The Game Plan By Champs Sports: One Year In

Back in 2013, The Game Plan by Champs Sports started regularly dropping new collections of athletic wear inspired by professional athletes playing for leagues including the NBA. Each pack includes signature sneaks as well as shorts, shirts, hats, and other pieces of clothing. Champs has done an amazing job with previous releases (yes, even the football and baseball ones), but its basketball offerings have finally peaked with the new LeBron James Graffiti Collection, inspired by the Miami Heat forward’s signature LeBron 11 shoe. As the successful set’s one-year anniversary approaches, we take a look at the coolest collections from past and present to see how we got there.

That new new: Nike LeBron graffiti collection
Despite the controversy surrounding the Nike LeBron 11 shoe, the sneaker has been a hot commodity and now comes in a new colourway exclusive to the LeBron graffiti collection. Its design comes from none other than Jason Petrie, who has been crafting LeBron’s shoes for the last five years. The sneaker dropped along with a smattering of other gear on Jan. 25, 2014. Among the other cool grabs are Nike LeBron Elite socks, a LeBron Hero t-shirt and a LeBron Home snapback hat, all in a deep red and black colour scheme and sporting hints of the graffiti motif.


Beast mode: Nike Sportswear safari pack
Champs released the safari pack into the wild early last September. Yes, this is technically a baseball collection, but you wouldn’t know it with the street-worthy styles it touts. The minimal black and infrared colour scheme took us back in time to a simpler era, when swooshes were bright and the prints were animal. The collection is anchored by a Nike Griffey 1 baseball shoe in a namesake safari print and infrared colourway, as well as Air Veer and Griffey Air Max 360 Swingman sneaks worthy of any collection. The safari scheme also made it onto a pair of shorts, tank top, t-shirt and hat.


Fresh prince: Jordan Brand Bel Air collection
Make no mistake, Will Smith was definitely the inspiration for the 90s-era prints running amok in this collection on socks, shorts and hats. The relatively neutral kicks in the pack include pairs of Jordan 6 Rings, Flight 45s, Prime Flights and Flight Origins, each sporting a different take on matte purples and greens. It’s a different story when you compare them to the loud spray-painted Five Pan hat and elephant-print shorts. Our favourite still goes to the “Go Fresh” t-shirt, a motto to live by if we’ve ever heard one.


The GOAT: Jordan XX8 collection
The one that started it all. No—not MJ, although he fits the bill. The Jordan XX8 pack is the Game Plan’s first collection, setting the tone for everything that followed after it released in February 2013. The theme was night vision and stealth, incorporating bright greens and black light-inspired hues. A pair of Air Jordan XX8s (what else?) sporting the brand’s then-new flight plate system and a zippered “stealth” upper anchored this collection, along with a pair of Jordan 1s in electric green, canyon purple and volt. The Air Jordan III Joker was also in the mix in a quiet black leather. Rounding things out were a minimal pair of shorts and a jacket with detachable hood.


Summer sells: adidas Originals adicolor royal-green collection
The “$#!+ Just Got Real” t-shirt just about sums up our reaction to this bright adidas pack. This collection was clearly made for summer, bringing colourful high-tops and tank tops to the table. Two-tone Court Additudes and Hardcourt IIs in matte neons are the sneakers that really make this pack, both being styles that can easily be rocked off the court if the night calls for it. Blown-up branding takes up some prime real estate on the tank top, track jacket and crew-neck fleece, plus a classic pair of adidas track pants.


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