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Volume 26 No. 65
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NBA Players Embrace Custom-Shoes Following Lift Of Color Restrictions

Bell made waves with some of his shoes, including a pair featuring the iconic '90s cartoon "Rugrats"
Photo: SIERATO

Dozens of NBA stars have "turned to top designers following the league's lift on color restrictions on sneakers, and "many players are already planning shoe designs" for '19-20, according to Lila Bromberg of USA TODAY. From "depictions of TV or movie characters, tributes or unique color schemes," players last season "came up with endless ways to show their personalities without being limited to team colors." Rockets G James Harden, Warriors G Stephen Curry and 76ers C Joel Embiid, among others, "donned customs at one point or another." NBA Senior VP/Identity, Outfitting & Equipment Christopher Arena "played a major role in the rule change." He said that the league "first considered lifting the restrictions after seeing players and fans embrace the shoes at special events, like past All-Star weekends," adding that the NBA was "all for the custom sneakers, even launching the @NBAKicks account on social platforms to further share players’ designs." Though T'Wolves F Jordan Bell "didn’t see much playing time his first two years" with the Warriors, he "edged his way into headlines by wearing custom sneakers." He "made waves" with several, including one featuring the popular '90s "Rugrats" cartoon, another paying tribute to late rapper Nipsey Hussle. Pistons G Langston Galloway "established himself last season through his shoes." He "wore a 'Toy Story' pair," as well as a pair "themed around the 'Big Buck Hunter' video game" (USA TODAY, 8/7).