The 2023-24 NBA season starts tonight, and one of my favorite players is back in action this season, and so are his third signature soles. The MB.03 from Puma is just as nice as I've hoped.
I wasn't a big fan of LaMelo earlier, I thought the whole Ball hype was too much, but as soon as he came on to my beloved Hornets (and rocked LJ's number 2) I had to give him some love. And man that young man can hoop. So when his signature line dropped, I made sure to try them out. I played my last game in the MB.01 and coached most of the games last year in the "Jade" colorway of the MB.02's.
But enough about me and my love for Melo (yeah, since Carmelo is retired, I'm good with calling LaMelo "Melo") and let's talk about the third model, the MB.03.
I saw some early images some months ago and I wasn't thrilled, but as soon as I saw the box I knew it was gonna be a nice shoe. Just like the two previous models, they come in a very nice box with ton of details from the colorway. I threw out most of my shoe boxes, but I've kept all my MB's. True story. And when I opened the box, the shoes were way better than the mock ups I'd seen.
So, the vibrant colors might not be for everyone, but I love it. And just like the MB.01 and MB.02 I assume there will be a clean white one later during the season. But the "Toxic" colorway is very very...LaMelo? It's super bold, stands out, screams and just dares to be whatever it wants to be.
The one thing I remember I didn't like from the images was the thick heel padding, but man was I wrong. It looks nice and as soon as I tried them on they felt comfortable as hell. I had some issues with my ACL when I was younger and there's been some soles I passed on just because they felt too hard for me.
One thing I've always liked about Melo's line, is the ton of details on the soles. Puma has done a great job of covering the soles with hidden words and I spent some minutes just looking and every time I flip them over, I seem to find a new logo or "not from here" print. My favorite is for sure the one on the toes. I think the first shoes I found something written on that part, was actually on a pair of old Jordan Melo's. Not a "full circle" moment, but yeah.
If I have to point out one thing that was the best feature for performance, it's easy. The traction. Man, these are tight as hell, and the pattern feels like they will hold up real good too. And of course the outsoles has a RARE print, with RA on the right shoe and RE on the left.
I let my friend and hooper Elias Nilsson take them for a test run yesterday after practice, as he plays in the MB.02 I thought he'd like them. He sure did. Watch the Soletesting below and make sure to grab your pair this Friday when they hit our website. And last thing, if you want to look even more fly, there's an extra pair of laces in the neon green. So you can go purple, green or one green-one purple depending on how bold you are.