Hoping in part to push along sales of NBA jerseys, more teams will wear uniforms with sleeves next season. An NBA source told ESPN.com that as many as five teams will wear the short-sleeve jerseys as an alternate jersey for as much as 12 games during the season. “We are interested in doing more short-sleeve jerseys when it makes sense,” said Patrik Nilsson, president of adidas North America.
All teams were offered the option to add this jersey, according to Sal LaRocca, the league’s executive vice president of global merchandising, but LaRocca would not confirm exactly how many teams have committed to it.
Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles? That’s how German shoe giant Adidas attempted to market the JS Roundhouse Mids leading up to its planned release for later this summer. The company has instead pulled the sneaker entirely after being roundly condemned for designing a shoe that evokes images of slavery and prison.
On Adidas’ Facebook page, the company calls the shoe ‘so hot you [will need to] lock your kicks to your ankles’. Critics, however, say the shoe represents an uncomfortable allusion to the slave trade or the prison system.
The JS Roundhouse Mid, a joint venture between Adidas Originals and designer Jeremy Scott, prominently features a cuff that fastens around the wearer’s ankle and is secured to the shoe with chain links.
“Response has been great,” explained Norman. “We have had players from Derrick Rose wearing it to Mario Chalmers in the Finals. This is a global launch so even a guy name Dimitris Diamantidis, MVP of the Euroleague, was wearing the shoe as well. The shoe has global appeal and athletes of all shapes and sizes love it and the response has been great so far.”
“Athletes want a lighter product, whether that’s a low top or a mid-cut, and it’s not only in basketball,” revealed Norman. “The trend in lightweight running has really become a big factor in that market place. “I believe there has been $600 million extra added to the running market in the last three years just in the lightweight running market alone. In basketball, the shift towards light has created a demand for consumers to pick up the shoe right away to judge how light it is or check in an Eastbay catalog, for example, to see what the weight is because all weights are now listed. ‘Light’ has become the leading factor in decision making for all of these athletes and consumers. “I believe the trend is headed towards “Light”,” explained Norman. “I don’t believe it’s going away and I believe we’re just getting started. For us to put a stake in the sand and say we have the lightest shoe at 9.8 ounces right now was an important thing for us to do.”
“We had a goal set for us, for many years actually, to become the lightest basketball brand. We have been achieving this in other categories. We already have the lightest football shoe with the adiZero 5-Star; we have the lightest soccer shoe with the adiZero F50, the lightest baseball shoe with the adiZero Diamond King. We have already accomplished lightest in class in other sports, it was time for basketball to do the same. The adiZero Crazy Light at 9.8 ounces accomplished that.”
Lawrence Norman is Vice President, adidas Global Basketball and a former international player. To say Lawrence is a basketball freak puts it lightly. So as I got curious about the hype around Crazy Light, I went to him for some answers and some insight. “Our goal at adidas Basketball is to enable athletes to become one step quicker and jump one inch higher,” Norman said of his group’s pursuit of an ultra-light basketball shoe. “After talking to athletes over the past handful of years, and really being an athlete myself, going back all the way back to my playing days, the most important thing to me and the most important thing to all the athletes we’ve been talking to is that ‘light’ matters and ‘light’ is right. And they feel that an ounce off here and an ounce off there will enable them to become quicker on court.”
Sure, adidas spent a little bit of money with our parent company, but this story is more about an interesting product than anything else. If you have not seen the new shoe, it’s unlike anything else on the market, in that is has a crazy exoskeleton- type design and is incredibly light… crazy light as adidas likes to say.