If you already know SLAM, then you need to know my story, however I need to actually get into the journey I’ve been on…
I’ve all the time tried to do issues a unique approach, and I’ve by no means been afraid of taking a threat.
That meant going to Oak Hill, once I was already the #1 participant within the nation, trigger I wished to run at 6 AM on daily basis. Study from the perfect Excessive College coach of all time, Steve Smith. I wished to play the perfect schedule within the nation. I wished to interrupt Melo’s scoring file. I wished to place my abilities on show, each evening, and see if my love for the sport, and that $30 orange ball, may get me hundreds of thousands. (And I did all that.)
Once I skipped faculty and went professional in Rome, I took an excellent larger threat. I signed a shoe cope with a soccer model that had by no means even launched a basketball shoe, and I took satisfaction in that shit. I trusted Kris Stone and Kevin Plank and the imaginative and prescient all of us had. I knew all of us had that very same canine mindset to get after it.
I’m the OG at Below Armour, had their 1st ever signature shoe, and to today I’m pleased with that call. The best way I checked out making large selections, I used to be all the time prepared to take a threat, however assured about what I carry to the desk. I used to be open minded, however knew how a lot work must go into constructing issues from scratch. I all the time knew what I signed up for. And I used to be hyper aggressive and wished to create some actual power.
That kind of mindset was additionally precisely how Kevin Plank constructed the entire model from his grandma’s basement.
I all the time had that very same entrepreneurial spirit, and you’ll most likely see that now too, ever since I launched my very own model — Tuff Crowd.
And now, it’s all coming full circle.
My Draft classmate, who I name Thirty, took an opportunity on UA a handful of years after me too.
When Stephen Curry first signed on with Below Armour, he hadn’t even made an All-Star Recreation but. (He began the very subsequent one.) His crew hadn’t received a hoop in like 40 years. (He received his first of 4 titles the yr after that.) He bought a signature shoe too, and now he’s on his eleventh. (He received MVP within the 1, then once more within the 2s.)
So it’s solely proper that the 2 guys that laid the inspiration of Below Armour Basketball are coming collectively now for a full collaboration assortment.
Once I first launched Tuff Crowd in 2019, it was constructed on a easy thought. Life is a Tuff Crowd, and issues don’t all the time go in response to plan. That’s what I began to essentially determine once I was on my own and taking part in in China that yr. Stuff will get thrown your approach that you simply didn’t assume you’d ever need to cope with, however you gotta energy by means of.
That’s the place the thought of my “Hostile Territory” tagline comes from. You gotta have that canine mindset to get previous the struggles, and belief me, when you’ve that perception that issues will work out, there’s no higher feeling than being on the opposite facet.
I’ve been by means of all of it. I tore my Achilles and my complete life modified. Modified the entire course of the place I assumed my profession was headed. I used to be on a run proper earlier than that and taking part in my greatest hoop ever. However that’s life.
Buddies and fam points got here up that you simply couldn’t think about. Conditions the place I needed to battle by means of, that made me stronger. I spent quite a lot of time on my own once I was taking part in in China and Russia, the place I may actually mirror. And I’ve perspective, appreciation, and perception reason for all of it. I’m at peace with the trail I’ve lived.
All of that goes into Tuff Crowd.
Folks may not know this, however throughout the NBA lockout in 2011, I really interned at Below Armour for that complete summer season in Baltimore. Kevin Plank loaned me his black Jeep to drive round. Had a complete workplace with my job title on it — “Curator of Cool.”
Being in there on daily basis, with Kris Stone, Ron Johnson and Ryan Drew, was all the pieces. Having the ability to see how issues work as an organization, and studying about supplies, materials, designs, consolation and completely different kinds, it helped me get extra detailed about how I wished my product to be.
That complete internship helped me lots. Waking up on daily basis, going to the workplace and dealing on tasks that needed to be delivered by a sure time and required an consideration to element — it was my basis of understanding how manufacturers and enterprise works.
With regards to type, I all the time felt like I had a watch for stuff that was easy, however daring. Drewsy at UA used to all the time joke that he may drop me off at a Goodwill for 10 minutes, give me $20 bucks to cop a complete outfit, and I’d come out contemporary.
I all the time simply had that really feel. That sauce.
I’d be on LeagueFits on daily basis if it was round again then.
Since I’ve been engaged on my model for the final couple years, we’ve had a ton of highlights for certain. Getting featured in NBA 2K has been killer. Doing an official collab with the Bucks was loopy.
And I gotta give a shout out and particular due to Jordan Clarkson. He actually believed since day one which Tuff Crowd would take off, and he rocked the entire match when he received sixth Man of the Yr. You don’t have any thought how a lot that help has meant to me.
Seeing gamers rock Tuff Crowd at championship parades, within the tunnel and at All-Star occasions ever since has been wonderful.
However this, I’m telling you, is the dopest factor I ever labored on.
You already know Steph is locked in for all times at UA, and with Curry Model, he’s trying to actually construct up the type and designs of what he’s placing out.
That’s why we teamed up.
Tuff Crowd and Curry Model — however not only a shoe, or a pair items. An entire assortment. We’ve bought three sneakers off prime, and virtually 20 items of drugs and equipment. And the story behind it’s nice.
The concept of 11:11 is large for me.
The bones design on the gathering come straight from my neck tattoo, and it’s a religious reminder for me.
It speaks to understanding who you’re, what your function is, and alignment along with your path and what God has in retailer for you. When you consider it, there’s no higher illustration of that than Stephen.
He’s a great dude at his core, he’s locked in on what issues most, and he desires to essentially, genuinely, assist folks out. Irrespective of for those who’re from Charlotte, Oakland, or wherever else in between, he has a complete crew round him that’s there to get issues transferring and make a distinction. I’ve seen that firsthand.
