The elder Mason rose to prominence as a core member of the New York Knicks from 1991 to 1996, during their memorable run as one of the elite teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
As a result, the younger Mason has launched the kicks in the Knicks trademark blue, orange and white color scheme, with a Patrick Ewing concept.
Ewing, a staple in the Knicks organization during and beyond those same years, originally launched his own shoe company, Ewing Athletics, in 1989.
“I’ve got to honor this man because he was a big part of New York’s history,” Mason said of his father. “It’s not just basketball. He influenced a lot of people around here. As soon as I had the designs ready, we all knew that this was gonna be big.”
The Mason family is from Queens, so they launched the sneakers at Jimmy Jazz at 89-45 165th Street in Jamaica. The event featured a free-throw competition, disc jockey, and ice cream from Mikey Likes It.
“I think that we’ve had a great impact on the community of South Jamaica, Queens and New York City as a whole,” said Vance Toure, executive director of the Family of Three Foundation, which honors Mason’s legacy. “Anthony was just talking to the kids, and one of the kids broke down in tears.
“I think the kids just need that,” he added. “They need to know that they matter and that someone else is looking out for them.”
Proceeds from shoe sales will benefit the Family of Three Foundation.
“Once you get past a certain point, you can’t even see the city anymore and you’re just trapped in your own surroundings,” Toure said. “They need to know that someone outside that five to ten-block radius where they live cares about them and wants to see them do well. Anthony has tried to keep his father’s memory alive and honor him in every way he can.”
Additional reporting for this article was provided by Natalie Rios, Jennifer Luizzi and Angelica Katcher.