The Sneaker Essentials Program Will Guide You to a Career in Footwear

In an effort to inspire the next generation of creatives who will lead the $55 billion global sneaker industry to continued greatness, Complex is partnering with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) for a unique education experience, which Kick'n It for a Cause founder Chris “COSeezy” Strachan announced during a sit down with Steph Curry.

Sneaker Essentials is an online education program exploring every possible aspect of the industry, from design to advertising to retail. The Qubed Education-developed program consists of six courses totaling 30 hours. Complex personalities, FIT staffers, and other proven industry veterans (i.e. Nike and Adidas contributors) will lead the learning process.

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“Complex has always been at the forefront of sneaker culture, and we also pride ourselves on being inclusive and opening doors for creative people,” Jack Erwin, Complex's GM of Content, explained. “Sneaker Essentials provides a chance for passionate learners to hear directly from true leaders in the sneaker media industry, including Joe La Puma, Gerald Flores, and Richard Lopez.” Other instructors will include Nice Kicks creative director Nick DePaula, Stephen Curry 30 Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Jeron Smith, Nike's Erin Toraya, and more.

Sarah Mullins, chair of FIT's Accessories Design program, added that Sneaker Essentials was built to “translate that passion for sneakers into real-world knowledge and skills that open doors to meaningful career pathways.” Once a student wraps the program—which is a part of FIT's Center for Continuing and Professional Studies—​they will be awarded a certificate of completion.

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​The inaugural group of Sneaker Essentials students will be admitted in April. In partnership with nonprofit Kick'n It for a Cause, Qubed will be handing out scholarships to select students in disadvantaged situations. More info can be found here.

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Stephen Curry Explains Why He Has the Best Sneaker in the NBA

Since signing with Under Armour back in late 2013, Steph Curry has released a number of signature sneakers. Some have been well received by the public. Others, well, not so much.

But when Complex News caught up with Curry ahead of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, he said that it’s all been a part of the learning process to him. While he’s been aiming to create the perfect sneaker since designing his very first pair with Under Armour, he was also quick to point out that he should have known better since it’s difficult to nail down the design process right away.

“You learn as you go through this industry, the shoe business,” Curry said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. You want to get it right right away, and you want to have the best sneaker in the game your first shot at it. But I think we’ve gotten better at it as every edition has come out.”

Curry also said he likes the direction he’s headed in as far as his sneaker line is concerned. Without giving away too many details, he said he’s already seen his next two signature sneakers up close and thinks he can capitalize on the momentum he’s built with Under Armour thus far by releasing them.

“I’ve seen Curry 5 and Curry 6, so I know where the product’s going from here. Big things,” Curry said. “We’re in a good space right now with how we’ve brought the design process and bringing these kicks to life. The Curry 4 was a step in the right direction. I feel like it’s the best shoe in the game, so I’m trying to keep that going.”

Chris “COSeezy” Strachan was also on hand to talk about Sneaker Essentials, a new online program offered through a partnership between Fashion Institute of Technology and Complex.

You can check out the full interview above.

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LeBron James to the Warriors? Wild New Report Suggests It Could Happen This Summer

Does the idea of LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers to sign with the Warriors this summer sound laughable to you? You’re not alone. There are a lot of people scoffing at the idea at the moment.

But very early Thursday morning, just hours after LeBron and the Cavaliers closed out their dreadful January with a close win over the Heat, ESPN’s Chris Haynes set NBA Twitter on fire with an explosive report about how LeBron would apparently entertain the idea of signing with Golden State in July, if the Warriors are able to free up enough money to offer him a max contract.

According to league sources who spoke with Haynes, the Warriors could position themselves to secure a free agency meeting with LeBron “if [they] can create a max salary slot this offseason.” The report went on to say that the Warriors haven’t shown any real desire to actually do that. But it also mentioned that the sources who spoke with Haynes said LeBron wouldn’t rule out the possibility of playing alongside Steph Curry and Kevin Durant in California “if Golden State explored ways to clear the necessary cap space.”

