Back in December, we told you about ShotTracker, a cool system of sensors that gives players valuable intel on their basketball skills and an app that develops drills to improve them. What made the tech stand out was that it also allowed coaches to access that data to tailor workouts and practices to maximize every player's needs.
Now, there's an NBA superstar in the mix, too.
For 25 years, Reebok’s iconic Pump system has been found in basketball and lifestyle sneakers. In April, it made its debut in a running shoe.
The ZPump Fusion is built on an updated Z Series sole, but it’s the upper that’s revolutionary: One piece of fabric wrapped around a slimmed-down, sleeker, and lighter version of the Pump bladder. There’s no tongue or foam, just a super-customizable sheath that grabs your midfoot and heel and locks you down for optimal support while allowing for complete natural motion.
“Sometimes you get displacement between your foot and the shoe upper, some slop,” says Paul Litchfield, Vice President of Reebok Advanced Concepts and the inventor of the Pump. “The Pump system add this level of fit where you don’t get that.”
Litchfield worked with Bill McInnis, head of Reebok’s global running, over a period of two years to develop the ZPump Fusion. Their teams went through roughly 10 prototypes and multiple rounds of testing before settling on the final elegant and eye-catching design.
“It doesn’t look like a traditional running shoe,” Litchfield says. “And I think that’s awesome.”
In this extended version of our interview with Litchfield, we chat more about the ZPump, how the tech can be used in other sports gear, and the legacy of that first Pump shoe, launched more than 25 years ago.
The best of the NBA will be in NYC this weekend for the 2015 All-Star Game. The events are split between Barclays Center (home of the Brooklyn Nets) and Madison Square Garden (the Knicks’ house). And when LeBron and Steph Curry and KD and Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook defend on the Big Apple, they’ll be bringing all kinds of special gear, from shoes to clothes to electronics.
We can’t run down every piece of gear that will be worn on and off the court, so we’re going to focus on some of the shoes players will wear over the course of the weekend.
At a big-deal event in New York last Thursday, Adidas gave the world its first look at the latest in running footwear: the Ultra Boost. "It's a game-changer for runners, and a step change for our industry," adidas executive board member Eric Liedtke said. "We feel like we have the best running shoe ever made."
As smartphones and tablets become more and more a part of our everyday lives, more and more people are coming up with ways to bring cutting-edge tech into the world of sports. Sometimes that means putting sensors inside a ball to collect data and help you train; other times it involves wearing a sensor to track your activity. In nearly ever case, information is dumped to a phone or tablet app which helps you make sense of it and improve your skills.
So in a lot of ways, you might look at ShotTracker and think, "Seen it." But look again. The basketball-focused sensor and app, which were released in November, utilizes a net sensor and one you wear on your wrist to track things like how many shots you've taken and made, where on the court you've shot from, and how much time you've spent shooting around. (You can use any basketball you already own.) All this info is sent to the player app in real time, so the data and analysis are ready as soon as you're done with your workout. You can also stack your stats up against your friends and teammates to see who has the hottest hand.
Need some cool gift ideas? Look no further! Sports Illustrated Kids has you covered with the hottest sneakers, tech, and gear for the holidays. Click the images below and discover some great stuff!
The 2015 NBA All-Star Game is still more than two months away. But today Adidas gave us our first look at what the players will be wearing when they take the Barclays Center court on February 15.
Eastern Conference All-Stars will wear white unis with red, white, and blue stripes, while the Western Conference players will wear black jerseys with the same striping. The typical NBA logo on the top left of the shirt will be encased with a star and the wording “NYC 15” underneath it.
Both jerseys will also have a vertical row of five stars running down the side of the shirt. Each star has a unique design and represents one of New York City’s five boroughs. Per Adidas:
Queens: a pattern inspired by the stainless steel orbit rings of the borough’s iconic Unisphere that was built for the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park
Staten Island: a wave pattern to signify its surrounding waters
Manhattan: a taxi-cab checkered pattern represents the pace and energy of the world’s most cosmopolitan city
The Bronx: a vinyl record pattern to pay homage to the birthplace of hip-hop and the rich musical legacy of New York City
Brooklyn: a brick pattern inspired by the iconic brownstone houses and buildings that make up the neighborhoods of the city’s most populous borough