Cardboard Gerald and the Tale of the Jordan XI Cool Greys


Oh, and Meeting the Real Gerald…

Whoa, I'm totally seeing double

Like many, many of you, I eagerly awaited the release of the Retro Jordan XI “Cool Grey.” I read about the release on various sneaker websites months ago and when I first saw the icy blue sole, I knew that I had to have the shoe. The only problem was going to be where to find it. When I read that the Bobcats Team Store at Time Warner Cable Arena would be getting them, I knew that would be my spot, especially since Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson and D.J. Augustin would be attending. But I was still worried about the line that would inevitably form.

When the Bobcats announced via Facebook and Twitter that they would be handing out tickets at the Raptors home game that would allow for primary selection over those without, I saw my opening – but then it closed very quickly. I remembered I was still in Chapel Hill and it was finals week so there was no way I was getting a ticket. I shrugged it off and kept thinking about other options.

After the Wizards game, the Bobcats once again announced over their social media outlets that they would be giving out the tickets to those who wanted them once more in the team store during the home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. I was going to the game with a friend so we both picked up tickets.

Fast forward a couple days.

With my Social Media Ticket, I was set to go to the arena on the morning of December 23. My friend, Kendall, thought he had a better chance at the Carolina Place Mall Champs store. To make a long story short, he got up around 3 and was left empty-handed along with everyone else. So he met up with me around 8:30 a.m., we grabbed the tickets, Cardboard Gerald, a couple folding chairs and a few bags. Then we high-tailed it to the arena, not knowing what to expect.

When we arrived around 9 a.m., I saw about 40 people lined up by the first door at the 5th Street entrance. I got nervous as I didn’t expect such a line so early. We figured that there was no way that they all had the Social Media Tickets, and upon further inspection, there was a second – and more importantly, empty – line for those with our tickets. There was also a line for Season Ticket Holders that got their own tickets.

The deal with the different lines was this: the first 50 Season Ticket Holders with their ticket to the release were guaranteed a pair of the Jordans; the first 15 of the Social Media Ticket holders were also guaranteed a pair (not necessarily in your size, if they ran out of said size before getting to you); and the rest were just on a first come-first serve basis.

Audible groans arose from the crowded line as we set up our chairs at the front of the middle line and bypassed the whole crowd. All that was left was to wait until noon – and then 2 p.m.

While waiting in temperatures that I can only put as “giving-my-toes-frostbite cold,” we struck up conversations with other people. As we got chummy with everyone, more and more people arrived, stretching the line even farther and even the other two lines starting filling out. The picture below was taken from my spot at noon before entering the building.

A little after noon, we packed up our stuff and filed into the building in an orderly fashion. At that point, we unpacked once more and began another two hour waiting period.

To kill time, conversation with neighboring sneaker-hunters turned to the NBA. I must have surprised a lot of folks, being a short, white kid who was more or less giving lessons on the salary cap and the luxury tax. Then, the discussion eventually digressed and we crossed into the topic everyone has to yell about: Jordan vs. Kobe vs. LeBron. Instantly, everyone tried to talk at once to get their opinion heard, which of course resulted in no one’s opinion being heard. But things quieted down as the conversation wore thin.

Before we knew it, 2 p.m. had arrived. Security personnel and arena employees began handing out wristbands, writing down each person’s desired shoe size on them. Five people at a time were allowed to get their pair of shoes and then proceed from the makeshift shoe inventory dealer to the registers at the team store. A feeling of uneasiness began to fill much of the anxious people in the crowd as word got out that there were only 100 pairs, when there were many more people than that in the arena. Luckily, there were less than 50 Season Ticket Holders and then it was our turn.

Our sizes were still available so we grabbed them and paid. Truth be told, they’re absolutely beautiful shoes. I have never owned a pair of the XIs, but they are spectacular in person. The quality is on point and the sole really sets off the colorway.

After paying for the shoes, I headed back upstairs where the Bobcats players sat at a large table to sign autographs. The line of Bobcats players consisted of Stephen Jackson, then Gerald Wallace and last but not least, D.J. Augustin (or should I say, B.J. Augustin, eh, Tom Sorenson?). I made adequate small talk with Jackson as he signed Cardboard Gerald and then proceeded to the real Gerald Wallace. He signed his cardboard doppelganger and obliged to have his photo taken with Cardboard Gerald. I topped the whole experience off by discussing Jordans with D.J. before leaving. I was on Cloud Nine.

But unfortunately, many others were not. They had waited in the cold for the same shoes like I had but had no Air Jordans to show for it. However, everyone did get complimentary tickets for their choice of one of the next three home games, which is a fine consolation gift, especially for Bobcats fans that don’t have season tickets.

Congrats to those who got their Cool Greys, and to those who, sadly, did not, I wish you the best of luck finding those in the future.

– Cardboard Gerald

The Air Jordan XI Comes to Bobcats Store


Wallace and Augustin to Sign Autographs; Win a Pair of Michael Jordan Autographed Shoes!

