Simple, fresh, classic. A monument to the self-expression and style this is the streetball way of life. Oh, and they were front and center in the greatest dunking exhibition of all time.

Vince Carter took a pair of AND1 Tai Chi Mids, starting with that ridiculous 360 windmill, raised the bar of expectation for every dunk contest to come. He wasn’t the only one, of course: we saw Tai Chis on Latrell Sprewell, Stephon Marbury, and dozens of others over the years.

And that design…sweet. So clean you can’t believe you didn’t think of it first, yet recognizable the world over. Though Air Canada made the red and white most famous, the two-tone colorways came in more varieties than the Kardashians. Complementing the soft tumbled and slick patent leathers are that feathery, velvety nubuck, which feels so nice you can’t believe you’re wearing a basketball shoe. And as some of the lightest kicks on the market, the Tai Chis made sure their wearer always rose highest.

Today, our boy Lance Stephenson is bringing AND1 into the next chapter. Lance is normally an Empire Mid man—with his own artistic flair, of course—but last night he rocked custom black/yellow Tai Chi Mids. It’s a promise of what’s to come…maybe the next time you see some Tai Chis, you’ll be looking straight down.