Alfonzo McKinnie

Check out Alfonzo McKinnie's custom Warriors-themed Air Jordan 1s

Check out Alfonzo McKinnie's custom Warriors-themed Air Jordan 1s

Alfonzo McKinnie's latest pair of kicks are cooler than yours.

The Warriors forward had Joshua Graham of "The Concept Commission" create a custom pair of Air Jordan 1s and they are straight fire.

Graham explains in an Instagram post that the shoes are a tribute to McKinnie's journey from going undrafted to securing a role on one of the best teams in NBA history.

"This custom was inspired to tell a piece of Alfonzo’s improbable story. A kid coming from K-Town (Westside Chicago) to going undrafted to playing for one of the best organizations in professional sports. We took our time and added some true 1of1 touches to these."

The shoes even feature McKinnie's "AM" logo on the back and on the sock liner.

McKinnie appears to have found a home with the Warriors. His hard work and hustle paid off last season as Warriors coach Steve Kerr trusted him enough to play him in 72 regular-season games and all 22 playoff games.

During the regular season, McKinnie averaged 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 13.9 minutes.

[RELATED: Warriors player profile on McKinnie]

With all the roster turnover in the offseason, McKinnie should have an expanded role this season. The 26-year-old likely will compete for the starting small forward spot with Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III and rookie Eric Paschall. McKinnie has the leg up because he knows the Warriors' system and has the trust of Kerr.

If McKinnie wears his custom Air Jordan 1s during training camp, there's no way Kerr can pass on giving him the starting role.

Alfonzo McKinnie faces stiff competition for Warriors' starting wing job

Alfonzo McKinnie faces stiff competition for Warriors' starting wing job

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

Earlier this week we examined the choices for the starting center position, now it is time to look at the starting wing spot. 

To recap, with so much roster turnover this summer and largely a new cast of characters, the Warriors will have plenty of question marks and unknowns heading into the season. One of the major decisions that Steve Kerr and the coaching staff will have to strategize, is who should start on Opening Night at Chase Center if the current roster (sans Klay Thompson) is healthy. 

The holdovers in the starting lineup from last season -- Steph Curry and Draymond Green -- will be obvious locks yet again, and unless there is a dramatic twist, newly acquired D'Angelo Russell will slide into the starting shooting guard spot. It's pretty much a given that Willie Cauley-Stein or Kevon Looney will start at center after the departure of Damian Jones and DeMarcus Cousins. That leaves the wing position vacated by Kevin Durant up for grabs. 

There are plenty of choices to capture the starting gig, but looking closely there seems to be a four-man race as of now between Alfonzo McKinnie, Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III and Eric Paschall. 

McKinnie is the only one of that bunch that was on the team last season, and had some very strong stretches early on for the Warriors. At 6-foot-8, Zo has great length and athleticism at the wing position, which helps him make up for some of his own deficiencies on defense. 

McKinnie's great strength is his elite rebounding ability for the wing position, especially on the offensive end. He attacks the ball at the highest point and seemingly is always involved in every rebound while on the court. 

This unique ability can make him useful in the starting lineup. However, McKinnie's effectiveness will be greatly judged by his ability to make an open corner three-point shot. With all the attention that Curry, Russell, Green (and eventually Thompson) demand, it is essential for the small forward to be able to make open shots from deep. If he can improve his shooting, as well as his overall defensive awareness, McKinnie may be the favorite to land the starting role.

When it comes to wing scoring, Burks is easily the top option. He is a bucket-getter, constantly attacking the defense. He is a career 36 percent three-point shooter, so the Warriors would be happy to have opponents let him get open looks. Defensively, he has the size to compete against smaller wing players, but the results on that end have been inconsistent up to this point in his career.

If he can become a reliable defender, he may force himself into the starting lineup.  In the meantime, he seems like the perfect sixth-man type, for instant offense off the bench. 

The Warriors are hoping that last season for Robinson III was an aberration, and they will get the player from the prior three seasons that played strong defense and averaged 39 percent shooting from deep. Robinson III is as athletic as anyone on the Warriors roster, if you need proof, make sure to check out his highlight reel from the Slam Dunk Contest. When healthy, he can be a prototypical "three and D" player that the Warriors sorely need. Steve Kerr may want to see him play off the bench before making him a starter, but he has the tools to earn that opening gig. 

The dark horse candidate to steal the starting wing spot is the second-round rookie Eric Paschall. Standing at 6'7 with tremendous leaping ability, Paschall has the physical attributes to be an effective wing.

[RELATED: Warriors profile: Willie Cauley-Stein looking forward to fresh start]

Unlike many rookies, Paschall also comes into the league seasoned with tons of college experience playing on the big stage for four years. It is unknown how his good collegiate defense and overall offensive game will translate to the NBA, but like the other wing options, his ability to stretch the floor will be a key factor in his development.  

It would be unlike Kerr to start a rookie right off the bat, but a young player with his experience might be able to handle the pressure of playing with the stars. In fact, if he can overcome the tentativeness that plagued Pat McCaw, Damian Jones and Jacob Evans in their first years, he might fit in perfectly with that group. 

Warriors profile: Alec Burks hopes to replicate early-career success

Warriors profile: Alec Burks hopes to replicate early-career success

Editor's note: The Warriors' roster looks completely different than it did at this time last year. Golden State enters a new era at Chase Center with an injured Klay Thompson and without dynasty mainstays Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

As the Warriors' offseason goes on, we'll do a profile on every player on the revamped roster. Wednesday's edition focuses on Alec Burks.


One-year, $2,320,044

Last season

Burks began last season hoping to revitalize his career after injuries derailed it early on with the Utah Jazz. Instead, Burks was traded three times, finishing his season with the Sacramento Kings. In 13 games with Sacramento, he averaged just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists. 

"It just a whirlwind," Burks said during his introductory press conference in Oakland. "I've never been traded before and to get traded twice, but it was just a whirlwind."

Though Burks found himself on the move for much of the season, he still showed an ability to score, including a 22-point, three-assist performance against the Raptors. 


Burks seemed destined for big things after the Jazz drafted him 12th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Through his first five seasons, he has averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, earning a four-year, $42 million contract in 2014. 

[RELATED: Burks explains how Kerr sold him on signing with Warriors]

However, a series of stress fractures limited Burks to just 100 games from 2014 through 2016, and he has not played at least 75 games in a season since 2013-14. 

With the Warriors, Burks will look to replicate his early success in Utah while battling with Alfonzo McKinnie and Glenn Robinson for wing minutes.