It’s Gotta Be the Shoes: Sneak a Peek Inside Panini America’s Immaculate Basketball
August 25, 2014

Back in the late 1980s, Spike Lee helped Nike put Air Jordans on the mainstream map with his entertaining portrayal of Mars Blackmon, a hype man of the highest order who contended in a series of now-classic commercials that the greatness of Chicago’s otherworldly basketball superstar could be attributed to one thing: “It’s gotta be the shoes.” Truth be told, there was a little more than just sweet footwear at the heart of No. 23’s unrivaled brilliance, no matter how much of a global phenomenon the Air Jordan empire has become in the last 30 years or so.

In the years since, sneakers — from Nike, adidas, Reebok, Fila, Converse, Under Armour and more — have become an intimate part of an NBA player’s identity. And in the upcoming release of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball, Panini America will pay tribute to that trend in true groundbreaking fashion with a pair of insert sets that feature the most extensive — and jaw-dropping — use of game-worn NBA shoes in trading card history.

Read more: The Official Blog of Panini America