The impact of the late NBA commissioner David Stern on shoes and fashion – footwear news

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Former NBA commissioner David Stern, who died Wednesday at age 77, led the league through a period of exponential growth for the past 30 years, before stepping down in 2014. During his tenure he was at the avant-garde of several stages and achievements. Among them – perhaps unintentionally – Stern helped usher in fashion in the league.

In 2005, the then commissioner instituted a dress code for players, requiring them to wear casual clothes at team and league events. While there was backlash back then, much of today’s ballerina crop now is focused on fashion and uses those moments to showcase their style.

Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade – one of the most style-conscious athletes the league has ever seen – told FN in June 2017 that players didn’t just embrace fashion, they wanted dressing each other. (Wade even gave Stern credit for the league’s current fashion obsession.)

“As athletes, what we did was make it competitive with each other. Everyone wanted the arena walk to be their track because they were talking about our outfits on TV, ”Wade told FN in 2017.“ It became a different kind of competition before the game.

One of the league’s brightest young stars, Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers, told FN in November that looking down the tunnel before the game is a must these days.

“The NBA is a place where they allow us to do so many different things to express ourselves. The tunnel track took 180. A few years ago you didn’t hear too much about the tunnel, but now [showing off outfits there is] just as important as the game, ”Kuzma told FN.

Fashion has also become a business enterprise for several NBA athletes, including Wade, who has launched collections with Amazon Fashion comprising over 100 garments and accessories. Additionally, ballerinas such as Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook have also developed lines to showcase their personal style.


Models fitted with Carmelo Anthony’s “Melo Made 2” collection at NYFW.

CREDIT: Peter Verry

Stern’s application of the league’s footwear rules is also largely attributed to the rise of one of the most beloved sneakers of all time.

In 1984, the league sent a letter to Nike stating that the “black and red Nike basketball shoes” hoop icon Michael Jordan wore “on or about October 18, 1984” violated league rules. While many wondered what style of shoe Jordan actually wore – whether it was the Air Jordan 1 or the Air Ship – the Swoosh took the opportunity to promote their signature sneaker for the. baller.

“On September 15, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe. On October 18, the NBA excluded them from the game. Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them, ”the narrator said during a 30-second commercial for the Air Jordan 1 released over 30 years ago.

Today, the “Banned” Air Jordan 1 High remains one of the most sought after sneakers by collectors and fans of hoops.

Following the announcement of Stern’s retirement in 2014, Jordan Brand President Larry Miller said Complex that Stern deserves credit for helping build the community of sneaker fanatics.

“There were some controversies that actually helped build sneaker culture,” Miller said. Complex in 2014. “David was instrumental in all of this. What he did in the NBA directly impacted us in terms of creating cool sneakers. “

Miller continued, “I am a huge fan of David Stern. I think he did a great job with the NBA and working with Nike and the other shoe companies around the world he really helped create the culture that exists around sneakers today.

Also noteworthy is Miller’s mention of the world’s shoe companies.

Among his other professional accomplishments, Stern helped develop the Dream Team, the lineup of NBA stars who competed in the 1992 Olympics. The team won the gold medal, but it was a lesser victory by compared to the long-term impact of these games: The NBA has gained worldwide recognition and the popularity of basketball has grown exponentially globally. Today, the league is inundated with stars from overseas, and some of the best players in the NBA were not born in the United States (including German Dirk Nowitzki and Chinese Yao Ming, among others).

And over the years, not only have international athletes gotten involved in the sport, but global footwear brands have increasingly signed sponsorship agreements with NBA players. Today, some of the league’s biggest stars are backed by foreign labels: Gordon Hayward and Klay Thompson, for example, are both signed with Chinese company Anta, and others have created their own brands with companies. foreign, like Wade’s Way. de Wade with Chinese Li-Ning.

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