Our friendly neighborhood WearTester Nightwing2303 recently dropped by the Philippines to take in the rising local culture. Check out our 1-on-1 chat with Chris aka Nightwing.
SLAM: How are you enjoying the Philippines? Can you compare the basketball scene here to the US?
NIGHTWING: I haven’t gotten to play just yet. I was hoping to play the first night I was here but it rained so we couldn’t play. My second night, our game got cancelled so today for sure I gotta hoop it up with everybody. Hopefully I’m not garbage.
SLAM: How did WearTesters start?
NW: It’s been a process but it started a long time ago, 2011. Back then it was just nightwing2303.com. It started off as a personal blog and then over the years it transitioned to WearTesters, like a media site for sneaker news and performance reviews.
SLAM: How many are you in the team now? Where is your office located?
NW: We’re seven in the team. I just work at home. When you have your own site, it’s a 24/7 thing. Same thing with Youtube. You’re always working and thinking of new content.
SLAM: How did Nightwing come about?
NW: He’s my favorite comic book character.
SLAM: Do you remember the first video that you made?
NW: Yeah it was the Air Jordan 2009 performance review.
SLAM: We know you’re a big comic book guy. If you had to pick one, Marvel or DC?
NW: I like both so you can’t just pick on. I like comic books in general so you really can’t do that and pick one (laughs).
SLAM: Do you bring a pair of sneakers everywhere you go?
NW: I’m usually just wearing them already. I’ll play on whatever I’m wearing.
SLAM: How was it like growing up and playing ball in the Bay?
NW: It’s awesome. There are plenty of parks and the weather is always nice. So even if you don’t have the opportunity to play indoors, there’s always an outdoor option.
SLAM: Were you a big fan of Gary Payton, Jason Kidd and other Bay Area players?
NW: Looking back, I always thought of them as rivals to the best player which was Michael Jordan. But they’re legends and I respect them especially in that Point Guard position. They’re amazing.
SLAM: How often do you play ball?
NW: Too often. My knees hurt all the time. We play at least every other day. When we first started, we played like six times a week just so we can test shoe after shoe and review them. I can’t do that anymore.
SLAM: Which shoe would you ball in outdoors and indoors?
NW: Luckily we have Boost now. The [adidas] D Rose 6 is my favorite for outdoor ball. Boost is life. As far as indoor basketball goes, I can play ball in a variety of sneakers. Mostly adidas models from the Lillards to the Harden Vol. 1. Brandblack Rare Metals are fantastic. Probably their best shoe ever.
SLAM: How did the Brandblack partnership come about?
NW: At first they sent me a couple of shoes, the first J Crossover and other team models for review. I tested them and actually liked their products. Reminded me a lot of the [Nike] Kobe V, which I really liked. After discussing the similarities between the Kobe V and their shoes, they asked me to be part of their wear-test team. Basically they just sent me products prior to production and then I give them my feedback.
SLAM: You seem like you always wear low cut socks. Tell us about that.
NW: Oh no shows? I’m a 90’s kid. That’s just what we wore back in the day.
SLAM: We see what you wear on the court, but what’s your go-to off court shoe?
NW: Anything Boost. Ultraboost, Crazylight Boost, Explosives.
SLAM: What do you usually wear during a sneaker convention?
NW: I don’t really go to sneaker conventions that often. This Manila convention was just one of them. I’ve only been to two other conventions before this one. I’ve been to more comic conventions than sneaker conventions.
SLAM: Right now, you’re more of a performance than a lifestyle guy?
NW: Yeah but I still wear some Jordan Retros every once in a while.
SLAM: How has your relationship with the brands grown through the years?
NW: It’s been interesting. I don’t do it on purpose but some brands take it too personally so I don’t have a relationship with those brands anymore. Those who I still have a relationship with, I think it’s awesome for them to take the criticism to make better products for the consumer.
SLAM: Are there any Filipino fans messaging you asking for advice on certain sneakers?
NW: I grew up with Filipinos since there are a lot in the Bay Area. I have pretty good relationships with them.
SLAM: Do you think a Filipino can make it to the NBA?
NW: Well, Jordan Clarkson is the closest and that’s what you got right now, so I’d take that.
SLAM: Who’s going to win the NBA Championship this season?
NW: I don’t really know. Everyone is expecting me to say the Warriors because I’m from the Bay but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. If I were to pick one, I’d pick the Cavs again just because they didn’t lose as much players from their championship run.
SLAM: We know you’re a huge Ninja Turtles fan, who do you think is the best baller out of the four?
NW: Michaelangelo (With no hesitation). That’s because he doesn’t give a shit about anything. He’d probably have a lot of fun with it.