Video Series: Artist Turns Basketball Idols Into Art Classics

We won’t lie. We aren’t the first to claim this. Ever since Dr. J bequeathed his talents to MJ, who bequeathed them to Vince Carter, who bequeathed them to LeBron, you can’t watch any NBA Entertainment video without hearing someone compare the game to art. Whereas football is unadulterated aggressiveness and baseball rugged strength, basketball is grace. Style. Swagger. It is an artist’s playground.

Enter Brian Bowens, aka bbsketch. Bowens is developing a following through his unique sneaker and basketball drawings (He even drew our own Russ Bengtson!), often showcasing players of past generations rocking iconic shoes.

Complex Sneakers featured Bowens’ work last summer, and he’s since started a video series detailing his approach. From Allen Iverson in the Question to Kevin Johnson in the FILA KJ7, Bowens tells the stories of his favorite childhood players through each individual drawing.

“Even growing up,” says Bowens, “I loved just how designers were able to look at a signature move of a player or see how a player moves and come up with different concepts for a shoe, whether it be colorway, how versatile the shoe would be to fit this player’s style of play, just that whole mindset of designing around something, making something functional for that specific player.”

The Jenkintown, Penn., native has launched four episodes in the series so far and plans to do many more revolving around upcoming sneaker releases, memorable NBA moments, and classic Air Jordans. For Bowens, it’s all about respecting the history. Check ’em out.

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