What Happened To Starburys?

The release of the LeBron X+ got us thinking about some sneakers we could actually afford.

The release of the LeBron X+ got us thinking about some sneakers we could actually afford.

Hey, anyone know where we can get some Starburys? Because we just went to purchase the awesome LeBron X+ basketball shoes that dropped this weekend, and the goddamnedest thing happened: our credit card got rejected. $270 plus tax – that’s a big hit for a pair of sneakers. No problem for well-heeled folks who want their kicks to come equipped with leap-measuring technology, maybe, but for kids out there hooping right now on, say, the project courts in Coney Island, where Stephon Marbury once ruled; or recreational players from blue-collar rust-belt suburbs; or high schoolers from dusty cow towns in the Midwest or drought-blighted farming communities on the Great Plains; or kids growing up fearing God and hating SEC rivals in Bible-thumpin’ backwaters? In short, for most kids? Fuhgeddaboutit!

Oh, yeah, Stephon Marbury. “Starbury.” His NBA career was checkered. Brilliant games and All-Star seasons mixed with some petulant behavior and public spats with coaches. Hell, when he was with the Knicks the Daily News called him “the most reviled athlete in New York.” But you have to admit—at least, if the funds are low and your soles are worn—the dude had an enlightened idea when he came up with Starbury Ones, quality high-top basketball shoes with a marquee-ish name on ’em for the low price of $14.98. What a concept! A teen of modest means could hit up his mom for a Jackson and head to the playground with half-decent new kicks, a Gatorade, a Snickers bar, and a few nickels still jingling in his gym bag.

Alas, Steve & Barry’s, the casual-apparel chain that promoted and retailed Starburys, went belly up a few years back, and Starbury.com seems to be a ghost site, with no sneakers “in stock.” So the question remains: Where might a guy score some Starburys? EBay? The flea-market circuit? Dollar General? Possibly in Beijing, where Marbury is currently enjoying a hoops renaissance after leading the Beijing Ducks to the 2012 Chinese Basketball Association championship. Who knows? Maybe the dream of an affordable brand-name sneaker for the people is gone. But we’re gonna head over to Jack’s 99¢ Emporium on lunch hour. If we find any Starbury Ones, we’ll let you know.

Not doing it for you? How about some shoes made out of stingrays?

Or you could just look at funny stuff.