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Exclusive: Rajon Rondo's 'Boston Strong' ANTA Rondo Tribute

words & images // Nick DePaula

As the city of Boston enjoys its 118th running of the Boston Marathon this morning, today's event takes on added meaning and importance after last year's tragic bombing.

Already one of the most prideful cities in America, Boston's citizens formed an even tighter bond after the attacks, banding together to support their Bruins, Celtics, and eventual world champion Red Sox and persevering under the slogan of "Boston Strong."  

For Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who has played his entire career in Boston, he specifically wanted to pay tribute to the city and those affected by the Marathon bombing of a year ago.

This special edition version of his first signature sneaker with Chinese sportswear brand ANTA carries bold black and white base colors, with the Marathon's official blue and yellow hues as accents. The yellow splattered midsole represents the run's finish line painted onto Boylston Street. Rondo plans to donate his pair to the One Fund Boston charity.

"The Black / White colorway also represents the Yinyang," reveals ANTA designer Brian Moughty. "In Chinese culture, Yinyang stands for harmony, which is the desire for people to live in. It's the idea that 'good acts will balance out bad ones,' and it also connects to the Chinese student who passed from the bombing."

Along the tongue, you'll notice a race bib reading "Bostong Strong," with the date of the bombing, 4/15/2013, represented on the bib's number 41513.

"Another thing we wanted to include was the initials of people hurt and lost from the bombing, to honor the people of Boston," says Moughty.

Lastly, there's a hidden message along the underside of the shoe's tongue that reads "THIS IS OUR F*%^#@$ CITY," inspired by David Ortiz's heartfelt speech before the Red Sox's first home game after the attacks that the FCC's Chairman even co-signed.

Check out the "Boston Strong" ANTA Rondo tribute pair below in detail, and stay tuned for more details on an upcoming charity auction.

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