In order to pull off the seemingly impossible, the Warriors would likely need to get creative. In Haynes’ report, he suggests they would probably have to entice the Cavaliers to agree to a sign-and-trade deal involving Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala in order to land LeBron. And that in and of itself seems like a long shot.

But regardless of how improbable the LeBron-to-the-Warriors rumor Haynes just started might sound, it definitely has people talking. There are some imagining what the Warriors could potentially look like with LeBron on the team.

There are others downplaying the report and saying it will never happen.

We tend to side with the second group of people here. LeBron leaving the Cavaliers for a second time and doing it to team up with the Warriors just sounds too crazy to believe.

But we should point out that, once upon a time, the idea of Durant leaving the Thunder to join the Warriors sounded just as crazy. In fact, we just went back and took a look at our very first post hinting at the possibility of KD one day joining the Warriors, which went up all the way back in July 2015. It was tied to a San Jose Mercury News story about how a source said Golden State would “love” to land KD in the summer of 2016. The very first comment on that post was “trash post with a shit source”—and look at how that eventually turned out.

In the end, we just can’t see LeBron playing with the Warriors next season. But who knows? With all of the crazy things that have happened in the NBA over the last few years, it’s hard to rule out anything anymore.

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Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Warriors React to Suffering Worst Loss of Season Against Jazz

The Warriors once again look like the favorites to win the NBA Finals this season. At 40-11, they are heads and tails above every other team in the league. But throughout the course of the season, they have shown that they can be beaten—and even blown out—when they don’t put forth their best effort.

Back in late October, the Warriors sustained a 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis, just days after knocking off the Rockets in their season-opening game. In late November, Golden State got trounced by the Thunder 108-91 in Oklahoma City. And earlier this month, the Warriors got their rear ends kicked at home by the Clippers 125-106 in a game that featured Lou Williams going off for 50 points. It doesn’t happen often, but those teams have shown that, if you catch the Warriors on an off night, you can give them a taste of their own medicine.

On Tuesday night, the Jazz were the latest team to unexpectedly beat up on the Warriors. Ricky Rubio notched a double-double with 23 points and 11 assists and Joe Ingles knocked down a career-high six three-pointers on his way to 20 points as Utah jumped all over Golden State at home en route to a 129-99 win. The 30-point loss was the Warriors’ worst loss of the season so far.

After the game, several Warriors players tried to explain what happened. Kevin Durant, who scored 17 points during the contest, put a lot of the blame on himself. He admitted to not doing a very good job on the defensive side of the ball while guarding Ingles.

“I can’t let Joe Ingles get loose on 3s like that and expect us to play well on the road, especially in here,” KD said. “I got to start off the game better if we want to win games.”

Steph Curry, who scored just 14 points on 1-for-7 shooting from behind the three-point line, wasn’t happy with the way his team played as a whole. He revealed that, during the fourth quarter, he told Draymond Green it was one of the worst games he’s ever seen the current Warriors team play.

“I asked Draymond on the bench in the fourth quarter if he could remember that bad of a performance that we’ve had in recent memory,” Curry said, “and we really can’t. You can’t just show up, especially on the road, and expect to win. That’s kind of cheating the game.”

Green, meanwhile, was slightly less concerned than his teammates were about the Warriors’ putrid performance. He said he actually thought the Warriors were going to pull off a massive comeback at some point. And even though they weren’t ultimately able to do it, he didn’t sound too worried about what the loss would mean for his team in the long run.

“I'm just foolish enough to believe that we always have a chance,” Green said. “So even going into that fourth quarter, I'm like, 'OK, here we go. All right, here comes a run. They're playing great, but they can't really get over 16, 18. We can cover that really quick. Here we go.' It just ain't never happen for us. So it's cool.”

But Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wasn’t as forgiving as Green was. He attempted to light a fire under the Warriors by blasting them for their “pathetic effort.” He also referred to the “disgusting basketball” he saw them play while speaking with reporters after the game.

