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The Shoes Make Stephon Marbury an Anti-Jordan

Remember the famous scene (PG-13 for language) from Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing where there's a big spat after some white guy steps on Buggin Out's brand new Air Jordan's? In the Chicago Sports Review, Dayn Perry assesses the cultural implications of the new $15 Marbury shoes, and wonders if they might have value as the anti-Jordan:

Michael Jordan was, to state the obvious, a legendary athlete and perhaps the greatest basketball player ever to grace the game. Off the court, however, he was a proudly incurious virtuoso of self-absorption. After a certain point, Jordan was more brand than man. He surely is now. Despite playing America's urban game, he was heedless of urban issues. He was unconcerned with Nike's overseas sweatshop machine and seemingly ignorant -- willfully or otherwise -- of the noxious outgrowths of the Air Jordan phenomenon.

Stephon Marbury isn't Michael Jordan on the court, and, thanks to the Starbury Line, he's also not Michael Jordan off the court. In the latter case, that's a good thing.

No one's suggesting -- no one serious, anyway -- that this is The Basketball Shoe That Changed the World. However, anything that strikes a blow against the cynical models of the past -- the one in which Nike tells young blacks that they must have Air Jordans regardless of cost and then accepts no culpability for what follows --is progress. This shoe, then, is progress.

Heck, if someone were to soil Buggin' Out's $15 pair of Starbury One's, he might just let it slide.