Let me offer requisite knowledge if the title of this article befuddles you. A pair of Jordan series 5's, supreme collab that are camo style, are like Makani Whiteside rocked in a game recently.
Ridiculous, they're sneaker-head heaven. Personification of shoe dopeness, quite rare, and not to be trifled with, just like 6-3 combo guard Makani Whiteside.
It's pretty ironic that I was the same age as Makani when the Jordan 5 dropped in 1990.
I've collected what many consider to be the top 6 of the 7 top versions of that model: Raging Bull, Take Flight, Fresh Prince, 3 Lab 5, Carolina Black, Fire Red Classic. But Makani holds the lucky 7, if only we combined our kicks together, we'd win it all.
I'm just playing people.
But the point I'm trying to illustrate here is, even though Whiteside isn't donating to me his $500 kicks, he did decide to transfer from St. John Bosco to Taft, so him combining his talents with standout guard Kihei Clark, that could quite possibly help Taft win a LA City Section title this year.
Photo by Lou Collazo
I asked Makani what is the secret sauce in trying to win that city chip this year. He responded, "For us to have that great year we need to play together, be scrappy on defense. Our offense has what it takes but as a team we need to box out and play our best defense possible on every possession.
“It'll take getting in sync with passing, communicating. But I'm proud that Coach Derrick [Taylor] is instilling in me what it means to succeed. I'll provide him and the team with that leadership to get it done."
#man on a mission
Makani has this mature grown man "ish" to him. How can that be E-Woods, if he's only a junior?
His mom Lisa Whiteside is of Armenian ancestry so check this out, he signed on to play for the 20 and under Armenian National Team this past summer. Repping a whole country, he had the guts to play vs grown a%# men, face off against the best FIBA comp that Europe has to offer.
"That was an experience. I appreciated my mom for taking me there. Going against that level of comp allowed me to grow and I'm taking that experience back home with me."
Makani did miss playing with his Cal Supreme team and is excited to get back to playing AAU ball during next Summer.
What else shows me he has grown man "ish?" Dude plays at Air West, the best open court run in the world, vs. seasoned pros. "I like to model my game after Russell Westbrook but my goal is to handle the ball like Kyrie Irving.
“Playing at Air West helps me get there. It all started with my dad [Richard Whiteside] teaching me. He showed me that long hours in the gym will pay off as I play against the toughest. It's always about striving, always telling myself that I can never settle."
Cool kid, that Whiteside, even in his choice of music. His fav song nowadays is Lil Uzi Vert's Xo Tour Llif3. The part of that tune that reminds me the most of Makani is:
"I'm committed, not addicted but it keep controlling me All that pain now I can’t feel it, I swear that it's slowing me (yeah)."
Not much slows this guard. He tells me he has the confidence to "step to the rim on anyone." This mellow but serious baller reminds me a little of Larry Drew Jr. who came aboard to complement Jordan Farmar at Taft High back in the day.
I'm still bummed not to have the Jordan 5 Camo Supremes in my closet so I'll just have to go watch M-Whiteside ball up in those sleds. Might he even be wearing them to the LA City Section title game?