Matt Bonner meets his shoe crisis head on, Twitter style


Matt Bonner takes to social media to fill the New Balance shaped hole in his shoe closet.

"I'm down to two pairs now, so I might be like Mr. Magorium and, when those shoes are done, just retire. That's the end of my career." ­- Matt Bonner

One of my favorite ways to pass time during the offseason is to track the rumored improvements hyped by players around the league. Before this year's "Is Kevin Durant adding muscle to post up more?" came the intrigue of "Did LeBron add a ‘skyhook' to his game?" Before both of these was, of course, "Has Kobe mastered the Dream Shake?" These storylines provide a unique level of anticipation for fans eagerly awaiting a new NBA season.

But what do you do when you're a player at the top of your game? What do you do when you can dunk like Shaquille O'Neal, cross somebody over like Joe Johnson, and shoot fire like Stephen Curry? When you've reached the zenith of athletic ability in the most competitive basketball league on the planet, what's left for you to add?

A shoe deal, of course.

When the Spurs walked away from last season a stunned and demoralized group, there was talk around the team of individual improvements. Trades were made. The offense was updated. Tim Duncan lost weight (again). Boris Diaw will finally, seriously, for real this time, become an aggressive offensive threat. Kawhi Leonard will have plays called for him and will even smile when you mention it to him. But our friend Coach B, Matt Bonner? How, exactly, does one improve on perfection?

With New Balance officially bowing out of the basketball shoe business, it appeared that their most famous celebrity endorser, currently down to just two pairs of his favorite 8026s, would be left looking for new signature kicks. Saddened by what appeared to be an inevitable conclusion to one of the NBA's greatest shoe/player partnerships, Matt Bonner refused to quit, turning to social media to help solve his shoe situation. And like the #LetBonnerShoot campaign last season, it was a Twitter campaign that helped him out.

It started, quietly, with an interview with popular sneaker site Nice Kicks, based out of Austin. Here's "The Ultimate King of Kicks on Court" himself, explaining his dilemma:

Even through the jokes - and that Kobe Tevas line was solid - you can see the sadness in his eyes. And while it's typical of Matt Bonner that he approached his New Balance sponsorship like he was setting up a Health Savings Account, it's clear that his strategy of stockpiling shoes from his deal five years ago won't carry him any further.

Soon after the interview was posted, it was announced that Bonner would also be briefly seizing control of the Nice Kicks Twitter account to publicize his desire for a shoe deal. After some quick tips from his brother Luke, Matt began his quest, sending out his first ever tweet in classic Coach B style.

Throughout his time running the Nice Kicks account, Matt peppered in some of his characteristic wit:

And he even provided some interesting news:

Pretty fantastic stuff. The very idea of a Matt Bonner/Stephen Jackson rap record turns my brain to mush. But alas, Matt Bonner means business, and he didn't waste any time, making his intentions known very quickly:

And incredibly, it seemed to work. Not even an hour later, the folks at New Balance responded to his passionate plea:

Matt, as expected, was emotional:

But he was also cautious:

And after no immediate reply, perhaps a bit desperate:

So while his original intent to find a shoe deal remains frustratingly unresolved, it would appear that the immediate problem of his dwindling New Balance supply has been solved. Perhaps not the victory he wanted, but it's a victory nonetheless. Having more New Balance pairs will come in handy in what will likely be a wild NBA season. After all, experience has shown that a blowout could be lurking around any defensive rotation. But for now, Coach B has already set his sights on a new personal goal:

Oh dear.

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