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NBA Apparel: Sneakerheads Defined. Why the Hype?

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There are two kinds of basketball fanatics in this world; those who wear shoes (normal, everyday people), and the Sneakerheads.

Teague drives past Evans in his Adidas Crazylight Boost
Teague drives past Evans in his Adidas Crazylight Boost
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

On an NBA team the jerseys, shorts, socks, tights and headbands of all players must be the same. This is predominantly a good thing, making the league look professional.  However, a continual effect of any rule is a question. The question in this case is individuality. With so many restrictions on what a player can and cannot wear, when does a player in the league become an individual instead of just another player? The answer: their shoes.

Individuality is good, but we are here to watch, enjoy, and love the game. Right?  Wrong. Half of the fun of professional basketball is the principle behind it.  Everything from the "right" team choice for King James to the trophy tattoo on Jason Terry's bicep, not to mention player-specific shoe lines. Whether or not you are annoyed or intrigued by this individuality of NBA players, it makes for good conversation.

There are two kinds of basketball fanatics in this world; those who wear shoes (normal, everyday people), and the Sneakerheads. The difference between these two lies somewhere in basketball culture where fans either express their love of the game through their outfit, or decide to blend into the majority of society.

Perhaps expressing their love through their outfit was an understatement. A Sneakerhead is a person who actually obsesses over basketball and generally wastes too much time, energy, and money on material items, particularly sneakers. They tend to be fairly OCD individuals who care about the minute details of their outfit. An example of this is matching socks, shorts, and shoe brands; a true Sneakerhead will ALWAYS match two of the three. Sneakerheads know multiple random details about not only their kicks, but yours as well. They live for the next shoe release, whether they can afford them or not, and their consumption makes them responsible for the following:

(1) An increase in the price of performance basketball shoes

(2) Player-specific product lines and variances

(3) Limited edition sneakers (usually the coolest, most expensive kicks)

Whether you are a Sneakerhead or a normal individual, you cannot argue that basketball culture is interesting. Just as the game will evolve, so will the sneaker; first in line to see what happens will be the Sneakerheads.