Saturday 25th May 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Under Armour Bloodline: Ben Berry’s Favorite PE

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Being born in 1989, I can say that I came of age with a sneaker entity like Sole Collector. Was a member of the forums, ordered the magazines before they were in major sneaker stores like Foot Locker, and even dated messed around with girls featured in those pages (before and after). That being said, I use to hold a personal stake in the Sole Collector’s success

For their 46th issue, Sole Collector called it the ‘PE Issue’ which is 100% worth picking up. The SC staff has taken to each posting their favorite not their website in this format so while the SEO crawlers are still hot I threw my own $0.02 into the conversation. Good thing a few NBA players have their missing shoes in my closet.

2011 was not only my first year working with The Hoop Doctors on content, but was also the first basketball lockout in over a decade’s time since the 1998-99 NBA season. With this new position and no NBA, the internet was the biggest way basketball kicks were being spotlighted and I had to get creative to keep producing new, original content.

In NYC that November, Under Armour held an event for media to make sure they were on the radar of all #influencers in attendance. That Hennessy-sponsored (!) party was the first time that I was formally invited to such an affair despite my previous habit of just showing up and staking undeserved claims to attendance by anyone who dared to question. And that is where I saw these.

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Originally thought to be inspired by Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks mascot, the thought behind this colorway of Brandon Jennings signature sneaker of the time is done very well. Complete with a complete faux horsehair upper, red paint in the toe, and reflective sleigh bells on the mid foot strap, the ‘Rudolph’ colorway of the Under Armour Bloodline might be the best-executed Christmas-themed sneaker ever.

Unfortunately, no one got to see this in any Christmas Day games in 2011 since December 25th had the first games of the NBA season which was a star-studded event; so pretty much the Bucks didn’t belong.

I aggregated the official pictures of the 2011 Christmas set from Under Armour but I did not expect to have the entire set in my possession a few days later. Let’s just say getting these was a classic case of “you know who, did you know what, with you know who” between several parties.

The Under Armour Bloodline will hold a special place with me not just because of its high performance aptitude on the court, but because I can look at that sneaker and identify a part of my career with, and very loosely a part of my life. Glad that I own one of the rarest Bloodline pairs in existence.

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