite Maestro uses accents of brass in the upper. A glow-in-the-dark outsole pops at night, just as the jazz clubs swing into action. The upper includes additional, secret glow-in-the-dark symbols.