words_Zac Dubasik The 2009-2010 sneaker season definitely had its share of disappointments, but, overall, there were a lot more good surprises than bad ones. Luckily I found a found a new gym this winter with solid runs pretty much seven days a week, because there were a lot of quality kicks to play in this season. Here is a rundown of the year's highlights for me. MVP - Nike Zoom KD II The Air Jordan 2010 and the LeBron VII PS were two of my favorite pairs of hoops kicks this year, but as great as they both were in their own ways, neither get my top nod. The reason is because for approximately half the price of either of those aforementioned shoes, you can get a pair of Zoom KD IIs, which are arguably better than either one. (Depending on the type of player you are). As I said in my full review, the Zoom KD II may not be for everyone, but if you are someone that prefers an emphasis on forefoot rather than heel cushioning (not to discredit the very capable Cushlon found in the heel), I can't think of a better choice at any price this season. Awesome fit and my favorite traction of the year round out the package, and make this one of, it not the best, $85 shoes of all time. Most Improved Player - Adidas TS Supernatural Creator For the past few seasons, there have been plenty of adidas shoes I have been excited to play in. I looked forward to playing in the Creator, Cut Creator and Commander LT, and with each one came anywhere from mild to total disappointment. Maybe it was overly high expectations, or maybe it was the fact that things like fit, cushioning and just overall comfort were just falling far behind the competition. Having been a major fan of the original Feet You Wear concept, it shouldn't be any surprise that I was instantly interested in the new TS Supernatural line. And within the first 30 seconds of having the Creator on my feet, I was the most impressed I'd been in any adidas hoops shoe in years. The court feel, transition and fit that had been so missing in much of their recent offerings were suddenly highlights. All of the sudden, the skepticism I'd felt in regards to the TS line had turned into anticipation. If the first generation of the Supernatural concept was this much of an improvement, what will a few seasons worth of tweaks and finetuning be like? Rookie of the Year - Li-Ning BD Doom So let me get this straight: A signature shoe made for someone not remotely resembling a superstar, who's played approximately three months of quality hoops in the past five seasons (now on a team which is an afterthought at best in the NBA), made by a brand with almost zero name recognition in the U.S., and largely displaying a Rick Ross-esque cartoon head on its tongue, has been one of the most talked about pairs of kicks of the season? Yeah - I'll go with that one for Rookie of the Year. 6th Man - Nike Air Max Rise Its looks are anything but flashy, its cushioning technology was available in the early '90s, and it makes your feet sweat like you are wearing a pair of sandwich bags under your socks, but the Air Max Rise is a pretty exceptional shoe for the money. If you like large-volume Max Air in the heel, exceptional traction and smooth transition, there's no reason not to give the Air Max Rise a shot. And considering they should now be available for well below their retail price of $100, it's one of the year's best values as well. Coach of the Year - Leo Chang There has been much debate over the Leo Chang-designed Hyperize, but the fact remains that it was worn by an exceptionally large percentage of ballers at all levels of play this season. So, not only did Leo design one of, if not the most widely worn models this season, he also designed my favorite performer of the year in the Zoom KD II. And when you design what I think is the best shoe of the year, and that shoe just happens to retail for only $85, it's an easy choice at that point. Complying with KD's desire to have an affordable signature shoe, Chang set a new standard for what is possible in affordable performance. Thanks to KD's incredible play, and Chang's exceptional design, I'm more excited for the Zoom KD III than any other shoe next season. Below: Leo Chang and developer Delores Thompson, holding KD's personal weartest pair and his actual size 18 foot mold.