Dave LaMorte is the host of the Teaching for the Future podcast, about implementing media and technological literacy into education. He's here to cast a less-cynical light on things. You can hear the show at http://www.teachingforthefuture.com.
There are few things that annoy me more than expensive junk that is marketed to milk people for everything they're worth. It's bad enough that you have to pay exorbitant prices to see a basketball game, it's worse that you have to pay ten dollars for watery beer. This also happens closer to home -- you can go to your local mall and pay $100 for a pair of sneakers, but you'll look like a fool when they're out of style in another week.
If you want a pair of LeBron's Zoom LeBron IIIs or a pair of Iverson's The Answer, be prepared to pay top dollar. But finally we can relax because there is hope emerging from all of the star-endorsed rip-offs we've been accustomed to. Stephon Marbury is putting out his own line of athletic wear and sneakers called Starbury. The line is targeted to lower-income and inner-city kids, where notoriously passionate basketball kids, the type who'd want nothing more than to rep their favorite player, reside. Marbury is making his products easier for these people to buy by pricing them more affordably. In fact, the Starbury One, the iconic shoe of the line, is priced at only $14.98.
It seems that Marbury is trying to give back to the community by supplying the streets another option. He's hoping to give you the greatest bang for your buck by putting out "exactly the same as the most expensive kicks on the market, but available at the lowest price ever for an NBA quality sneaker." Though this may seem like no big deal to most people, this is Marbury's attempt at setting the right example for kids who might look up to him.
Although Marbury has recently had problems dealing with former coach Larry Brown, he's known for having a generous personality -- as the sixth of seven children raised in a constant struggle on Coney Island, it seems as if Marbury hasn't forgotten his roots. His cynics might forget that he's been named to The Sporting News' list of "Good Guys in Sports" three times. He's donated $1M to relief efforts in Katrina, one of the highest donations in the NBA, and he's supplementing seven barbers in Coney Island so that neighborhood kids can get free haircuts. This is another in a long line of altruistic behavior on Marbury's behalf. I doubt anyone will covet or collect these shoes like Air Jordans, but maybe that's a good thing.