“We just didn’t start out the game with any force defensively,” Kerr said. “We weren’t staying into bodies, they were just stopping behind screens, we were lazy on our switches. We played with no sense of urgency, no sense of purpose.”

The good news for the Warriors is that they should have a good chance to bounce back from their loss to the Jazz during their next game on Friday night. They will travel to Sacramento to play the Kings, and seeing as how the Warriors already suffered a surprising loss to the Kings during a home game back in late November, they should have absolutely no trouble getting up for the game and getting back on track.

The Warriors will follow their game against the Kings with another road game against the Nuggets on Saturday night before returning home next Tuesday night for a nationally-televised matchup against the Thunder.

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Russell Westbrook Torches Wizards After Thinking LeBron James Picked Him Last in NBA All-Star Draft

On Thursday afternoon, LeBron James and Steph Curry took part in the first-ever NBA All-Star draft. They went through the long list of this season’s NBA All-Stars and chose who will play alongside each of them on their respective teams during the All-Star Game next month. And when the draft was over, LeBron shared the list of players who will be running with him.

 

Most people looked at the list and quickly realized LeBron had put the players on his team into alphabetical order. We’d guess he did this to avoid revealing who he had picked first as well as who he had picked last. In fact, we’d guess the NBA chose not to televise this portion of the All-Star process specifically to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. People on social media would have inevitably made a huge deal over whoever ended up going last in the draft.

But when Russell Westbrook first saw the list, he didn’t realize it was in alphabetical order. All he saw was his name at the bottom of it, and he mistakenly believed LeBron had taken him with the last pick in the draft. Furthermore, he believed LeBron had taken John Wall with the pick ahead of him.

By chance, Westbrook and the Thunder played Wall and the Wizards on Thursday night, and Westbrook—possibly because he had seen LeBron's list just prior to the game—went off during the contest. He scored 46 points and threw down this thunderous dunk during Oklahoma City’s 121-112 win over Washington.

And when the game ended, he spoke with reporters about his thoughts on LeBron picking him to play on his team in the All-Star Game. Westbrook said it was “cool,” but his teammate Carmelo Anthony yelled at him and told him to tell everyone “how you really feel.” Westbrook smiled before admitting he was a little miffed about being picked last.

“I see I was the last pick on the list,” he said. “I was just trying to figure out how…”

At that point, Westbrook was informed about the list being in alphabetical order, and a light bulb went off in his head. He responded by yelling back at Carmelo. “See, I told you, man!” Westbrook said. “Alphabetical order, man! Of course I was first!”

It was a funny, lighthearted moment in the end. But after Westbrook admitted he thought he went last in the draft, him dropping 46 points on Wall and Wizards suddenly made so much sense.

Draft misunderstanding aside, LeBron’s decision to select Westbrook in the All-Star draft will reunite him with his former teammate Kevin Durant. KD went first overall in the draft to LeBron’s team, and he had a pretty classic reaction to it on Thursday night. He put up the Players’ Tribune meme that everyone always uses against him on Instagram to announce how happy he is to be playing with LeBron’s team. He also put his Warriors teammate Curry on notice and said he’s gunning for him in the All-Star Game. Curry picked Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the draft but not Durant.

The All-Star Game will take place on Feb. 18. If all this buildup to it is any indication, it should be a pretty decent—and dare we say competitive?—game.

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LeBron and Steph’s All-Star Team Draft, OOB-Style | Out of Bounds

In anticipation of 2018 NBA All-Star team captains LeBron James and Steph Curry drafting their teams later today via conference call, the #OutofBounds crew conducts its own draft. NBA Commissioner Pierce Simpson starts things off with a coin toss to decide whether Gilbert Arenas or Adam Caparell gets to be LeBron and pick first. With that decided, the guys bring wildly different strategies and a lot of sh*t-talking as they select first from the starter pool and then from the reserves. Who drafted the better team? Check out their squads and reasoning and let us know.

