The best, and only, NBA player wearing AND1 during the current NBA season is the Indiana Pacer’s Lance Stephenson. While the leading candidate for most improved player of the year laced up a pair of green kicks to commemorate Martin Luther King day this year, we hoped he was going to break out these ME8 Tributes that AND1 created in 2009.
AND1 ME8 Tribute “MLK” uploaded by pdxjedi
During that time, then-Golden State Warrior guard Monta Ellis was the lucky recipient of these special kicks since the appropriately named ME8 was his first signature model. It is also the first AND1 Tribute model from the brand. The special edition sneaker was one Monta was proud of stating, “Dr. King gave me the opportunity to dream of a better life. It is up to all of us to follow our dreams in his honor.” Premium materials in the form of white tumbled leather matched with nubuck created the shoe’s look. Finished off with a gum sole, these were made for the streets as much as they did the NBA hardwood. The cherry to this design was the addition of a special message woven onto the inner tongue.
The tribute model arrived in special packing including metal certificate of authenticity. A hard one to track down as only 1929 pairs were created as an homage to the Dr. King’s birth year. A portion of the proceeds benefited Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute, which aims to further knowledge about Dr. King’s life and the movements that he supported. Martin Luther King Jr. day may have come and gone this year, but these allow you to pay respect to the man anytime of the year.