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Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant wearing special Christmas shoes

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Nike is rolling out many of its new Christmas shoes for the big games on Christmas Day, and they are loud as ever. Superstars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James all have special shoes they are wearing on Christmas that will be available on Wednesday. Here are the details on the shoes, close-up photos, and their prices. As Matt Moore at CBS Sports said, get ready for an acid trip looking at these kicks:

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Raptors F Amir Johnson has his own face on his shoes (Picture)

The sneakers you see above belong to Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson. He wore them in his team’s opener against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. The face you see on those sneakers also belongs to Amir Johnson.

It takes a certain type of person to want their own face looking back at them when they look down at their feet, but to each his own. LeBron James was wearing some crazy kicks with some personalized inscriptions on them when the Miami Heat kicked off their season, but I don’t think even he would have the stones to put his own face on his sneakers. Johnson proudly shared a picture of the shoes on Twitter before Wednesday’s game, so I guess you can say he has swag. Good for him.

H/T The Basketball Jones via Eye on Basketball

LeBron James wearing gold shoes for season opener against Celtics (Pictures)

With the Miami Heat set to receive their NBA championship rings before tipping off the season against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, you had to know LeBron James would have some special swag in store for the occasion. LeBron will be rocking some gold-themed Nike LeBron X sneakers — you know, the same shoes King James has found himself defending because of the insane price tag associated with them.

My guess is these ones cost a bit more.

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LeBron James defends price of expensive LeBron X shoes

LeBron James defended the price of his expensive signature shoe that was released by Nike recently.

Nike introduced the “LeBron X” shoe last week, over a month after receiving criticism for the sneaker’s high price. James says the criticism was unfair because most of the information cited was inaccurate. He noted to the South Florida Sun Sentinel that one version of his shoe is $180, and that the $270 version of the shoe includes special technology.

“We have wide ranges of shoes that range from $300 all the way down to $160, $180,” he told the Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. “We have great technology and they do a great job of putting out great shoes and things of that nature.

“But it just bothers you when things aren’t always correct. But other than that, we move on and we get the real facts out there and we live with them.”

While $270 is not as high as the $310 price tag initially cited for the shoe, most believe it’s still a ridiculous amount of money to spend on basketball sneakers. Even $180 seems like a lot, but consumers can always make a statement by refusing to pay that much.

Our own Shahe B. argued in August that despite their expensive cost, the LeBron X shoes mark an important step in basketball shoe technology.

Below is Nike’s commercial for the shoes:

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Derrick Rose cries at launch for his new adidas shoes (Video)

Derrick Rose is one of the few athletes who doesn’t mind showing his true emotions in public. The Bulls point guard gave an extremely emotional speech last year after winning NBA MVP, and he showed the same type of emotion at the launch of his new adidas shoe.

As Brett Pollakoff of Pro Basketball Talk shared with us on Thursday, Rose cried at the launch for his new D Rose 3 shoes. Adidas had played a video chronicling Rose’s rehab and return from a torn ACL suffered in April, and it got the former MVP thinking about all he had been through in life to arrive at this point.

“It’s truly a blessing,” Rose reflected, while holding back tears. “With all of the stuff that’s going on in this city, a kid from Englewood has got something positive going on. That makes me feel so good. This shoe is great; all this is great. But I can’t explain this. I can’t. I went through so much. To have, like, true fans, that means a lot to me. And I know it means a lot to my family, because we’re not supposed to be here. At all. But God made the way.”

If there’s another athlete who is as aware of his past and path to stardom, you’ll have to let me know. Maybe Rose’s connection to his long road to success is what motivates him to work as hard as he does. It certainly explains why he never takes a moment for granted.

$300 LeBron X shoes and Nike’s evolution as a company

$300 basketball shoes.  That little notion is driving the entire sports world insane this week.

Some people are shocked about the price, as if no one has ever seen the price of a nice pair of Salvatore Ferragamos or any other finely crafted shoe with less than 10% the research and technology of the LeBron Xs. Some are questioning LeBron’s character, as if he twisted Nike’s arm and forced them to overprice his signature show in some sort of evil genius plan to make every single person on the planet buy his shoes by making them incredibly unaffordable. And there are those who are trying to defend the whole ordeal. Good luck to the latter; people still hate LeBron for no real conceivable reason.

For the purposes of my own sanity, let’s look past the LeBron vitriol and let’s just concentrate on these cutting edge shoes and their wallet-slicing price tag. The real issue here is a question of “want” vs. “need,” and more specifically, who “wants” and who “needs” these shoes.

We live in a relatively free world where no one is forced to buy anything. For everything you can buy there is always an alternative that is more affordable (or more expensive, if you desire). So why is everyone worked up over the price of these shoes? Nike isn’t forcing you to spend $300 — which by the way is only a rumored price and not Nike’s set price — and there is no prerequisite saying you need to own a pair to cheer for LeBron and the Heat. You don’t even need a pair of $300 LeBron Xs to get some run in a pick up game. You can buy brand new basketball shoes for under $50 and have just as much fun at the local courts as the guy in a pair of new Kobes. And if you shop diligently, you might even be able to pick up a pair of new Kobes for under $100.

Like I said: the choices are there, no one needs to own a pair of LeBron Xs. And if you’re still angry at Nike and LeBron, vote with your dollar and don’t buy the shoe.

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LeBron James unveils ‘LeBronald Palmer’ Arnold Palmer inspired shoes (Picture)

When you’re an NBA champion and can no longer be labeled a choker, you can pull off footwear like this. LeBron James took to Instagram on Tuesday to unveil some new Arnold Palmer-inspired kicks he calls the “LeBronold Palmer 9 lows.” As you can see, they even come equipped with a picture of Arnie’s favorite drink in the sole of the shoe.

While basketball shoes like the LBJ MVP sneakers and those ridiculous dinosaur-looking ones Kobe launched around Christmas could only be accepted by the basketball community, the LeBronold Palmer’s may interest cribbage enthusiasts in retirement communities across Florida. Good for LeBron for trying to bridge the gap between the South Beach scene and the octogenarian population.