I don’t want to seem like a braggart, but I totally saw this coming. Back in October, the Sports Business Journal reported that the Bobcats Team Store would be expanding to a more Jordan Brand centric style. It was a dynamite move and I knew that this was preparing for a release of the ‘Cool Grey’ Jordan XIs.

But let me back up so I can get you up to date.

Releases of sneakers usually leak out months or even nearly a year ahead of time through the internet from some guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows Tinker Hatfield’s gardener. The exact date of a shoe release is mostly speculated or likely to change even up until a few weeks before they’re set to drop.  Word of the release for these leaked January 28 of this year on the popular sneaker discussion site, I knew that the Bobcats were going to drop the ‘Cool Grey’ XIs mostly just because I thought, “They have to.” It’s too big of a sneaker release to not drop at the home of his NBA team. It just had to work out. And it did.

I understand that many of you may not understand the deal with sneaker obsession. It’s somewhat an underground culture, but I’m not going to delve into the culture of sneaker-dom here. However, know this: this Jordan shoe is THE sneaker of the year. I’m not trying to create hype where there shouldn’t be, it’s just a fact. It’s a fantastic looking shoe. This model has arguably the best design of any shoe, of all time. And this colorway is one of the best.

Usually the Air Jordan XI has the “Icy” clear sole. The main complaint is that the “Icy” sole yellows over time, due to oxidation. However, this year, Jordan Brand decided to used a blue tint on the yellow sole, which should impede yellowing at the least — oh! And it looks nice with the gray patent leather and white midsole.

This sneaker’s “holy” status pushes me back to remind you of the sneaker culture. Sneakerheads, as some like to be called, can be more than a little protective of their favorite shoes. If you’ve seen “Do the Right Thing,” you know what I mean. In fact, most sneaker enthusiasts won’t wear these ‘Cool Greys’ ever, much less play basketball in them, preferring to keep them “deadstock” (unworn, new in the box). Some, like me, like to wear their sneakers, even if it means risking their value and getting them a little dirty. Regardless, this shoe release will be HUGE.

How huge? Well, last year, the Air Jordan XI ‘Space Jam’ released nationwide. The ‘Space Jam’ XI is the “Holy Grail” for many, and brought droves of people. Desperate to ensure that they have a pair, people formed lines, beginning the night before. I’d expect a similar, maybe marginally smaller, experience this year.


Pictured: Space Jam launch line in Serramonte, which is basically San Francisco. via JayJunkie from NikeTalk

Normally I’d probably have my friend, who is probably one of Charlotte’s top 3 sneaker collectors, reserve a pair for me through his connect at his local shoe store. However, that store isn’t getting my size (8) so I’ll be one of those guys camping out.

Which brings me to the Bobcats.

The Bobcats Team Store will be releasing the Air Jordan ‘Cool Grey XIs on December 23 (national release date). According to an email the Bobcats sent out, the line for the shoes will begin at noon (yeah, right. See y’all at midnight. I’m getting them come Hell or highwater).

And to make it even better (or to make it worth going, if you’re not a sneaker fan), Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin will be making an appearance to sign autographs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Also, the Bobcats are currently running THE BEST PROMOTION EVER. So, remember those shoes I was talking about? The ones that people will be lining up all over town to get? The Bobcats are giving a pair of those away – and they’re autographed by Michael Jordan. My instinct tells me to be selfish and not share because the more people who enter, the less chance I have to win. But, I can’t deny our readers this opportunity. HERE IT IS. I JUST HYPERLINKED THAT SENTENCE WITH THE LINK, AND THIS ONE TOO – AND HERE’S THE ACTUAL LINK, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY:

So, good luck everybody! I hope one of us wins the coveted shoes! (But mostly me)


Cardboard Gerald, Senior Baseline Footwear Correspondent

Kicks on Claws: Footwear of Charlotte Bobcats Players


Gerald Wallace Exclusive Jordan Icons

After we released the eye-popping news that I would become a new writer for the Baseline, I got a request via Twitter for an article on the kicks that our players would be wearing on the court this year. As a sneaker lover, I was more than happy to oblige and to teach the Bobcats followers about one of my other passions.

Before we delve into what the players are wearing this year, I must complain about something and then teach you some basic shoe stuff.

Upon hearing about the Jordan-centric renovation of the Bobcats store at Time Warner Cable Arena, I got excited about the possibility of having a Jordan store that sold Jordans. Why, you ask, when there’s so many Footlockers and Finish Lines that sell Jordans? Because I hoped that the affiliation of Jordan Brand with the team would bring about some Jordan shoes in Bobcats colors. There are no shoes in the world in that greyish-blue that I can find. However, to my dismay, I found out that they don’t even sell any shoes there at all. Opportunity lost.

Anyway, on to the learning!

