The NBA’s new sneaker policy is literally a game changer

Finally free to wear any color shoes they’d like, the NBA’s new sneaker policy is going to be a game changer for fans and players alike.

Kyrie on court with his new Nike Kix kicks.

A year ago, this albeit fantastical phrase would have never been uttered in relation to an actual NBA basketball game, but after the league officially announced an amendment to its very unpopular sneaker policy, it could soon become a familiar occurrence for fans tuning in to watch their favorite team (should that team be the Boston Celtics or potentially the New York Knicks in 2019).

Under the new rule, initially reported by ESPN’s Nick DePaula, players will now be allowed to wear any sneaker they’d like, regardless of colorway, excluding only ones with restricted third-party logos or “sharp protruding objects or reflective elements”.

What does this new rule mean for sneakerheads both on the court and watching from home?

Literally everything.

For a player like the NBA’s reigning sneaker king P.J. Tucker, who reportedly spent over $200,000 on shoes last year, his entire closet is now available to be worn on court, regardless of whether or not it features his team’s red, black, and white motif.

And for a player like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or the aforementioned Irving, this opens up the signature sneaker game in a way that no other rule change has done before.

Though it’s not uncommon for signature athletes to deck out their name brand shoes in a far-out colorway, these players had only been given a chance to actually promote these kicks on an NBA court on very rare occasions, like Christmas day, or other NBA-sanction holidays.

Now, these players will be able to bring the heat on any given day of the week.

Simply put, things have come a long way since Michael Jordan laced up his original Air Jordans. Back then, Jordan was actually fined each game he wore his signature shoe because it ‘doesn’t have enough white on it‘, a fine Nike happily paid for some free publicity.

To paraphrase Spike Lee “It’s gotta be the shoes“.

Now, as signature shoes and custom colorways become more and more popular, this is a great decision by the league that frankly deserves quite a bit of praise.

Unlike in virtually every other American professional sport, NBA players are a brand in and of themselves, and by allowing them to truly express their unique creative voices on the court, it’s only going to help to form a tighter bond between fans and their favorite players.

Next: Why hasn’t Yeezy emulated the Jordan strategy for selling sneakers?

With every player in the NBA essentially serving as a walking billboard for some sneaker company, it’ll be fun to watch these billboards became a whole lot more colorful, and marketable going into the 2018-2019 NBA season. A win-win-win for all parties involved.

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