Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

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Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Written & Photograph by: Poe

The word "Commitment" usually does not conjure a physical place. Instead, in most people's definition, it is an act of promise, obligation, selflessness, and determination. But for the people at Nike Basketball, Commitment is an actual place, a tangible space at the heart of Harlem, New York, where past stories of the USA Men's Basketball Team are immortalized. It is a living tribute to the current members of the team, whose stories still left unwritten. And come next Thursday, July 10th, you can visit to see this one of the kind exhibition.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball Exhibition
111 West 161 Street | Map
New York, NY 10026

Greedy Genius x Famous Stars + Straps - L.A. Takeover - 0

Exhibition Date: July 10th (Thursday) - August 25th (Monday)

> Nike Basketball

> USA Basketball

More of feature after the jump...

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Upon entering this space, the path diverged into 2. The path on the left is dedicated to the stories of the past. A floor to ceiling photo montage of the contemporary USA Basketball movement in the Olympics, starting with the "Dream Team" in the 1992 Summer Olympics at Barcelona. From the high impact color photos, visitors can recall their own recollections of events during those games. When NBA All-Star and member of the 2008 team, Jason Kidd, previewed the space some days ago. 2 photos stood out in his memory. One of him embracing his child and the Gold Medal. The other photo been fellow members of the 2000 USA Men's Basketball Team. It was this particular juncture, at the Sydney Olympics, where again commitment was shown. Team mate Alonzo Mourning flew 20+ hour flight back to Miami to be at the birth of his daughter, Myka Sydney, and then return to play for the Stars and Stripes.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Further along the historical path, there are archival items and 5 large rolling frames. Each briefly tells the history of US participations in Olympic basketball events, tracing back all the way to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

The path to the right is the story of 2008. Though make up of the team was officially announced just some weeks ago, the 2008 USA Basketball team was a team 3 years in the making. During which photographer Bruce Gilden chronicled each member at rest or in play with high contrast black & white photos. At the center, however, is not a photo but a letter penned by Kevin Perry on behalf of USAB Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and Head Coach Mike Krayzewski to the players of the 2008 team.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

To give visitors a sense of real time, LED "zipper" displays are embedded. Each is assign to the 12 players and coaching staff, highlights their on court statistics, background information, and important news.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

At room length, the large display module between the 2 paths is the center piece of the 3. Within it are 12 jeserys, numbered and sized, of the 12 players heading to Beijing next month. The placement of this large display case was symbolic too. A metaphor for passing the torch from the pioneers to the untested 2008 team.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

The jerseys also highlight the newest innovations from Nike. The graphic on the back of each is done through a new process called Aerographics. The images are silk-screened onto the clothing, then chemically dissolved or "etched on". Not only this create details that would be difficult to replicate via: traditional methods. But, the controlled dissolution form mini vents on the jersey, making this one of the lightest and most breathable uniform for Team USA.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Aside from the technical aspect, the tattoo-like imagery tells an emblematic story. Like most national team uniforms in any international sporting event, the marking "USA" takes front and center. It is where the heart and soul of each player would be, as representation of their nation. Meanwhile, the tribal tattoo-inspired graphic, including the torch of Statue of Liberty, adorned the back. It is a reminder that patriotism is 2 equal parts - the love of country (front) and the ideals that reinforced that (back).

nike-comit-ext-0h.jpg

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

The 2 paths of past and present converged at the midpoint of the exhibit. 2 media walls flank both side. A loop of original contents will be shown, including highlights from the new documentary "Road to Redemption" by NBA Entertainment, ESPN, and Nike. One other interesting original content is a detailed look of signature skill sets, instructed by the players themselves. Assisted by the multiple camera, athletes like Kobe Bryant gives a first person POV of Signature Moves, such as his Reverse Layup and Pump Fake & Pivot.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

An unique item on display at this conjuncture is the case presented to the members of Team USA 2008. Wanting each player to walk away from their Olympic experience more than just jersey and sneakers. Nike produced these blue wooden case, each engraved with players' name and number. It not only holds their uniform & sneakers, but any mementos they gather from now till the end of August could store in the case. Including their goals: the Olympic Gold Medal.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Recessed into the further reach of the exhibition hung 16 backboards, each adorned with photos of empty basketball courts from New York to Oaktown. There are no hoops or nets either. "From State to State" is a subtle yet effective display of solidarity among basketballers. That when the nation's team is on the court next month in Beijing. All courts would be empty as fans stay home to view the game on their televisions.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

As much as the exhibit is about USA Basketball, it is about the sport's global reach. No where is that more clear than the footwear closet. Nike Hyperdunks, in every possible colorway, along with specially designed ones for friendly exhibition games and athlete-specifics such as LA Lakers Pau Gasol, who will be playing for Spain this Olympic.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Pau Gasol Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Pau Gasol Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Lithuania National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Lithuania National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - China National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - China National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Germany National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Germany National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment


Nike Hyperdunk - Germany National Team Edition

Nike Basketball - The Commitment

The striking backdrop is essentially a mural. An epic tale of strength and perseverance, the black & white, high contrast image by Hydro74 (Joshua Smith) incorporated all the assets of the players, from the Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant), the Lion (LeBron James), to the soldier reference of Camelio Anthony. Each graphics will be detach from the overall mural and imprinted on a limited edition t-shirt collection available only through House of Hoops and Nike Town on a later date.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Like the gigantic door guardians in Chinese mythology, 2 massive, floor to ceiling portraits of Kobe Bryants and LeBron James stood over the space. Commissioned by Nike, the 2 oil paintings are the present and the future of basketball. While one is consider to be the greatest player of his generation, the other will lead the era to come. The larger than life portraits are also testaments of commitment in themselves. Through intense, rigorous days of work. Painter Christopher Young took only 2 months, rather than the usual 6, to finished the painting. All in order to get them ready for the exhibit.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

In the final and grandest display, 368 Hyperdunks in red, white, & blue colorways, are positioned on the back wall to form a mammoth Stars and Stripes. Placed in a non-lateral arrangement, which gives a wavering effect. There is no question what will be on the players' hearts and minds when they step into the court of Wukesong Stadium in Beijing on August 10th.

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball

Nike Basketball - The Commitment: USA Basketball