The Story Behind Each Artwork
Season 1 & 2
Winter is coming in the north and the Timberwolves have bred a new pack leader in Karl-Anthony Towns. Young, resilient and constantly earning more respect in the NBA hierarchy, KAT is ready to expand the packs territory.
While individual wolves have been able to overpower larger prey, their advantage is in collaborating with their pack. The pack uses their conditions and surroundings to their advantage and will look to venture over tough terrain in the west to make it to the promised land, the NBA playoffs.
The splash bros
Steph Curry & Klay Thompson are The Splash Brothers, the starting PG & SG duo of the Golden State Warriors. The Splash Brothers nickname refers to the duo's ability to "splash" the net with the ball, particularly on three-point shots.
Arguably two of the greatest shooters of all-time, The Splash Brothers can make it rain from anywhere on the court. The shooting range, quickness of release and fundamentally sound shooting form makes them a tough cover for anyone.
The four seasons are distinct and beautiful, but there is a fifth season for basketball fans, The Offseason. As the NBA season ends the offseason begins, players and fans of the game have time to rest, repair and become one with the game.
One of the most beautiful spectacles of the offseason is the numerous trades and signings you can observe, which can be compared to the Japanese cherry blossom, commonly known as sakura.
Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant players ever in the NBA. At 7 ft 1' and tipping the scales at 325 lb, he can easily be compared to Japan's finest sumo wrestlers. It wasn't only about this size though, his agility and coordination was comparable to many NBA guards.
The following season saw them facing each other as rivals, competing for trophies and ultimately getting it done in different ways. Durant won a championship, Westbrook won MVP, but this didn’t simmer the saltiness. The Warriors remain the champions but Westbrook has gathered a crew of samurai’s and is ready to challenge The Durantula again.
Dirk Nowitzki in the 2011 NBA playoffs could not be stopped, he was possessed. Round after round of the playoffs he took his oppositions souls and left them as Ikiryō.
Ikiryō are the souls of still-living people which have left their bodies and move about on their own. Ikiryō commonly appear due to some intense emotion, trauma, or the lack of ability to guard a fadeaway jump shot.
The Torii is a gateway that signals the transition from the profane to the sacred in Shinto religion. In many ways basketball is a gateway for people and their communities. The game offers a special sacred place to make friends, laugh and share stories. A place where people go to escape real life and come together as one to strengthen bonds and community.
The Greek Freak
Giannis Antetokounmpo is your modern day gladiator, the new spartacus and the new face of the NBA. Born in Athens, Greece, The Greek Freak is a truly unique player. Not only is it special that he came from a culture far from the NBA but his skill set and size is unlike anything seen before.
No legion will be left standing.
Russell Westbrook is The Brodie.
The real dude, the people’s man, the fashionista, the MVP, the man. Russ brings a unique vibe to every game and situation, wether it’s his record breaking triple-double season, his famous media interviews or just his loveable approach to life with the ’Why Not?’ mentality.
Here Russ channels his inner Brodie, flexing his Westbrook Frames while contemplating who to samurai next. Why not?
The air up there is pure. The Air Geisha are entertainers and are thoroughly trained in art, style and hang time. There has not been many who have made it to these heights throughout history besides the Air Geisha. The last to achieve an Air status in Edo Ball was the GOAT, Michael Jordan.
Bunnies, hops, ups or just jumping. Every ball player wants as much bunnies as possible, the higher you can jump the greater the dunk. This iconic coastal scene capturing the explosiveness of a basketball dunk is sure to impress.
There have been many great jumpers over the years but maybe none better than Half-Man, Half-Amazing, Vince Carter.
The second of the two original artworks which inspired the series. Yūrei is a faint spirit or also a ghost in the Japanese culture and religion. There are many different types of Yūrei, and they differ in many ways depending on the circumstances on their death.
One of the two original artworks which inspired the series. The Rock (a nickname for the basketball) is the centrepiece in the game of basketball. It lives, it gives, it takes away and the rock never lies.
Maybe the most amazing attribute of The Rock is it's ability to bring people together from all cultures, religions and backgrounds. Anybody can get in a game and shoot The Rock.
The Shōgun held absolute power throughout Japan for hundreds of years, with dominance comparable to that of a King.
Even though the Shogunate within Japan ended in 1868, a new Shogunate begun in the NBA in 2003 lead by Lebron James, who is still in power to this current day. Shōgun James has continually been the most powerful force within the association, dominating his 14 year career, proving year after year that there is still no general in the league who can take his place on the throne.
The reign MAN
Shawn Kemp, a.k.a The Reign Man was born November 26, 1969 and was one of the greatest high flyers of them all. He spent the majority of his NBA years playing for the Seattle Supersonics, a city which is notoriously known for always raining.
Kemps signature shoe, The Kamikaze is one of the most unique shoes to bless the hardwood and matched his on-court personality flawlessly.
THE object of desire
The one and only Object of Desire, the basketball. The sleepless nights after a bad game, the summer afternoons with the squad at the park. Fans of the game are born with the desire to play, to compete and to be involved in the culture of the game.
the black mamba
On the 23rd of August 1978, Kobe Bryant, a.k.a The Black Mamba was born. Kobe spent 20 seasons in the NBA showcasing his iconic playstyle which was much like the snake itself. A relentless attacker with fantastic coordination and fundamentals, Kobe had the ability to break down any defender 1 on 1 and took over games with the best of them.
"These young guys are playing checkers. I'm out there playing chess." - Kobe Bryant
Nobody was as pure with the ball and creating for his team in such a unique way. He was popular with team mates and fans. His popularity has continued well after his NBA career and his highlights can be found sprinkled throughout youtube.
Shinigami is the death reaper in the Japanese culture and religion and is responsible for inviting people to the underworld.
Shinigami was present on March 10, 2013 at a Detroit Pistons, LA Clippers game and is assumed to have been behind the vicious dunk by DeAndre Jordan on
Kawaii! And Kawhi Leonard, a.k.a The Klaw. A two way player for the San Antonio Spurs who is known for his
Sporting a long wingspan and extremely large hands makes The Klaw a nuisance on the defensive end of the court. Kawhi is also the leader of the Cornrow Club, being one of the last NBA players to rock cornrows.
We have all have played against a sniper, a long range shooter who camps on the three point line raining down shots from a distance. This iconic artwork of Sir Snipealot showcases the fundamental shooting form possessed by the games
But there is also another sniper in the game, the one responsible for flopping. A flop is an intentional fall by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul.