The National Basketball Association celebrated All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles for the past few days, and sportswear companies like Nike and adidas followed suit in releasing some of the most-anticipated kicks of the year, but also putting a focus on creativity.
Nike let attendees be the “Makers of the Game” in a pop-up linking people with athletes, influencers, and designers that let them create a custom Nike shoe. Meanwhile, adidas set up shop in the expansive 747 Warehouse, releasing a few hot sneakers of their own, but also playing host to a bunch of concerts—including an appearance by Kanye West.
Their creative experience brought attendees into the Brooklyn Creator Farm, allowing them to craft a totally bespoke adidas sneaker from the ground up. With so much focus on the intersection of self-expression and basketball culture, it was only fitting that the NBA itself put their own footprint on that bustling area.
So just a few blocks away from the STAPLES Center where all the NBA All-Star action was going down, they set up NBA Crossover at The Majestic Downtown. A celebration of music, fashion, art, and of course, basketball, one of the flagship exhibits inside the space included a collaboration with Kidrobot, purveyors of collectible art toys.
Kidrobot was tapped by the NBA to curate a series of one-off Mega MUNNY vinyl figures customized by eight artists. Check them out below and get to know more about the inspiration behind each piece.
Work Hard Play Hard
Artist: Sharon Park aka SPARK
Inspiration: Inspired by the player in the mind. It takes a lot of dedication and commitment for players to know and understand their steps to defeat their opposing team. Park was inspired by the movement of each play. These plays are easily understood by basketball enthusiasts. It’s the secret code to victory.
Shoot the J
Artist: Johnny Draco
Inspiration: Johnny Draco is a self-taught visual artist hailing from Atlanta, Georgia who specializes in post-pop art. With bold lines and contrasting colors, Draco’s art acts as a conductor of one’s eye and perspective. His work aims to unlock the inner child, and provide the ultimate nostalgia for his views as he applies his personal truth, “being a child is the purest form of creativity.”
Blown Away NBA All Stars
Artist: Josh Mayhem
Inspiration: Josh Mayhem’s lifelong habit of collecting children’s playthings has fueled his passion for transforming said toys into objets d’art. Here his aesthetic is taken to a new level with red, white, blue, and silver glitter.
Artist: Rich B Caliente
Inspiration: Rich B Caliente is known for taking his creative designs from the automotive world and bringing them to life in a new medium with his iconic Kidrobot pieces, setting the trend in the industry. Here he uses the colors of the NBA logoman on the Mega MUNNY.
Inspiration: J*RYU is a Los Angeles-based sculptor focused on exploring the themes of life and death, and more intriguingly, what lies beyond.
Inspiration: Art and design come together to strike a perfect balance as this vibrant mascot captures the excitement of NBA All-Star.
Artist: Kumi “Squared Bear” Xiong
Inspiration: A sculptor, graphic designer, and toy enthusiast, here Xiong depects a benevolent basketball spirit.
Artist: Jesse Hernandez
Inspiration: Hernandez’s classic style of graffiti and animation is clearly portrayed on his beautifully invented Monstar.
All of these custom MUNNYs are being auctioned off until March 1 at charitybuzz.com/kidrobot. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the After School All Stars, an organization dedicated to helping kids succeed, keeping them safe, and giving them the tools they need to do well in school and in life.
Now check out all the best kicks from NBA All-Star Weekend.
- Photographer: Thomas Welch