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NBA removes color restrictions for sneakers

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The Warriors can get a little more expressive with their footwear this year.

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the NBA made a move that will further allow players to represent themselves as unique individuals, and express themselves on the basketball court. For the first time in the history of the league, there will be no color restrictions on the sneakers that players wear in games.

This is great news, as sneakers are an enormous part of basketball culture, and players should be able to express themselves with their shoes. It’s also great for marketing, as players - especially those with popular signature lines - will get to promote and play in the full spectrum of color ways.

Not too many NBA players have signature lines - in fact, at the start of last season, only 18 players did. But the Golden State Warriors have three of those players: Steph Curry (Under Armour), Kevin Durant (Nike), and Klay Thompson (Anta).

The signature lines for those players have a lot of different color ways, and now those three can play in all of them, while sneakerheads like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and DeMarcus Cousins can rock their favorite shoes in any color at all.

Heck, maybe we’ll even see Curry rock the two-color look like he did at the championship parade!

Of course, this rule change is a call back to the early Michael Jordan days, when Nike first rolled out the Air Jordan 1s, in black and red, but the NBA banned Jordan from wearing them. That ended up being tremendous news for Nike, who capitalized on the marketing opportunity.

Ultimately, this is good news for players, but it’s also good news for the fans, as many of them (myself included) are very into sneakers. Though I do wish this rule change came last year, when Nick Young - who played a game in Yeezys, among his many interesting footwear choices - was still on the team.