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A Black History Month collection of a legacy built to inspire

Adidas launches it's newest line

POSTED: Jan 19, 2015 10:25 AM ET

By Damaris Lewis, Special to


When the NBA's All-Time Leading Scorer announces that he's teaming up with Adidas, you know it's bound to be about something more than just sneakers. Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has partnered with the brand on an exclusive limited edition Black History Month Collection. Not only will fans be able to be wowed by the comfort and designs, but each shoe and packaging are equipped with details that highlight the four most important eras in Kareem's astonishing career.

Adidas 2015 Black History Month Collection

On each shoe you will find a mantra that defines the time period of each individual design. First up, the Crazy 8. The words, "Fundamentals are the Foundation for Excellence," are what lie on the upper and sock liner of the shoe. This quote served as Kareem's mantra from 1961 to 1965 and served as an important reminder that pure excellence cannot be achieved without the basics. The purple and gold included on the sock liner represent his high school, Power Memorial Academy. It was at that all boys high school where the magic began.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at a Lakers Game

Next up, the J Wall 1. This shoe takes us through 1965- 1969 (aka "The College Years") in the Abdul-Jabbar legacy. The signature sneaker of Washington Wizards Guard John Wall bear the imprint, "Rules are What Make the Game Challenging," written on the sock liner. Often times in life we are pressured to break the rules depending on the task, but in the sports world rules are what make things interesting. For those who do not recall, in 1968 Kareem did not join the US Men's Olympic Basketball Team as he stood up in protest of the country's treatment of African-Americans. If you're wondering what the blue and gold colors featured next to the mantra on he shoe's sock liner represent, the answer is the UCLA Bruins' famed home, Pauly Pavillon.

NBA Style
Black History Month Crazy 8 with stitched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar image

Coming in third is the D Rose 5 Boost. It's fitting that the mantra for his shoe is "The Hook Shot is Worth a thousand Words." Worn by Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and representing Kareem's career years from 1969- 1975. As the league's All Time Leading Scorer we know that his shot was THE SHOT. With six NBA Championships, six NBA MVPs, and two NBA Finals MVP's, this mantra speaks for itself. His NBA career began with the Milwaukee Bucks which is why you will find red and green on the Boost's sock liner as well as the shoe's look which is designed to represent the broadcasting radio tower of Bucks games during that time.

J Wall 1, signature shoe of Washington Wizards guard John Wall with detailed inspirational quotes

Last but not least, The D Lillard. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damien Lillard's shoe is equipped with a fantastic quote, "When the Music Changes, So Does the Dance." The years represented by this shoe are 1975 - 1989 (aka the purple and gold years). Bringing five NBA Championships to the Los Angeles Lakers during this time, it's safe to say that the music change made the dance even better.

D Rose 5 Boost, signature shoe of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose

As if this collection couldn't get any better, a portion of the proceeds will go towards Kareem's Sky Hook Foundation. The foundation's mission is simply to "give kids a shot that can't be blocked." Another bold move by one of the best to play the game.

NBA Style
D Lillard's shoe with detail highlighting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers era

-- Damaris Lewis is a professional model, dancer, sports fan and lover of all things style. You can follow her on Twitter at @DamarisLewis