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Sneaker event brings very rare 'heat' to the Moda Center


Aaron Deloney summed up Sunday's swap meet for sneaker collectors in four words: "A lot of heat."

The Beaumont eighth-grader was one of more than 200 collectors and vendors who packed the club level of the Moda Center Sunday for what will likely become an annual swap meet and showcase for rare sneakers, often referred to as "heat."

The event featured 22 vendors and numerous sneakers that never released to the general public, such as game-worn shoes made exclusively for NBA players and a pair of Michael Jordan's game-worn baseball spikes from his days with the Birmingham Barons.

The market for rare sneakers has never been hotter. Data site Campless.com last year estimated sales of "resold" collectible shoes now tops $1 billion annually as the market for coveted shoes is at an all-time high.

The event, known as ICYMIPDX, was hosted by the Portland Trail Blazers and Ira LaFontaine and Keith Kunis of Trillblazin. It was modeled after a similar event hosted by the Washington Wizards.

"I thought Portland was a great market for this," said Kevin Tyner, an organizer and a group sales manager for the Blazers.

Tyner said he expects to host the event again next year.

As expected, Portland's proximity to Nike's world headquarters and the North American headquarters of Adidas made the event a showcase for rare shoes.

Sneakers on display included shoes worn in games by Deion Sanders, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rasheed Wallace and Darius Miles as well as numerous pairs of retro Jordans and signature shoes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Nike sneakers dominated the event but vendors also showcased rare Adidas, Nike, Reebok and Li-Ning shoes, including John Lyon's collection of more than 100 Li-Ning basketball shoes made exclusively for Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade.


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