Rare Basketball Shoes Have a Big Name

The name, to me, is unforgettable, and is a red flag that advertising—and our tolerance—is certainly changing.

There’s a new pair of basketball shoes, boys and girls.

And they’re different in so many ways, starting with the name: “Grown Ass Man.”

Reebok came up with shoes to honor Washington Wizards guard John Wall and his 21st birthday. There’s a very limited amount of these shoes with this wonderful label.

That will spark conversation here and there, won’t it?

Can’t you imagine your kid coming into the house and insisting on getting these shoes, and asking for them by name? What would your answer be?

I’m not sure what I’d say. My son and daughter keep saying they’re going to bring me into the 21st Century. I’m not sure if I want to come in any more.

First of all, I wasn’t sure what Grown Ass Man meant, although it wasn’t that hard to figure out. Still, I looked it up in the various online dictionaries which, um, well, sort of said it means you’re a grown-up. Ergo, Reebok making shoes on Wall’s 21st birthday.

Things certainly have changed, including our tolerance for certain words.

I remember that when I went to , some of the parents were upset at my music teacher for teaching us a song that repeated the words "Lovin' You."

And when I was growing up here in Pikesville the word “damn” was considered racy.

I remember when KC and the Sunshine Band’s song “Shake Your Booty” raised more than a few eyebrows. The TV show “Soap” was banned in some markets because it talked about sex—a lot.

But now there's an ad with an often-forbidden word right there in print? Easy to see. Right in the middle. I started laughing when I first saw the shoes in a Washington Post blog.

Reebok, according to article, made 21 pairs.

I like them. They're very handsome—a mix of black and blue. They also come in a wooden box. Kind of like the cigars a grown man would smoke.

The Post said that the shoes can be bought for $210 in Raleigh N.C., with proceeds going to charity. I hope somehow they produce more and bring them here to Baltimore. That would be great.

And even though I own only three pair of shoes at a time—I'm too cheap and they cost too much—I know exactly what I would do.

I’d get up off my big butt and go buy them.


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