And for once, I don't mean for the post title to be derisive or ironic. Starbury is actually doing something pretty cool and admirable.
If you missed Outside the Lines this morning--an almost total certainty, as I'm the only grandpa on here who's up at 8:30 on a Sunday--Stephon Marbury has designed and launched a basketball shoe called the Starbury One. The shoe is engineered and manufactured to the same standards as any other player-endorsed shoe but only costs $14.98, or about ten percent the price of the rival brands.
Marbury says he took on the idea "for the kids" (presumably just for U.S.-born and not Chinese kids, who will still make the same negative-26 Yen per shoe that they earn from Nike, but hey, at least he's helping someone). Marbury hopes the shoe can catch on with young ballers so that the $100+ their parents will save on shoes can be spent toward other luxury goods, such as food, doctor visits, and electricity.
Of course, the cheap price comes with a few hang-ups--number one being availability. Starbury Ones are so cheap, in part, because Steve & Barry's--a niche store with only 141 locations and virtually no advertising--carries the shoe exclusively. Also, the shoe itself won't be advertised, aside from Marbury's on-court modeling. Which gets to the final obstacle--that being Starbury's own popularity. Let's face it; he's not exactly Jim Belushi these days. (In case you didn't know, Jim Belushi is HUGE right now.)
Even still, I'm actually really rooting for this idea to take off, or at least have some notable impact on the basketball shoe market. And I must say, I have a good deal more respect for Marbury now--so much so that I'll start claiming the Knicks' problems to be 100% Steve Francis's fault (until he does something "for the keeds").
And one last thing: Where was Dwyane Wade with this idea? Wasn't he listening back at Marquette when Father Wild told him to "Be the Difference" and to be "an instrument of social justice"? Selfish bastard is too busy glitzing up his H2 (see recent SI) to think of something like this. Hey, I'm just sayin'. Dwyane Wade isn't Jesus, ok?