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Magic Johnson: Lonzo’s New Shot Looks ‘Beautiful’

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Over the offseason, Lonzo Ball decided to tweak the form on his jumpshot.

After watching Lonzo at the Lakers‘ practice facility on Thursday, Magic Johnson had one word to describe Lonzo’s re-worked jumpshot: “Beautiful.”

You be the judge:

Via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:

Johnson explained that Ball didn’t alter his motion as much as where he sets and releases his shot; he now brings the ball a bit more in front and straight away, with his follow-through also more out in front.

“And, man, it is beautiful,” Johnson said.

“We explained that this is going to be the most important offseason, and while he could be on the court, his shot looked great. He is going to be ready to have a breakout season and build on what he did last season, because it was only a couple of things he had to do better, and that was driving to the basket, finish and get the midrange in terms of getting his shot where he is on balance. It is not his shot. He just has to be on balance. … I am excited for Lonzo, and he is going to be fine.”

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Markelle Fultz: ‘I Want it to Be Special When I Come Back’

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Markelle Fultz is supremely-confident heading into his second year in the NBA.

in a sit-down with Isaiah Thomas, the 20-year-old is healthy following a mysterious shoulder injury that derailed his rookie season, and eager to show off a remade jumper.

Fultz, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, appeared in just 14 games with the Philadelphia Sixers.

Per the Seattle Times (via The Players’ Tribune):

On rookie season: “I think I learned more than most rookies learned just because the stuff with injuries and everything like that. But I think I had great vets who taught me the system quick. Most stories I hear is most rookies get left on their own because the vets have got their business to take care of, but with me I felt like we were all connected. When we go on the road we would go out to eat and just chat it up. I used to talk to my friends on other teams and be like yo do y’all go out to eat? And they would be like nah, you go out to eat on your own. So it was just dope. It just made you feel more special.”

On being injured last season: “It was a lot of things going on about changing shots and all this and a third, but there was an injury there. And for me, I’m a hooper. I’m like, man this ain’t going to stop me. Once I realized I really couldn’t do stuff to my full capacity, I was like there really is something so I could find out what it was. And we did that throughout the season. It took a long time, which people really didn’t understand. They thought man, he’s just being soft. But like there was really an injury. And now I got a chance to sit down and pick apart all of these doctors and we figured it out. I’ve been back to work this summer and everything is back to even better than what it was. Right now I’ve really started to just go out there and showcase my full ability, but it’s going to be a surprise. That’s why you don’t see me on social media right now posting videos of me shooting and everything because I want it to be special when I come back. I want to have people guessing, so it’s going to be good.”

On the upcoming season: “My goal is to just have a great year, really. Sixers fans are going to get somebody who is going to come in and play hard. I think I’m going to be that guy who’s going to be able to create shots for himself and his teammates. That guy at the end of the game when you need a bucket, you don’t really have to call a play. I’m going to get out there on defense. Most people don’t know I like to block shots. I’m going to be a big point guard out there. So just come in and prove myself. Just show why I belong on this stage. That’s really it. Everbody like Joel (Embid) and Ben (Simmons), we’re all out in LA just working. We talk to each other. We talk to everybody. But like, we’re really, really excited. Everybody feel like they’ve gotten better. They worked on something. And we’re excited to come back and live up to what we did last year. We know we had a high year last year so we got to live up it again.”

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Inside the Design of the Air Jordan XXXIII

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“What we wanted to present to Michael was the notion of getting rid of laces. So a basketball shoe, a game shoe, for the first time will not have laces and it’s all because of that.”

Tate Kuerbis, Senior Footwear Designer at Jordan and the lead designer on the Air Jordan XXXIII, is holding the Brand’s all-new Fast Fit technology. It’s the mechanism that’s allowed them to make a performance basketball sneaker without any laces for the first time in Jordan Brand history.

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“Yeah, I was a little nervous,” Kuerbis says about presenting a whole new concept to MJ. “But you know Michael is always trying to push the Brand, trying to push innovation and take Jordan to a new place. So I was a little worried, but at the same time I knew if we told him the benefits of Fast Fit. Fortunately he was on board.”

Fast Fit was a project that was nearly three years in the making.

“There was an innovator who challenged himself to get rid of laces,” Kuerbis says. “So he had been working on this, getting it perfected enough that we could put it in an actual game shoe.”

Fast Fit can seen on the XXXIII’s outsole. It’s a system made out of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene and it gets activated by a pull tab on the XXXIII’s tongue. Besides now being part of the Jordan XXXIII, the cables used in Fast Fit are mostly seen in parachutes.

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“We looked at flight suits, we looked at, like, if you’re going to eject, what that cord looks like,” Kuerbis says. “When you look at spaceships or even aircrafts, how they have the graphics, it’s very visible technology. I wanted to express the technology in a way that the consumer can see.”

It took Kuerbis hundreds of iterations to finally land on a piece of technology that worked fluidly. David Creech, VP of Design at Jordan Brand, mentions that Kuerbis had a whole new glossary of codenames for all of the tech. 

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“As we focus on the future, we need to lead with innovation,” Creech says. “We call this Flight Utility, and it’s about designing for the future. That new design ethos can best be seen in our forthcoming game shoe, the Air Jordan XXXIII. This shoe arrives from balancing an opportunity in innovative, data-backed design. Leaps of faith and daring are the best places from which to imagine.”

Kuerbis willingly ackowledges that the XXXIII’s design will catch people off guard. It’s a big change of direction for Jordan but Kuerbis is all-in on the future, pushing his team to spaces they haven’t gone before.

A Zoom Air unit, a textile upper and Jordan Brand’s signature Flightspeed Plate technology round out the design while the big Nike Air logo on the heel is a callback to the Air Jordan III.

“If you look back at the III, the III was actually very innovative at the time,” Kuerbis says, referencing Tinker Hatfield’s legendary silhouette. “It had vis-Air, it had a new lacing system, the materials, the height. So we took kind of the notion of those innovations and used it as inspiration for the XXXIII.”

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The Air Jordan XXXIII will drop on October 18, for $175 in America and on September 27 in China for $185.

Photos courtesy of Nike

The post Inside the Design of the Air Jordan XXXIII appeared first on SLAMonline.



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