If you’re a sneakerhead or basketball fan, you probably haven’t missed the news that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the NBA. In just over two months’ time – on 1 November – the NBA celebrates exactly 75 years since the league’s very first regular-season game, which was held on November 1, 1946, between the New York Knickerbockers (Knicks) and the Toronto Huskies. The anniversary game will be played between the Knicks and Toronto’s most prominent present-day team, the Raptors. After the initial game on the league’s official anniversary date, the NBA has released a five-game line-up stretching into 2022, offering classic matchups from teams who have heavily featured across the history of the NBA. The only three teams to have played in every single NBA season in history – the NY Knicks, the Boston Celtics, and the Golden State Warriors – will face off against one another in successive games on December 14th (Knicks v Warriors), 17th (Warriors v Celtics), and 18th (Celtics v Knicks). Finally, on January 7th, the Los Angeles Lakers will host a game against the Atlanta Hawks, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Laker’s securing the longest winning streak in NBA history with their 33rd consecutive win against Atlanta in 1972.
The NBA aren’t the only ones getting in on the anniversary action. Nike have announced that they will be celebrating the NBA’s diamond birthday with a brand-new re-release of one of its most iconic silhouettes – the Air Force 1, first released in 1982. The new colourway proudly displays homage to the LA Lakers and makes a clever nod to the history of its uniform.
The colourway incorporates the two classic hues most associated with the Lakers – their original powder blue trim and the modern royal purple – on the clean white foundation we’ve come to expect of flagship sneakers. The powder blue first featured on the original Laker’s uniform, back when the team was actually the Minneapolis Lakers from Minnesota, before the move to LA. The original era of Lakers uniforms featured a powder blue base with gold trim but subsequently the gold was dropped in favour of a white-blue combination. In 1967, when the team was bought by Jack Kent Cooke, he opted to leave his mark on the team by dropping the classic colour scheme for the now-iconic purple and gold.
These sneakers emulate all of this history with its timeless design and homage to Laker’s colours past and present. They also feature a special edition tongue tab celebrating the 75th anniversary event and the iconic Laker’s logo in place of a missing heel tab. The exact release date is currently TBD but you can expect the Nike Air Force 1 “Lakers” to hit stores by the time for the first NBA anniversary game on Nov 1st! If you’re looking to grab yourself a slice of sneaker history, the Lakers are the pair for you!
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