  • PE – Player Exclusive. These are shoes made for a specific player, usually with their team’s colors. These are occasionally available for public purchase and if then, only in limited quantities
  • GR – General Release. Shoes that are GR’s are available for purchase by anyone at most shoe stores like Footlocker or Finish Line. Shoes that I don’t note as PEs are most likely GRs, which you can buy.
  • Here’s the lowdown on how Jordan-sponsored players choose what shoes they wear throughout the season, as told by D.J. Augustin:

    At the beginning of the season, Jordan Brand sends you a package. In that package, you receive four shoe models. If you like them, they send you 10 pairs of each model to wear through February. After the All-Star break, Jordan Brand gives you two more models with 10 pairs of each to finish out the season. They let you practice in them and if you like them they will give you more. If you do not like the shoes they give to you, then they will give you something else to try. Basically, Jordan Brand wants to make you comfortable and make you feel good. They also give you the choice to have your personal logo, your name and/or your jersey number on the shoes. First, they show it to you on paper and if you like the shoe that is when they send you the package.

    via NikeTalk via Nice Kicks (P.S. read the whole interview. I love the part about Sean May)

The Jordan Brand Members

This select group includes only the Bobcats players sponsored by Jordan Brand: Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin. Each of these guys will wear Jordans on the court for every game this year, just like last year. As part of the Jordan Brand Team, D.J. and Gerald are privy to special PE colorways of their shoes. Last year, Gerald mostly wore Jordan shoes like the Jordan All Day and the Jordan 16.5 while D.J. also wore the 16.5 and the Jordan ‘Six Rings,’ just to name a few.  However, the real interesting shoes that they wore were their Air Jordan XII and Icons PEs.
Wallace in the AJ XII PE

Personally, these Jordan XIIs pictured above, are my favorites. I love the colorway. If I could buy these, they’d be on my feet all the time.
D.J. in his AJ XII and Icons PEs
Crash even got his own player exclusive version of the Jordan Icons, complete with an awesome logo, made especially for his All-Star appearance.
I want to go to there.

As for this year, I expect more of the same. So far, Gerald and D.J. have both been wearing the Jordan Team 2010 in the exhibition and regular season games. I expect them to wear some of the other generic Jordan basketball shoes as the season wears on. After the All Star break, you may even see them in the upcoming Air Jordan 2011. Also, be on the lookout for some fantastic PE colorways of dope Jordan retros.

The Jordan Wearers

This group of Bobcats are players not signed by Jordan Brand and it includes Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Dominic McGuire (and maybe Sherron Collins). As far as I know, Stephen Jackson is not a part of the Jordan Brand team but he wears them for every game. Last year he wore the Icons, including a special playoffs PE, as well as a number of Jordan retros. Most notably of these were the Jordan XI “Space Jams” (below) and the Jordan XII “Rising Sun.”
Stephen Jackson in his Air Jordan XI

Last year Shaun Livingston wore Nike shoes, including the Nike Zoom Soldier III. However, so far while playing for the Bobcats, Shaun has worn the Jordan Element. I couldn’t even tell you if Dominic McGuire even wore shoes before, but he has been wearing the Jordan Spizike “Grape” during training camp and exhibition games (upon further research, he wore Nike Hyperdunks before). I am hesitant to include Sherron Collins here, but he wore the Jordan Icons in the summer league and I can’t make heads or tails from the whopping three pictures I can find of him playing in exhibition games.

The Hyperfuse Herd (Ain’t Alliteration Awesome?)

Derrick Brown in the Nike Hyperfuse

The Nike Hyperfuse released this past summer to rave reviews. They also have a huge following among NBA players. Kevin Durant wore them in the World Championships and Rajon Rondo wore them in the NBA Finals. My guess is that DeSagana Diop wants to emulate Rondo so he picked up a pair. And then, upon seeing Diop, the fashion trendsetter that he is, Matt Carroll and Derrick Brown knew they had to follow suit and get their identical pairs.

Some Kind of Nikes

These are the rest of the guys and they all wear Nike basketball shoes. Last season, Tyrus Thomas wore the Nike Zoom Flip ‘N and this season it looks like he’s wearing the Nike Hyperdunk Team. I have no clue what model of Nikes that Boris Diaw or Nazr Mohammed wear. I’ve stared at them for a while and still can’t think of what they may be. They may be the Nike Hyperchild. Moving on, Gerald Henderson wears the Nike Hyperdunk and if Kwame wears the same model as he did last year, we’ll see him in the Nike Hyperize. Oh, and I nearly forgot about Eduardo Najera! He wears shoes. I don’t know what brand but I know they’re shoes.

Until next time, Bobcats fans, enjoy knowing that Mike Conley will be making at least $40 million over the next 5 years.

– Cardboard Gerald

How To Rule the Court In Your Gerald Wallace T-Shirt


Gerald Wallace Shirt in Action

Disclaimer: The sweet skills displayed in the video below are not guaranteed when wearing this shirt. Actual on-court results may vary.

Music by Ryythm N Bluz

The Bobcats Baseline Exclusive “SarcophaCrash” Gerald Wallace T Shirts Have Arrived and Are Now Shipping.

Thanks to all of the Baseliners for their pre-orders.

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“SarcophaCrash” Gerald Wallace T-Shirt


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Gerald Wallace Shirt

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