Official Jock Straps, Basket Ball Picnics, And More!

On August 22, 2008, in Gear, History, Humor, by Claude Johnson

Spalding once supplied the official “jockey suspensory” for all of basketball.

Early Laced Basketballs

On August 15, 2008, in Gear, History, by Black Fives Foundation

Did you know that early basketballs had laces? They had to be unlaced, pumped up, tested, and re-laced repeatedly until the air pressure of the rubber bladder inside was just right. These balls evolved to include external air pump holes, but the laces remained until the 1930s, when laceless designs were first introduced. The version […]

Toilet Style Basketball Hoops; The Original Flush?

On August 14, 2008, in Gear, History, Humor, by Black Fives Foundation

Ever wonder where the basketball term “flush” came from? What if it came from these early bottomless basketball baskets? Antique urinal. After each made field goal, a referee had to stop play in order to pull the draw string that tipped the basket just enough for the ball to fall out. The ball would go […]

How To Play Basketball, 1904 (Lessons For 2008 Olympians)

On August 4, 2008, in Gear, Health, History, Humor, NBA, by Black Fives Foundation

Here’s the a portion of the front cover of the 1904 publication “How To Play Basket Ball,” distributed by Spalding Sporting Goods.

Basket Ball Shoes, 1904 (Gum Bottom, E'rrybody Got 'Em)

On July 31, 2008, in Gear, History, by Black Fives Foundation

Pure gum bottom. E’rrybody got ‘em. In 1904, that is. That’s when A. G. Spalding Bros. was the Nike of its time. Whatever happened to Spalding? Maybe it was competition from the Converse Rubber Company, now Converse, which was formed in 1908. Or maybe it was because of the last line of this advertisement for […]

Three

On June 26, 2008, in Gear, History, Humor, NBA, by Black Fives Foundation

Speaking of Schoolhouse Rock, from the other day, remember this ad? The original version: The past and the present and the future …

Auctioning Limited Edition "Black Fives" #5 Jersey In Celtics Green On eBay (Proceeds To Kevin Garnett's Charity)

On June 12, 2008, in Gear, History, NBA, by Black Fives Foundation

When Kevin Garnett was traded to the Celtics, this became my favorite jersey: (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) (Click above for larger image.) While throwbacks […]

A Century Pack Free Throw

On April 24, 2008, in Gear, History, by Black Fives Foundation

My niece in D.C. gave me this idea for displaying the Converse Black Fives Century Pack: That’s an actual antique wooden Converse shoe crate at the bottom, and a vintage laced leather basketball nestled cozy in between. How have you put yours up?

My Favorite Black Fives Retros For Spring, All $100 Or Less

On April 22, 2008, in Gear, History, by Black Fives Foundation

In the headlines of the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) yesterday was this piece about how sluggish the U.S. athletic footwear industry is right now: Nike bucks trend of ‘uninspired’ U.S. market Here’s a quote from the article: “Nike still captures the high ground as far as authenticity and brand integrity,” said Claude Johnson, a former […]

Converse (And Black Fives) On FOX Business News

On April 18, 2008, in Gear, by Black Fives Foundation

Black Fives gets some burn on FOX Business News, as part of a clip about Converse’s 100th anniversary that aired yesterday. The Rens 1933 All Star, part of the Converse Century Pack. Check this out: That’s my man Scott Patt, my friend and former colleague from our way back days at Nike, who’s now Global […]

The New Black Fives "Cage Burn" Pieced-Leather All Stars

On April 16, 2008, in Gear, by Black Fives Foundation

So you think you want more burn? In the early days of basketball, that meant literally more burn! Games were played in cages. Mostly to protect the players from the spectators. But not from each other. And not from the pot belly stoves on all 4 sides of the court. Or the cigars of opposing […]

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Quote of the Month

“It is very seldom that the pioneer in any walk of life reaps the harvest from the seed he has sown. Ofttimes many of them even die without knowing the real good they have accomplished.”
—Lester Walton, pioneering African American sportswriter for the New York Age, 1907

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