For quite some time, the NBA has led the way when it comes to player expression and individualism, especially when compared to other major American sports. Players are generally entertaining on social media, fashion before and after games has been a point of popular monitoring, and the league’s influence on footwear has been vibrant for decades.
With that as the backdrop, Nick DePaula of ESPN brings word that, beginning with the 2018-19 season, the NBA will lift restrictions on sneakers and allow players to wear any color of sneakers. On the surface, this may not seem like much but, in the past, there was some level of regulation on color schemes, and DePaula notes that the change is “part of the NBA’s ongoing effort to allow its players to be expressive on the court.”
There are some restrictions still in place, particularly in the way that the league must approve “third party logos” before they are worn, while “sharp protruding objects or protective elements” are still restricted. With that said, the full removal of any harness on colors should lead to a number of (very) intriguing styles and colors being worn in the midst of NBA action and that comes alongside the recent surge in alternate uniforms for teams in the league.
It will be interesting to see just how far players will go and how much teams attempt to keep things uniform, as individual organizations would still be permitted to guide their own employees when it comes to in-game fashion. Still, this is yet another step from the league that will almost assuredly garner big-time approval.