It was an eventful day yesterday at the Rucker Park. Former NBA player Shawn Kemp and current Sacramento Kings player Isaiah Thomas were in hand for the Reebok Kamikaze II “Letter of Intent” launch.
Isaiah Thomas introduced the legendary NBA power forward to the crowd of Harlem, which went wild for the Reign Man. Kemp then took a seat at the sidelines as Isaiah went on to play in his first EBC game wearing the Kamikaze’s in a nod to Kemp.
The Reebok Kamikaze II Mid “Letter of Intent” is now available at key retailers and is being sold for $100.
We had a chance to kick it with Shawn Kemp and get his thoughts on the success of his Kamikaze II, his favorite dunk of all time, and his thoughts on the next NBA season. Check out the exclusive interview below, and look out for a video regarding this event soon on our site.
As a former NBA player, tell the importance of the Rucker Park?
There’s a lot of history here. It’s something that everybody should experience. I’ve been talking about the Rucker Park for many years. It takes a tough person to come out here and play the game of basketball. You gotta have game, you gotta be tough, and you gotta be strong.
How do you feel about the nee found success of the Kamikazee 2?
It’s been great to reconnect with the fans. I’ve been doing a ton of community workout and a lot of other business ventures in Seattle. I miss the game of basketball and its a great way for me to get back in the game of basketball by promoting my shoes and getting back involved with Reebok. Am just gracious that everyone is wearing the sneakers and they like it. We got more to come in the near future.
How did the concept of the Reebok “Letter of Intent” shoe come about?
One of the greatest things I have ever accomplished is receiving a scholarship to Kentucky straight out of high school. Besides, blue is one of my favorite colors, so it has a lot of meaning to me, and I still love the University of Kentucky.
If you wore these “Letter of Intent” kicks during your college days what problems do you think you would’ve caused on the court?
I would’ve stayed a couple of more years if I was rocking these. There would’ve been no reason to leave.
You created many posterizing moments during your career, but what has to be your favorite dunk of all time?
My favorite dunk of all time had to be right here in New York at the Garden on another fellow Kentucky alumni Kenny Skywalker. That’s probably the one I remember the most and probably the hardest.
You are regarded as one of the most athletic power forwards to ever play the game. Who are some of today’s power forwards that you enjoy watching and how do you feel about the power forward position in today’s era?
I think the power forward spot is really hurting. I like LaMarcus Aldridge from the Portland Trailblazers, he’s a very good player. Blake Griffin is another good player, but he has some things to work on, which a lot of these guys always have to continue to work on, but they have great talent. The game changed so much from when I used to play, the power forward position is almost a useless position now. The guys that are big have to develop their skills to make it a point for the power forward to comeback, so the pressure is on the big guys to adjust the game and make themselves proven.
A lot of changes this off season in the NBA. Who do you think will give the Miami Heat a run for their money?
I think Brooklyn has a really good team. I don’t how well they’ll do in the regular season, but I look at their team and their size, and it’s gonna take a lot of strength to stop Lebron and the Miami Heat, so I think Brooklyn has a good matchup for them.
Roger Krastz @walldoe
Photo Credit: Retina Stewart