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Isaiah Thomas-Paul Pierce Drama; Gilbert Arenas Punched; Aaron Afflalo Headlocked | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, Gil tells the story of the time he tried to break up a fight between Orlando Magic teammates and ended up being the only person who got punched. With the Carolina Panthers still in search of a new owner, many people have showed interest, including celebs Dale Earnhardt Jr., Diddy, and Steph Curry. The crew weighs in on who they think would be the best fit and who will actually be the next owner. Paul Pierce dead set against Isaiah Thomas getting a tribute video on the same night as his Boston Celtics jersey-retiring. While Adam and Pierce believe IT can get at least a 30-second video, Gil thinks Pierce should have a full-on Pierce-Land tribute like Kobe. One thing they all agree on is that Kid Rock should not headline the NHL All-Star Game. 

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LeBron James Calls Out Trump’s Racism During MLK Day Press Conference

LeBron James honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy before the Cleveland Cavaliers' match against the Golden State Warriors on MLK Day. He fit in a not-so-subtle dig at Donald Trump, too.

“He had a vision and he took a bullet for all of us. For us to stand here even though we're trying to be divided right now by somebody,” James said during a pre-game press conference. “Today is a great day for people to realize how America was built and how we all have to stand united in order to be one. Especially as Americans because we believe, we all know and we all believe, this is the greatest country in the world.” 

While the basketball star didn't directly mention Trump's name, he makes it very clear who he's referring to. He continued:

“The state of racism will never die, but what we can not do is allow it to conquer us as people. We can't allow it to divide us. The guy in control has given people and racism, and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear. And that's the fearful thing for us because it's with you, and it's around every day. But he's allowed people to come out and just feel confident about doing negative things. We can't allow that to stop us from continuing to be together and preach the right word of living and loving and laughing and things of that nature. Because would we want to live anywhere else? I don't think so. We love this place.”

This isn't the first time James has called out Trump's racist and oppressive views. Last August, he tweeted Trump “just made [hate] fashionable again” in response to his reactions toward the Charlottesville protests. That was followed by the now-famous “U bum” moment after Trump targeted Steph Curry and revoked his invitation to the White House.

Watch James' reflection on Martin Luther King Jr. as well as his comments on Trump below:

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Steph Curry Is ‘Willing to Do What It Takes’ to Be a Carolina Panthers Owner

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry is still very interested in the possibility of becoming a part owner of the Carolina Panthers. Curry spoke with reporters on Monday about the strides he's made towards turning that dream into a reality. “It’s a pretty interesting opportunity,” he said. “I've had conversations with plenty of people about the right way to go about it and kind of the different approaches I could personally take. Obviously I have a day job but I’ve got people that are plugged in and trying to see how to make that happen.”

Following the announcement from former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson last month that he would be putting the team up for sale in light of the NFL launching an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations made against him, Diddy posted a tweet expressing his interest in become the franchise's next owner.

Steph responded to the tweet, saying that he wants in on Diddy's ownership group. 

But was Curry really serious about joining the ownership team making a bid for the franchise he has been a fan of since he was a kid? If Steph declaring that he's “willing to do what it takes to make that happen” isn't direct enough, we don't know what more he can say. Check out his remarks in the video below. 

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Why 2017 Was the Year of LaVar Ball

Hate him or love him, you couldn't escape LaVar Ball in 2017. He may have seemed like the ultimate Coach Dad with the way he hyped Lonzo Ball as being better than Steph Curry, but what started out as boasting from Papa Ball turned into LaVar's (successful) campaign to get Lonzo into the NBA.

He talked a lot of shit, and never found a camera he wouldn't speak in front of, but LaVar found a way to completely dominate the news cycle, whether it was about his family (which landed a Facebook reality series), the ZO2s (which finally did start shipping), or why he ended up putting LiAngelo and LaMelo to work in Lithuania.

Here's why, hated or not, LaVar Ball dominated the conversation in 2017.

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