Detroit’s Burn Rubber has crafted one of the more inventive and creative projects in recent memory for their latest collaboration with Reebok. Working with Allen Iverson’s signature sneaker, the reworked basketball offering finds an updated colorway – not to mention the “most interesting man in the world”-esque story that comes attached to it. Recalling the story of Apollos Young – the most notable ballplayer you’ve never heard of – the shoe serves as a reminder that talent can only get you so far. The Burn Rubber x Reebok Question collabo will be available at the Detroit boutique on September 1. For those interested in the sordid tale of Young, it’s best we let Burn Rubber tell it in their own words.
The reason you may’ve never heard of Apollos Young is because he never played one second of A professional NBA game. His new found “fast life” turned this nice little Christian boy, into a certified Rockstar. A.Y. Went from a clean cut, sweater vest wearing schoolboy to a tattooed, baggy shorts wearing womanizer with a no holds barred attitude during the preseason. It started with the double cup lean sipping instead of the Gatorade that his teammates used for refreshments. A.Y. is on record for being the first player to ever smoke a black & mild during a game. Although, as a 14 year man child, he averaged 48.7 pts, 23.3 rebs, & 0.1 assts, the line was drawn in his last preseason game. You see, the inquiry was known to wear his cell phone on him during the game, but no one could ever think that he would take it to the level that he took it. Alot of his antics were swept under the rug because of his superior skill level. One thing that couldn’t go unnoticed, was his last time on an NBA court.
In the 4th & final game of the Pistons (1996ish) preseason game, in front of a packed crowd, Apollos Young put on an amazing show. 54 pts, 31 rebs, 22 steals, 0 assts. Other than the fact that he’d cursed his coach out, punched a referee, & fondled a cheerleader, A.Y. was having a great game. His team was down 2, with 10 seconds to go on the clock. The entire world was watching, and Apollo knew it, he was born for this moment. The ball is inbounded to the inquiry, the clock starts to tick. 9, A.Y. calls for an iso at the top of the key. 8, he looks off a wide open teammate in the corner for the 3 pt attempt. 7, the entire stadium is on its feet. 6. The Inquiry, starts his signature (crossover) move. 5, he completely embarrasses the defender, and has a wide open lane to the basket. 4, he stops, pulls up for 3. 3, the ball is in the air, it looks good. 2, the ball is still in the air, and it still looks good. 1, the ball hits the rim, it rolls around the rim 2 times. Everyone in the stands is in awe of what is developing right in front of there eyes. When he comes down from his picture perfect jumper, a .45 caliber pistol falls from his waistline & 3 shots go off. The first shot, hit the opposing coach in the shoulder, the second shot …, the third shot struck the basketball & knocked it off of the rim ruining the perfect storybook ending for Apollos Young.
After that debacle, The Inquiry was no more. No team in the entire free world was willing to give him a second chance, and every sponsor he had, pulled out of the deals that were on the table. Everyone except the lifetime sneaker contract that he had signed with Reebok.