Since Christmas is literally around the corner, it was natural to bring up The Nike Basketball Christmas Pack. This short-lived tradition by Nike Basketball was one of the many reasons I looked forward to the holiday. Some of the wildest, creative, and colorful sneakers were brought to life and graced store shelves and the hardwood alike. This was one of the few times that a regular consumer had the chance to get something slightly reminiscent to a Player Exclusive pair without having to jump through all the hoops and hurdles.
2009 saw the first Christmas Pack release by the Swoosh. It included a Lebron 7 and a Kobe 5, that still hold up very well in today’s sneaker climate. They were a hit, as expected by the brand, so as you could have guessed we were going to see this again the following year. Then it happened, 2010 was the year of the “Grinch”. This green-hued Kobe 6 released alongside a LeBron 8 and a KD3, but clearly separated itself from the group as the hands-down fan favorite. This sneaker just did everything right: the color, the model, the details, and even the story that surrounded them. They were technically dubbed the “Green Mamba”, but because Kobe wanted to ruin Christmas for his opponents, who just happened to be the newly formed, LeBron led Miami Heat, the name “Grinch” fit perfectly. Just fantastic! Although the Lakers happen to fall by 16 points to the Heat, it didn’t matter, the sneaker became a certified legend (If anyone wants to argue this, go check the resale market for these), cementing Christmas Day sneaker releases as an undeniable staple within this sneaker community. But, as we know, every good thing sadly comes to an end, especially when it comes to sneakers.
Next year, just like clockwork the Christmas Pack was upon us, but sadly it couldn’t live up to the bar set by the previous year and the Kobe 6. The winner of that year was the well-received KD4 model, but sadly (and lucky for some) these all sat a bit longer and even made the outlets in some regions. The hype just wasn’t there this time. And unfortunately, this trend continued all the way until 2015. That year marked the last time we would see a traditional Nike Basketball Christmas Pack. I can definitely admit there were some misses in the previous years, but why not regroup and try again? That could just be the selfish part of me speaking. With talks of Nike Basketball products falling in sales number, that looked to be the reason this yearly event was canceled. Also with the new rules letting NBA players wear whatever they want at any time, I would assume the effect would be missing for these vibrant releases to make an impact with sales since now every sneaker has what seems like hundreds of colorways releasing a year. When It comes down to it, these sneakers may not have always been the best colorways released, but there were definitely more hits than misses. No matter if you looked forward to these holiday releases or not, we can all agree that these were fun…something the sneaker community could use a bit more of.