This year Nike's Tournament of Champions is said to feature some of the top teams from around the world and put them up against Team Nike from the mecca of streetball: New York City.
On Saturday, July 13th Nike hosted a tryout that featured 24 of the city's very best ball players on two teams that went head-to-head with each individual player making his case for a spot on the final roster.
The star power on the court was enough to draw a capacity crowd and command their attention, but there was something more to this game than one victory. Sure, bragging rights are always a part of the equation in NYC and everyone wants to put their best foot forward each time they touch the court. But still, there was more to this one.
To play for Team Nike is an honor. It is the objective stamp of approval from the city's top sponsor of its most elite tournaments. It lets those selected know that someone was watching and felt like this particular player was among the very best that NYC has to offer in the game. It's bragging rights to the tenth power.
Many have compared streetball during the summer in NYC to the NBA. Aaron "Problem" Williams told me he looks at streetball as his NBA. If indeed Nike brings in teams from around the world to measure up to the NYC talent, then this must be like the Olympics of street basketball.
Thus, this game was much more than just a game. It was plausibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent not only NYC, but America in a Tournament of Champions akin to the Olympics of streetball. No pressure!
When I heard about the event, I knew I had to grab my camera and get down there. Here, throughout this post, are some of the images I created during the game.
With the see-saw like back-and-forth action, something told me the final possession might be worth recording. So, I shot a few seconds of video and captured a crazy—if controversial—finish to an awesome game. The video is under one minute long and posted at the end.
If this game was any indication, Team Nike is going to be a formidable squad and whatever Nike has in store for basketball fans later this summer is sure to be a spectacular event in New York City (world?) history.
Now for that wild finish I alluded to earlier. Feel free to leave your comments below.