Saturday, May 10, 2014

'MADE' by Throwback Store - Sydney's newest Boutique Basketball store

The availability of Basketball merch in Australia has steadily improved over the years. During my teens when I started getting into hoops, Starter and Champion were the dominant brands. Back in the day stores stocked only a handful of teams - the Hornets, Bulls, Magic and Lakers. At the time I didn't feel it reflected the most interesting or best franchises, you were almost cornered into barracking for one of these four teams.

Prior to the acceptance of online shopping, merchants ordered only the most popular jerseys as they couldn't risk stocking niche players they might not be able to sell. Today larger stockists like Footlocker and Culture Kings offer an extensive collection of jerseys, caps and retro stock. There's no guarantee you'll find merch for each NBA team but it's a massive improvement nonetheless

Sydney has several Streetwear outlets catering to hoopsheads and beyond. Espionage stock the whackiest range of sneakers and are supporters of Japanese brand KIKS TYO which reps basketball hard. HalfSleeve have created their own hoops inspired range of branded clothing and host epic annual 3on3 Tournaments.

VIDEO: AND1 Crash the Court Sydney by AND1/dPlayground ltd

As far as dedicated Basketball boutiques, Kickz101 in Melbourne is arguably the finest and most enduring in Australia. In Sydney, the now defunct 'dPlayground' in Parramatta offered two floors of hoops heaven. Basketball memorabilia and a second level with a ring to play on and and a big screen to watch classic games. Back then blogs weren't so ubiquitous, it may have been the only Sydney retailer that received sneaker samples to generate hype for upcoming drops. 
MADE Popup shop at Bondi Westfields
via @throwbackstore
Founded in 2011, 'Throwback Store' is Sydney's only shopfront specialising in all things Basketball. Retailing as part of Alexandria Basketball Stadium, they've also setup seasonal Pop-up stores by the Bondi promenade and inside Westfield Shopping Mall. Over the weekend they opened 'Made' on 4/157 Curlewis St, Bondi stocking the best in basketball merch.

The folks at 'Made' also have their own house brand, 'I Love Rich Kids' which not surprisingly pays homage to their Basketball nerdiness. Make sure you check out their tees and tracksuit pants on the shelves.

Throwback Store
53 Maddox Street, Alexandria
Sydney, Australia 2015 
P: (02) 8959 6870 

'Made' by Throwback Store
4/157 Curlewis St (via Gould st)
Bondi Beach, Australia 2026

'MADE' by Throwback: Sydney Hoops Store
4/157 Curlewis St (via Gould st)
Bondi Beach 2026
'MADE' by Throwback: Official Grand Opening
Its awesome finding establishments that support basketball culture in Sydney and Australia as a whole. They'll only thrive and survive if they're supported by the wider public so its up to us to patronise them in whatever way we can. For the love of the game :)

Find other hoops-themed action in Sydney:
- Hip Hop Arcade presents NBA Jam Tournament @ The Flinders, Sydney
- Easts Basketball League presents 'Basketball Day' @ The Projects
- Home Game: Basketball in Sydney - HalfSleeve 3on3
Brown Class Cinema presents Australian screenings of 'Doin' It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC'
- NBA Playoffs: Screenings @ PLAY Bar, Sydney

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NBA Postcards: Greetings from The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma Ciy Thunder

The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder have considerable overlap due to big Trades in recent years. It started when OKC were still the Seattle Supersonics, trading Ray Allen to the Boston Celtics for a package headlined by Boston's 5th pick Jeff Green. Years later OKC and Boston would make another big trade, the Celtics reacquiring Jeff Green alongside Nenad Krstic in exchange for Nate Robinson and bruiser Kendrick Perkins. Many speculated this disruption in Chemistry hurt Boston in the Playoffs, something Doc Rivers would later concede.

During Oklahoma's infancy (relocating from Seattle in 2008), Boston was amongst the League's Top Dogs whilst the Thunder stocked their team with quality Draft picks from their losing seasons as Seattle. OKC would suffer just one losing campaign under their new banner, improving every year to become Perennial Title contenders. The highlight, an NBA Finals berth in 2012 where they would lose 1-4 to the Miami Heat. En route to the title, Miami dispatched the Celtics in a hotly contested Eastern Conference Finals.

Today the tables are turned as a rebuilding Boston seem likely to dwell at the Bottom with Rondo the only remaining component of the Championship years, whilst OKC remain amongst the elites with their tandem of Russell Westbrook and newly crowned MVP Kevin Durant.

Greetings from Boston, Massachusetts (Atlantic Division)
Find a "Championship Celtics" variant on the 'NBA Postcards' Tumblr 
Greetings from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Northwest Division)
Kindly tell your friends and feel free to leave some comments and suggestions. Next two teams: The Denver Nuggets and Orlando Magic

Find other "Greetings from" below:
Miami, Florida and San Antonio, Texas
- Indianapolis, Indiana and Memphis, Tennessee
Charlotte, North Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana
Los Angeles Lakers edition and Clippers edition
Cleveland, Ohio and Washington D.C.
Brooklyn and New York
Dallas and Houston, Texas
Sacramento, California and Toronto, Ontario
Atlanta, Georgia and Salt Lake City, Utah
- Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona
- Detroit, Michigan and Oakland (Golden State), California
For the definitive collection go to the NBA Postcards Tumblr