It was a long time coming, but NBA superstar Paul George finally got a signature. And last Saturday, 80 Nike+ members and a handful of select media members got an exclusive chance to try the PG1s ahead of its March 4 release date in an intense setting, fitting the play style of the Indiana Pacers forward.
Even more fitting was the selection of De La Salle University Green Archers head coach Aldin Ayo as the day’s drill master. The coach of defending UAAP champions, Ayo has built a reputation on the non-apologetic “Mayhem” system. If there was any local team that lived up to the Fullcourt Ferocity, it was Ayo’s full-court pressing, run-and-gun Green Archers.
All the drills, even the stretching portions, were done full-court. Participants zipped up and down the court, having to pass, change directions, and finish at the rim to put the PG1s through the perfect test. Leading the drills were the young pillars of La Salle’s “House of Chaos” – Kib Montalbo, Aljun Melecio, Andrei Caracut, and Ricci Rivero – who were all grizzled in the same drills.
“Si coach kasi gusto niya talaga na hindi lang kami gagawa sa opensa, dapat matindi ang effort namin sa depensa. Hindi pwedeng sa isa lang. Parang si Paul George lang,” said the sweet-shooting Aljun Melecio, whom Ayo generously claims can play small forward.
“Every time na gumagawa ako nang mga session, I’ll make sure na ‘yung pinapagawa kong drills magagamit nang mga bata,” Ayo added.
Most of the drills were, Ayo admitted, staples of his practices with La Salle. From the fundamentals of the fastbreak — which has made the Green Archers the top-transition team in the UAAP — to the quick-hitting, basket-penetration exercises, the proud son of Sorsogon was willing to share his trademark methods.
“Hindi naman ako hesistant na ilabas ‘yung ginagawa namin kasi once na. ma-counter ‘yun, ma-oobliga ka mag-isip nang bago,” he explained.
“Walang problema talaga sa akin na ituro ‘yung mga ginagawa namin. I always go for the unconventional approach. I hope na nakita ng participants ‘yung Fullcourt Ferocity sa mga ginawa namin kanina.”
The shoe itself tailors George’s smooth personality with signature Nike performance attributes to create a great representation of one of the NBA’s best two-way players. The forefoot strap with Flywire cable loops, Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, and its general construction provide a dynamic feel to the foot.
What makes the shoe standout most is George’s personal touches: his chic bow tie logo, the reference to the life-changing leg injury he experienced during an exhibition game of Team USA, and the dates on each shoe. That it retails for just PHP 5795 is the icing on an already-delectable cake.
Overall, the day lived up to its promise: everyone left ferociously tired, and there was excitement for Paul George’s first of many signature shoes.
Transitioning George into being one of its signature athletes makes sense for Nike. His unique story, All-Star level talent, and personality have the potential for more tremendous shoes.