Converse Took Over the ATL Last Weekend..Ed Lee Reports
The Converse Band of Ballers invaded Atlanta, GA this past weekend, and there was a ton of buzz locally about the event. Converse has always been known to make a quality product and has been very active in the basketball shoe market for decades.
The first event was The Converse Tip-Off, which was a chance for Converse to show some of their new fall products, and to give people an idea of how involved they are in the Atlanta community. Converse donated 3,000 basketballs to a variety of schools in the Atlanta area. The Tip-Off also had interactive events, such as a red carpet for various celebrities and models to be photographed, and there was a “T-shirt van” that allowed the crowd to get various types of custom-made Converse style t-shirts. There was also a D.J. and open bar that kept all the guests entertained throughout the night. Some notable people spotted at the event were former NBA player Dion Glover, music group 112, Jermaine Dupri, and model Melyssa Ford.
The actual Band of Ballers Tournament kicked off at around noon on Saturday at the Gymnasium on Clark Atlanta’s campus. Hip-hop star Jim Jones’ team were the defending champions and were confident that they would retain the title. I actually got a clip of Jones expressing his confidence, and I couldn’t help but believe him. Atlanta hip-hop artists Jermaine Dupri and Shawty-Lo talked a lot of trash and expressed how their teams would be the ones to take down the crown. There was even a surprise as hip-hop artist Cam’ron showed up to show support for his long-time associate Jim Jones. Looks like they have mended any issues that they may have had in the past. Jim Jones even shouted out BlackSportsOnline; he was the only person to do this and as Robert would say, “The Basketball Gods noticed.”
The tournament was double-elimination, so an early round loss did not mean that the team’s championship hopes were gone. Not sure if it was the early start, but a lot of the basketball action was sloppy and difficult to watch. Things became real tense as everyone was complaining about calls and just arguing with each other in general. Jim Jones even challenged Jermaine Dupri to a $175,000 bet, in which J.D. wisely declined. And although the tournament was double-elimination, Jim Jones’ team “The Family Jones” went on to win without obtaining any losses. The Harlem-based squad were well in sync with each other and you can tell they have been playing together for a long time.
The final event was the BBQ/afterparty at the Astorium, which actually was music producer Dallas Austin’s private residence. It was an invite-only event. I was left off the list, but the impact and connections I made throughout the weekend allowed me to slide past the tight security. There was a variety of up-and-coming hip-hop acts performing throughout the night while everyone enjoyed catered food and free drinks. Everyone was also provided a ticket that allowed them to get a free pair of shoes before they left the event. To top things off, they provided the Mayweather vs Mosley boxing match on a variety of screens, so there was no reason for people to leave.
With that said, Converse put on a very entertaining weekend and showed why they have been such a successful company for all these years. I was very honored to have been a part of this and would like to see many more of these in the future. Please enjoy the pics that were taken throughout the weekend.