The exhibit was hosted in the historic Nautilus Hotel. When I walked into the hotel on Saturday afternoon, there was merch for purchase and some dope paintings such as a Zion portrait and LeBron painted with Yoda.
Me being a basketball fan, I was hype, but also ready for just another art exhibit in NBA form. Then, I walked through to the Beyond the Arc section. I was in basketball heaven.
There were 16 game-worn sneakers enclosed in glass with a detailed description of the iconic game moment it was played in. The section featured recent iconic NBA moments like Dwayne Wade’s Li-Ning Way of Wade 7 Series shoes that he wore in the final game of his 16-year career.
It also extended to the earliest iconic basketball moments like the Air Jordan 12’s that Michael Jordan wore during the 1997 finals that he played with the flu and still scored 38 points.
After I left this room, I was directed towards The Tunnel, which was an actual tunnel intended to imitate that pregame arena walk-through. That’s one of my personal favorite parts of an NBA game (given my love of fashion).
Here they had a video installation that showed tunnel walkthroughs from Allen Iverson’s baggy clothes days to D’Angelo Russell walking through Barclays Center with his brother, Tone.
Viewers got to witness the fashion changes throughout the decades of all of the iconic players. Given that the installation was also in an actual tunnel, the experience felt true to life and truly immersive.
I finished walking through the tunnel after obsessively watching the full walkthrough installation about two to three times and walked into what looked like a basketball court.
I was enclosed in a dark court which was lit up only by video screens that took up the full wall space, another dope immersive experience to make you feel like you were there with the players.
There were about four screens, one screen per wall, and each screen highlighted iconic dunks throughout the history of the NBA. It was like having a TV show of NBA highlights from the 50s all the way to Lebron’smost iconic LA Laker dunking moments.
For all of my NBA fans currently reading this with severe basketball FOMO, don’t worry. If you missed the exhibit at Basel, you’ll have another opportunity to catch it in February when the exhibit travels to Chicago for the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend.
If you won’t get the chance to make it to All-Star, a little NBA bird told me there’ll be more pop-ups throughout the year, so make sure to stay tuned!