Written by: Vic Sebastian // Shot by: Jude Mallari

Nike’s partnership with the NBA is in full effect this 2017-2018 NBA season and today, we get a first look at the new Nike Air Force 1 NBA.

"Whether you’re playing or just a fan, the game of basketball can inspire you on the road to success. Providing the inspiration needed to help reach your goals, dreams and beyond is the all-new AF-1 Low NBA. Pushing many closer to their dreams and showcasing their love for the 1, the AF1 Low NBA features an exaggerated Swoosh logo that harkens back to Nike Basketball’s humble beginnings. The timeless Jerry West NBA logo is seen on the heel, while team colors help further showcase your team pride." - Nike

In the latest edition of Shoptalk, we sat down with sportscaster and writer Jutt Sulit to talk about Nike’s partnership with the NBA, the new NBA Air Force 1’s, and his love for one of the best organizations in sports—the Los Angeles Lakers.

// When did you become a Laker fan?

I became a Laker fan late 90s. To be honest, ‘di pa ata ako aware masyado sa NBA noon pero there was something about the Purple and Gold. From the jerseys to the overall package talaga. Una ko pa na favorite sa Lakers dati si Nick Van Exel. Pero ang favorite ko sa NBA at that time was Allen Iverson. So, it was more of me being able to relate to the team than the fandom of one player. Proud to say I was a fan before the Kobe and Shaq 3-peat. Siyempre kapag ‘yung team mo nananalo, ‘yung bond mo doon lumalakas so it just kept growing.

// Who’s your favorite Laker of all-time?

Kobe. I’m sure there were greats before, but he was the one I was watching growing up. He was the one I was emulating when I stepped on the court. “Kobe!” din sinisigaw ko kapag nagjujumpshot ako, just like any other Kobe fan.

// Let’s talk about Nike’s partnership with the NBA. What do you think is the impact of this partnership to the Lakers and to the other teams as well?

I always thought that Nike was the leading brand in terms of basketball. I also think that I wasn’t the the only one waiting for this collab to happen. Many fans have been waiting for Nike to become a bigger part of the NBA and now we have it. When you roam around the Philippines, you see guys in team shirts and jerseys. Sinusuot talaga nila ‘yung team nila and they really love representing their teams. If you give someone an opportunity to rock their team, they will. Now with the new Nike jerseys, the AF1 NBA, and all these options, I think lalakas lang ‘yung representation ng teams around their fans.

// What’s your favorite thing about the new Nike Air Force 1 NBA?

The fact that it’s a classic. You can’t go wrong with the Air Force 1. We grew up where the Air Force 1 was limited so you either got the white or the black one only. Now we got these options and now I got my Lakers colorway. People would think it’s hard to match but put on a Laker shirt, put on a white shirt, you can never go wrong with these.

// Will the Lakers make the playoffs this year?

As a Laker fan, I can say that they’re a decent team. I saw [Brandon] Ingram during the preseason and I really liked what I saw. [Kyle] Kuzma and [Lonzo] Ball too. You know, I hated to see D’Angelo Russell go but how they formed thi new young core, I think we’re headed in the right direction. Will it be this year? Maybe not. But I’m betting that my team will get back on the playoffs someday—someday soon.

The Nike Air Force 1 NBA 'Love For The 1' Statement Game Pack is out now in Titan Fort and TITAN22.COM.