Wednesday August 29th, 2018, a day that in many years to come will be a historic movement for the NBA. June 18th, 1985 the first ever Draft Lottery that was allegedly rigged allowing New York Knicks to select Patrick Ewing first overall. May 7th, 1989 aka “The Shot” from Michael Jordan in Game 7 of Eastern Conference First Round playoffs crushing Cavaliers hearts. June 21st, 2016 “The Block” from LeBron James, Game 7 NBA Finals in Oakland against the 73-game winning Golden State Warriors leading Cleveland to their first NBA title ending a 52-year wait for a title from the four major US sports.
29th August 2018 the NBA agreed to remove the restrictions allowing players to wear sneaker colours of their choice. Now the question would be to fans of other sports around the world would think why is this such a big deal??? “I see Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar wear boots of all the colours of the rainbow every week!!!”
Well in NFL and MLB there are restrictions on the colours that you can wear in terms of footwear. Predominately the primary colour of the franchise (although in the NFL it is permitted to wear black or white cleats). Players in the NHL use classic black and white colours for their skates.
The NBA have always seen as a progressive organisation, allowing the players to be the stars and the “face of the league” expressing, social injustice the “Hoodies Up” campaign over the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the removal of former Clippers Owner Donald Sterling in 2014 following racial outbursts.
It’s a big deal because as we draw closer to the season’s opening night on October 16th all eyes will be on star players such as Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics), Russell Westbrook, Paul George (OKC), Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) to see what colours and personalities they bring to their footwear as they do to their hoop game!
The NBA has grabbed the younger generation, whether it’s “Twitter Beef” between players, stars posting gym workouts and shoot-a-rounds on Instagram (of course of them never missing a shot) meaning more kids in the US more are interested in shooting hoops than Pop Warner Football.
Of course, all the major apparel companies see this as huge business opportunity, imagine Russell Westbrook in pure Blue and Orange Jordan’s, a big seller in Oklahoma. Or cupcake design shoes about the spat between Westbrook and former teammate Durant in an Instagram post after he signed for the Warriors.
However, the real winner here is the NBA and how is showing the other franchise sports in America how the key to growing the game across the world and PR is via its players and not by ownership or an “plantation mentality” expressed in the NFL or the unwritten rules in Major League Baseball.
The culture in the NBA is about allowing their star players (LeBron James, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and James Harden to name a few) to express the slogan of the league (This Is Why We Play) the owners and the players understand it’s a partnership and one that will continue to blossom both on and off the court in years to come.
Roll on Opening Night and the latest kicks to hit the court and the streets!