Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
For the first time in league history, the NBA will allow players to wear sneakers of any color at any point during the upcoming season, league sources confirmed.
The rule change is part of the NBA’s ongoing effort to allow its players to be expressive on the court.
The only ongoing restrictions will regard third-party logos, which still will have to be preapproved by the league office before making their way to the court. Custom hand-painted sneakers, often made just days before being worn, surged in popularity last season. The league will continue to look closely at any third-party logos, as last season saw everything from nonapproved movie cover artwork to podcast logos to charity organization icons sneak onto the hardwood.
I’m not a sneakerhead but I’m glad to see this change. The NBA’s rising popularity comes not only from the on-court product (three-point hailstorms and humiliating poster dunks) but also from the off-court personalities, from petty tweets, to appearances at Harvard, to fashion. Nike’s first year as the league’s jersey designers was a flop. A lot of the re-designs removed any personality from the jerseys and added big, bland, bulky letters to the front and weird flaps by the shoulders on the back.
It’s like wearing a cereal box without a mascot. At least with less shoe restrictions (which were already very lenient), we’ll see some extra creativity on the court to make up for it.
Another fun bit from the article:
During the 1984-85 season, Michael Jordan famously received a warning letter effectively banning his black-and-red Air Jordan 1 sneakers. Nike turned the ordeal into a marketing campaign for his debut signature shoe and never looked back. The Jordan Brand now reaches $3 billion annually in revenue.
And that’s from before the NBA was seen as player-driven. If you try to suppress them now, it only makes them stronger. Take note, NFL.