Steph has been rocking with Tuff Crowd because the begin. It’s humorous, trigger earlier this summer season, I used to be randomly wanting up a few of our unique orders from TuffCrowd.com, and certain sufficient, Steph had purchased one of many first beanies that we dropped years in the past. He rocks the collar sew tees. The dad hats. The canine hoodies too.
And naturally, that fireside ass black and purple chain sew jacket that I made him after he broke the 3-Level file, with 2974 on the wrist, and patches repping his children on the sleeve.
However that is completely different. We’ve bought some Curry 11s which have black Move tech for the primary time ever for Curry Model. The Cozy we did is so fireplace and clear. We bought a hoody that I believe is the perfect clothes merchandise that Curry Model has ever made. We bought tees, socks, shorts, hats and a tote bag that’s my go-to, everyday joint.
I wished to carry an edge to this assortment and present one other facet of Stephen, that individuals haven’t seen. There’s a temper the entire approach by means of. Folks assume Steph is only a good man, however belief me, he’s hostile on the market on the courtroom, with how aggressive he’s. He assaults all the pieces he does in life with intent and function, and I wished to have a good time that a part of his sport and his mentality by means of the designs.
It’s concerning the particulars. The story. And the concept two of UA’s most impactful dudes early on can come collectively once more and put out some actual warmth that you simply’ll really need to rock. To dinner. Within the tunnel. On the courtroom. Together with your fam. Wherever.
I’m large on the thought of possession. Of operating your personal factor. Placing your title, your imprint and your stamp on one thing which you can stand behind and be pleased with. That’s what Steph is doing now as President of Curry Model, what I’m constructing with Tuff Crowd, and actually the roots of how Below Armour took off.
When my man launched his personal rattling Curry Model on the finish of 2020 (which is killer…learn that sentence once more!!), one of many first issues he instructed everybody at UA was one thing like, ‘Look, this isn’t even about me, now we have an actual alternative right here to affect the following era.’
They got here up with a tagline for Curry Model to explain the thought: “Change The Recreation For Good”
Ever since, I’ve been in a position to see that affect up shut.
I’ve been at Curry Camp the final two summers now, the place Stephen is strolling the highest subsequent up dudes and ladies by means of each drill, each element and giving them some actual discuss how you have to assume the sport at that highest degree. All these girls and boys are the perfect at what they do — proper now — however that doesn’t assure nothin when the lights come on, on the largest stage, just a few years from now.
We all know Steph’s story. He laughed and instructed all of the Camp gamers, that when he was their age, he wouldn’t have even been invited to his personal camp. That ought to say lots proper there. There’s work, element and intent that you simply gotta pour in, to get to the place we’ve gotten.
The week after his camp final yr, I pulled as much as a center college in Lengthy Seaside, the place him and Snoop Dogg had re-done the complete gymnasium for the LBC neighborhood.
Man, you shoulda seen the smile on these children’ faces. I can’t even start to let you know how a lot hope that gives to all of the youngins arising, to get to see STEPH CURRY proper up shut, and know that he cares about them and needs to assist them out.
Look — the sneakers and the garments we’re dropping are arduous as hell. Like, actually among the hardest stuff I’ve ever dropped since I even began Tuff Crowd.
However Steph’s line that he makes use of — “Change The Recreation For Good” — is actual.
That’s what makes this subsequent sentence so wonderful.
As a part of our 11:11 assortment launch this week on Saturday, we’re really taking it again to my hometown health club in LA, the place I actually picked up a ball at 5 years previous and discovered easy methods to hoop. The place our youngsters league director JK made certain we had a protected place to play. I bought the trophy to show it.
I’m speaking Rowley Park.
Again in 2011, one of many first givebacks I did with UA was donate a brand new outside courtroom on the park. The road indicators say Brandon Jennings Approach and Below Armour Approach. And for the entire final decade it grew to become a spot the place children from the neighborhood may escape and simply play. Simply have enjoyable. Simply be children.
This time round, I wished to do much more.
That inside health club in Gardena, California ain’t seen any love since I used to be there in elementary college. It was the identical arduous courtroom I dribbled on as a child. The identical partitions and all the pieces.
And we’re about to improve and overhaul the entire thing.
An entire new Rowley Park, that’s gonna final for years to return.
It’s gonna have “TUFF CROWD” on the baselines. My canine brand on the middle courtroom. The Curry splash brand with the barbwire in the important thing. And on the sidelines, it says “Change The Recreation For Good.”
11:11 is all about timing. All about stability. All about alignment, and issues understanding for you when your power is correct.
The “011” on the hardwood means it’s the eleventh courtroom that Curry Model has helped to re-do and improve since 2020. That’s timing proper there.
We’re gonna kick the health club re-opening off with a basketball camp for teenagers. After which let my hometown get a primary crack at copping the entire Tuff Crowd x Curry Model assortment. It’s gonna be one of many proudest days ever.
All of that is as full circle because it will get for me. I’m hoping it exhibits the facility of what gamers can present for the communities that constructed them and supported them on their journey to someplace as wonderful because the Affiliation. And how one can proceed to seek out new passions in life, like being a clothes designer, or perhaps a co-host on a basketball present.
It additionally exhibits how affect isn’t nearly launching some contemporary black and purple sneakers and a few arduous garments — it’s additionally about leaving one thing actual for the youngsters arising subsequent.
The youngsters from Compton and Gardena that have to know they’ll discover their path in life. They’ll energy by means of any state of affairs they’re confronted with. They’ll channel that Tuff Crowd mindset and hold going.