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NBA and the sneakers problem

The League and the sneaker world could have a problem. Here it is which.

NBA and the sneakers problem  The League and the sneaker world could have a problem. Here it is which.

Probably, everything begins in the summer of 1984. David Stern recently took possession of all the NBA media, transforming the league into the unbelievable money machine we know today. In return for his success, though, he imposed tightened rules, which works for the construction of his vision, a vision that generates millions and imitations. Among these rules, there’s the one about chromatic matching, that influences more than anything the snakes worn by the players, that can’t be any different that the franchise’s uniform.

Nike knows it well, but produces the first pair of Air Jordan for the young Michael in red and black, even if they don’t fit with the new rules. The shoes are banished and Air Jordan sells them on the market with the caption “The first shoes that brought color in the NBA”. That is probably the first case of basketball sneakers produced for the street and not for the parquet.

Only a few days ago, the matter came back on the front page, as Gary Payton II, The Glove’s son, payer for the Milwaukee Bucks, wore the Jordan VI made in collaboration with Brooklyn artist KAWS. On Complex, Russ Bengston commented the news, criticizing the sensationalism behind Bucks and other magazines’ tweets. If Jordan IV are baskeball sneakers, why should we be surprised if someone wears those to play basketball? According to Bengston, this depraved mechanism is owed to all the years passed ‘spotting’ athletes’ shoes, just to have the most sensational and catchy title. And Bengston is indisputably right, and there’s not even reason to reiterate it. If the hype for a pair of basketball sneakers goes beyond its effective usefulness, the basketball world has a problem. Sure, it’s good for the fashion industry, but on a long term it could be an unsustainable relationship.

Something similar happened at the last All Star Saturday, during an unimpressive Slam Dunk Contest, when all the attention of Twitter and Instagram was deflected on Davis Jr’s shoes, a golden version of the Uptempo, born from the collaboration between Supreme and Nike. In that case, as Bengston points out, all the fuss was triggered by a Bucks’ tweet.

The other matter discussed by Complex’s editor is the price of the Jordan KAWS. Always on the media, in fact, there has been a huge controversy about the price of the shoes, and that a shoe like that was used to play basketball. It happened the same thing a few years ago with Gilbert Arenas and his Dolce&Gabbana, even if that was a slightly different case. As different was Nick Young’s case, who wore the Yeezy 750 Boosts, risking to get injured, as the Yeezy are not shoes fit for playing basketball.

The matter is complicated and full of shades, like the one posed by Stephon Marbury two years ago, when he accused Michael Jordan himself to produce expensive shoes, nurturing the violence in the ghettos, where everybody wants a Jordan a grew up with the desire to own one.