adidas AO Hook Shot II

  • MADE ON: 12/12
  • ART.NO: G96321
  • FACTORY: SHW 675001

For a re-release, it seems that the adidas AO Hook Shot II is actually causing quite a stir, and not necessarily in all the right directions.

While basketball isn’t one of the team sports that the ‘offside’ rule applies to, it seems that adidas may have over-stepped their bounds on this pair of hoop shoes. The history behind the Hook Shot lies in the hands of the highest scoring baller of all time; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Now while he certainly had a variety of sponsorship deals and character silhouettes (even his own model from adidas, in both high and low cut forms), all the hype over the retro AO Hook Shot II seems to be his endorsement of it.

Or rather, lack thereof, and that’s precisely where the problem lays. Sure, with every re-release a sports brand might make some moves: OG colorways, new colorways, shake things up with animal print or faux fur even. And they’ve done all that and more with the first few batches of Hook Shots. But what else adidas did was incredibly peculiar: they took Kareem’s face off the tongue (fair enough, legal reasons?) yet left an empty, open square there to (possibly) signify a player edition. While we’ve no source on this, most likely they couldn’t get the rights to Kareem’s mug, but why then keep the frame around his face?

No one knows for sure, though currently a public explanation might do the brand some good as Abdul-Jabber fans are up in arms over the obvious foul, many claiming they aren’t buying the pair simply because Kareem ain’t there. And ultimately, whether unknowing lads and lasses alike pick up a pair regardless of the vacant geometry on it, this isn’t a good look for adidas, especially while they were on a roll with their well-crafted basketball retros this year.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

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