Sneaker Stories: Justin Brownlee likes to keep it fresh

Paul Kennedy Lintag on Apr 03, 2020 04:58 PM
Sneaker Stories: Justin Brownlee likes to keep it fresh
“There’s nothing like a fresh pair of shoes, man." — Justin Brownlee. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

It’s gotta be the shoes.

Sneakers are all the craze these days, everyone’s after them whether you’re an actual sneakerhead or just in it for the business of it.

Since footwear is pretty big on basketball, basketball folks are naturally the source of some heat. After all, your expensive Js were originally made so you can play basketball in them.

In this short series, this writer gets in on the Sneaker Stories of some of our favorite PBA personalities.

Ginebra’s resident import, the fan-favorite Justin Brownlee, is the first in line.


The Magazine

Some years ago, when everything couldn’t be found and bought on the internet, a popular way to browse and pick up shoes was via Eastbay magazine. Eastbay is a retailer in the US and it had a monthly subscription service with all the shoes it had on stock.

It was a sneaker catalogue, pretty much.

Brownlee had those magazines, and he would take note of all his favorites. Back then, he couldn’t exactly afford to get every release.

“When I was younger, unfortunately I couldn’t afford some of the higher end shoes. There used to be this book called Eastbay… the magazine. I used to look at that magazine, look at every shoe and pick out my favorites on each page and just dream to have them one day,” Brownlee told this writer.

“I was always into them. Fortunately, as I got older I started buying more and more shoes, I just always love them,” he added.

Brownlee is an OG, he got his shoes and used them to play basketball.

As a basketball player growing up, Michael Jordan inspired Brownlee’s hoops journey and just naturally gravitated towards the shoes that had His Airness’ liking. Later, the Black Mamba influenced Brownlee and some of Kobe Bryant’s shoes became a staple for him too.

“It was mostly because of the basketball,” Brownlee said on his love for sneakers.

“The Jordans, of course for Michael Jordan, he’s a big inspiration. For every basketball player in the world, he probably inspired them in some kind of way. Kobe is another favorite,” he added.


The List

On the basketball court, Brownlee is as clutch as a PBA import could get. His Ginebra teams have gone to four PBA Finals and won four championships.

Arguably the best basket in the league’s last decade was courtesy of Brownlee, hitting his own version of “The Shot” to win the 2016 Governors’ Cup Finals.

But in a rare instance of struggle, Brownlee took a while before naming his five most favorite shoes. He just loves sneakers it’s hard to narrow it down to five.

“Top-5 sneakers? That’s a tough one. The colorways would be so hard, but I’m gonna do the Jordan 1s, the Jordan 11s, Nike Air Force 1. Those are like the casual shoes, right?” he said.

“And then if you go over to the basketball shoes, it’s a tough one too… wow. Man, I would come back with the Jordans but I’ll have to say the Kobe… what number was that? Was it the high tops, the one that looked like the boxing shoes [Kobe 9s]? I used to love those. The Kobe 8 and 9 I really liked,” Brownlee added.

As a lover of sneakers, Brownlee’s choices might change in time. He’ll have his classics and he’ll continue to pick up all the latest releases.

That’s just how it goes. JB is a sneakerhead through and through.

“Yeah, I like shoes,” he said.

“There’s nothing like a fresh pair of shoes, man,” Brownlee added.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8


(Note: Interview was done before Kobe Bryant's accident)

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