MJ never got to play a game in flip-flops.
The NBA is a curious thing, because it is at once exceptionally brilliant, but also weighed down by rules that make things petty and crap and sad. Like: these people spend every day, day after day, for decades, doing exactly one thing, and that thing is ’throwing a ball about.’ That's it.
And they get paid, just, so much money to do this. Millions. Tens of millions. More millions than you’ll ever make. Sounds great, yeah? Sure, yes. But then players get fined, like, hundreds of thousands of dollars for wearing the wrong color of shoes.
Imagine losing that much money over something so small. Imagine how frustrating that would be. Imagine, for a moment, your life as a professional basketball player. How embarrassed would you be to grab a beer with the lads who all have real jobs and you tell them that?
"What's you get up to today, mate?" "Wore a very tough tank-top and chucked a ball into a hoop all day, what about you?" "Yeah I... I actually have a desk job." "Sorry that deal you mentioned last week ended up falling through. How much did you lose? Anyway, I had to pay a 150k fine because my signature shoes don't match my team's away uniform." NO. The National Basketball League’s front office is out of control.
Speaking of basketball and shoes and fines: the NBA is removing all footwear restrictions for the upcoming season. Players can wear whatever they want, every night, now. Yeezys? Allowed. Off-White CST-001s? Sure. Unlaced Timbs? Why the hell not.
A nice rule change, this. Just you zipping around the court, euro stepping to the basket, double-clutch fadeaways from the corner, dropping a triple-double in a pair of those blue snakeskin Palace loafers. Wake up, James. You live in Silver Lake and have to be on the westside in twelve minutes.
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— James Royce, Studio Manager + Writer at Matte Black