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Cool Basketball Shit: Volume I

Our monthly round-up of cool basketball shit that you can, like, buy.

by on December 1, 2014

Every month we will be collecting basketball goods and products from around the web (and possibly real life) that will appeal to basketball fans just like us: T-shirts, books, art and other things worth using or displaying. Being December, this first volume of Cool Basketball Shit also serves as a gift-giving guide for the basketball fan in your life that is worth buying cool stuff for.

One unibrow to unite ALL unibrows

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Frida Kahlo was surrealist painter from Mexico. Anthony Davis is a dominating professional basketball player from Chicago by way of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Both of them of are prominent wearers of the human unibrow — members of a small club in which there are very few celebrated figures.

This painting from the Etsy shop KentuckyPopArt is hinting at that unifying connection, this item goes beyond just a simple gag. Note the blue wildcats in the background compared to the cats in the background of Kahlo’s original Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, and the subtle “Frida Davis 19″ in the corner.

Given, though, the adoption of the Pelicans name from the Hornets, we’re in need of an update. Maybe a Pelican over the other shoulder? But I don’t want to be picky because this is awesome.

Who likes this: Art majors with a head for hoops; people who live and/or respect the unibrow lifestyle.
How much: $20 USD, plus shipping
Where: Etsy

 

Relive one of the lowest moments in the sporting history of Bel-Air Academy with this Carlton Banks #25 replica!

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When buying this, make sure of this note on the Etys listing page: “Please consider ordering a larger size, if you plan to wear protective sports equipment under the jersey.” That’s in case you’re the kind of person who wears a Carlton Banks replica jersey and a protective chest piece to a pickup game.

Who likes this: The countless number of people in their mid-twenties who have found Fresh Prince again. This numbers in the millions.
How much: $29.99 USD, plus shipping
Where: Etsy

 

So many Sheeds

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Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Rasheed Wallace has been out of the league for a year and a half, but it feels like much longer. Even though League Pass die hards can routinely spot Sheed on the sidelines of Pistons games, these posters sold individually from Makem Takem depict how we prefer to remember him: the loudest journey-man of all journey-men, boisterous no matter which jersey is on his chest.

It’s too bad the Blazers edition is sold out because a wall of SHEED on SHEED on SHEED on SHEED on SHEED on SHEED would have be a great addition to any place where the watching of basketball happens. (Five Sheeds just ain’t good enough!)

Who likes this: People who live in Portland; people who live in Detroit; people fond of Detroit; anyone that has a soul.
How much: $40 each, plus shipping
Where: MakemTakem

 

Not here to practice

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Where this shirt and everyone will know you mean business. It also comes in kid’s sizes, so if you’re a parent with a child who plays organized hoops, ask yourself: why isn’t this their your child’s go-to shirt for basketball practice?

Who likes this: People in Philadelphia who need constant reminders of Allen Iverson’s existence to still care about basketball.
How much: $33 USD, plus shipping
Where: UNDRCRWN

 

Gotta get the faces right

Bouncex3-Applegate

You might recognize Jake Applegate‘s art from The Classical or elsewhere on the web. It might be a small detail to some, but when there is a lot of great NBA-related art available, his work is set apart because he manages to get the faces just right, humanizing the figures in the illustrations and players into actual people who have actual thoughts. One of these pieces is a perfect starting point for a fine NBA art collection.

My personal favourites are the two above: “Down Low” and “The Dunk Contest”. Also good for sad Raptors fans with a sense of humour in your life is “Ghost Defender”.

Who likes this: Comics guys who likes hoop; hoops guy who believe players are actual people.
How much: $15-30 USD, plus shipping
Where: bouncex3.storevy.com & Society6.com/bouncex3

 

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In contrast to Applegate, Kuming Kao’s approach to designing the visual icons of NBA basketball is minimalist but still full of so much soul and all the characteristics of that make these legends so iconic: Jordan’s bald head, Chamberlain’s headband and goatee, Bird’s whispy moustache, the flow of Walton’s hair, and most of all, Dr. J’s afro.

Who likes this: Design geeks; Scandinavians; modernists.
How much: $20 AUD, plus shipping
Where: KumingKao.com

 

Sneakerheads, know your history

wheredyougetthose-cover

Bobbito Garcia’s Where’d You Get Those?: New York City’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987 is a seminal book for sneakerheads who want to pay proper respect to the independent history of their subculture. This book, exhaustively detailed with over 500 photos and information on nearly 400 models, is the story of the obsessive sneaker consumers in the 70s and 80s in New York City who established the trends in sneakers that become newly coveted today. Don’t short this for being a book about just shoes or rampant consumer lust: this is a book beyond basketball or sneakers.

Definitely a book that you want to own. In print.

Who likes this: Sneakerheads.
How much: $20 give or take. (About an tenth of the price of a pair of expensive kicks.)
Where: Your local bookstore. Or the library.

 

ANTI-RECOMMENDATION

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Something to help take the edge off this Lakers season

Do you like smoking weed and watching dysfunctional basketball? Are you living in a nostalgic haze, trying to remember when life was great before reality came crushing upon you like a karmic tsunami? Are you this guy? Nothing makes a finer statement about your attitude towards soft drugs and blind devotion to a bygone era of NBA basketball than this hand-blown Los Angeles Lakers glass bowl. Only double the cost a regular bowl!

The one saving grace of this purchase is that this bowl is going to be so full of black gunk so quickly you won’t be able to tell it has a Lakers logo on it. In a week’s time you can just tell people it’s a Clippers bowl… but you’ll still have no friends to toke with.

Who likes this: The people of Southern California.
How much: $50 USD, plus shipping
Where: Etsy

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is the founder, editor and designer of Flagrant Fowl.

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