When Nike introduced the world to Foamposites in 1997, the sneaker world took notice. Originally based off of a sunglasses case, the design of the shoe was unlike anything seen before; the entire upper came from a single mold, allowing the shoe to maintain its shape even after extensive wear. Priced at $180 upon debut, it was
No. 10 – Rajon Rondo
Stats: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists (15 minutes)
Game: 2/26/12, L vs. Western Conference All-Stars
Rondo may not have posted his typical triple-double numbers with limited action in last year’s All-Star game, but he did prove his amazing passing ability as he dished out eight assists, including an incredible half court alley-oop to LeBron James. For the occasion, Rondo broke out the rarely-seen Foamposite Galaxy colorway. The Celtics’ star has become this generation’s face of the Foamposite, following in the footsteps of Penny Hardaway before him as both All-Star players have benefited tremendously from the durability of the upper.
No. 9 – Nick Young
Stats: 19 points, 3-for-4 on three pointers, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Game: 4/29/12, W vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Game 1 of the Clippers’ first round playoff series against the Grizzlies was a coming out party for Nick Young, who fueled a huge comeback from being down 27 points to stun Memphis at home. His barrage of three pointers run turned the entire game around, driving the Clippers’ 26-1 run that got them back in the game. His “Metallic Red” Foamposite Ones helped the cause, allowing him to elevate over Memphis’ lockdown defense and give his team the momentum that ultimately brought them a seven game series win.
No. 8 – Rajon Rondo
Stats: 16 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals
Game: 12/7/12, L vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Before his catastrophic ACL tear a couple weeks ago, Rajon Rondo was posting yet another outstanding season. On this night, he logged his first of five triple-doubles he would record during the 2012-13 season, absolutely dominating the 76ers on both ends of the floor. His Foamposites served him well, as the point guard was able to fly all over the court, blowing by guards and forwards alike as he got to the basket with the greatest of ease. Even though the Celtics ended up losing the game, they can’t place any of the blame on their star.
No. 7 – Andre Iguodala
Stats: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Game: 2/18/05, L vs. Sophomores
In the 2005 NBA “Rising Stars” game, rookie Andre Iguodala busted out the first Foamposites seen on a basketball court in years. Making use of the traction provided by the herringbone outsole, Iggy made a strong impression as he got to the rim against future stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. Where he even got the shoes is a mystery, although rumor has it that the University of Arizona (Iguodala’s alma mater), the equipment room is a Nike paradise.
No. 6 – Rajon Rondo
Stats: 20 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds
Game: 10/30/12, L vs. Miami Heat
In the 2012-13 NBA season opener, the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo debuted the “Polarized Pink” Foamposites even though they had yet to be released. As usual, his performance on the big stage was exemplary, as he kept the Celtics in the game against the defending champs despite the team’s other stars having poor games. When crashing the basket against the likes of LeBron James and notorious cheap shot artist Dwyane Wade, it’s important to keep your feet protected; the Foamposite upper gave Rondo all the comfort and support he needed, enabling the Celtics’ star to play in all but four minutes of the game.
No. 5 – Paul George
Stats: 16 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks
Game: 11/3/12, W vs. Sacramento Kings
It was an absolutely monster night for the third-year man out of Cal State Fresno, who filled up the stat sheet in a big way while dominating on both ends of the floor in the Pacers’ double-overtime win. George proved why he is one of the bright young stars in the NBA, wreaking absolute havoc in the paint as he utilized the Nike Zoom’s low profile cushioning to corral 17 rebounds and score numerous baskets at the rim. With efforts like this one, it’s likely we’ll see George back on top performers lists for years to come.
No. 4 – Rajon Rondo
Stats: 14 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals
Game: 1/5/13, W vs. Atlanta Hawks
Before he got injured, Rondo was enjoying a fine season in which he was averaging 14 points, 11 assists and six rebounds per game. On this night against Atlanta as he rocked the “Fighter Jet” colorway of the Foamposite One, Rondo single-handedly kept the Celtics in the game with his triple-double against the Hawks, pushing his team to keep pace with one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams. Despite being down by 15 points at halftime, the Celtics came roaring back on the strength of Rondo’s ability to dart all over the floor due to his shoe’s herringbone outsole, ultimately winning this tough road battle.
No. 3 – Anfernee Hardaway
Stats: 42 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Game: 4/29/97, W vs. Miami Heat
The Magic had fallen behind two games to none in their five-game first round series with the Miami Heat, and it looked like they were going to need a miracle to avoid getting swept after falling behind 29-13 after their first quarter. Fortunately, they had Penny. The budding star absolutely humiliated the Heat, racking up 42 points as he got to the hoop again and again despite Miami’s best attempts to stop him. As he slashed to the hoop, the one piece molded upper of the foamposite gave him the stability he needed to weave between the smaller guards and elevate over the bigs in the paint.
No. 2 – Mike Bibby
Stats: 19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists
Game: 3/31/97, W vs. Kentucky Wildcats
There are few stages bigger than the finals of the NCAA Tournament, and in 1997 Mike Bibby and his Foamposites squared off against Kentucky in the championship game after knocking off North Carolina in Dean Smith’s final game. Just a freshman, Bibby responded with the poise of a much older player as he used the superior traction of the Foamposites to cut up the Kentucky defense in the first-ever debut of the shoe. Despite his 6’ 2” stature, Bibby was able to elevate over the big Kentucky forwards to corral nine rebounds, a testament to the power of the Foamposite upper. For his incredible effort, Bibby was named to the All-Tournament team as the Wildcats became the first (and only) school in history to knock off three No. 1 seeds in a single tournament.
No. 1 – Anfernee Hardaway
Stats: 42 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks
Game: 5/1/97, W vs. Miami Heat
After a heroic Game 3 performance that kept his team alive, Penny Hardaway could easily have been excused if he returned to a more normal level of production. Instead, he responded with an even better effort in Game 4, putting up this monster stat line while playing the full 48 minutes and evening the series at two games apiece. The Foamposites no doubt aided Penny’s cause, helping him stave off weariness in his legs by allowing him to move freely through the Miami defense. Even though the Magic would fall in Game 5, Hardaway had shown the incredible talent that made him one of the game’s brightest young stars.