NBA bans its first pair of shoes due to 'unfair advantage'

Though no NBA player actually professed an interest in buying these special Athletic Propulsion Labs vertical-influencing basketball shoes, you have to wonder if there are a series of floor-bound big men, the league over, that just had their Tuesday ruined by David Stern.

This is a press release, and not an actual report from the frontlines, but it's an interesting turn nevertheless.

The NBA has actually banned some shoes (which can be yours for only $300!) due to an apparent "unfair competitive advantage," which will no doubt send the sales of these Athletic Propulsion Labs' duds through the roof. I hope Messrs. Stern and Adam Silver bought some stock in this company before they made it infamous.

[Related: Basketball team faces 'desperate' shoe shortage]

To the release!

For the first time in its 64-year history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned a new line of shoes based on the league's rule against an "unfair competitive advantage" that increases a player's vertical leap. The league's ban on Athletic Propulsion Labs' Concept 1 confirms the company's claims that the shoe, with its Load ‘N LaunchTM Technology, performs as advertised. No professional player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season.

This action comes on the 25th anniversary of the NBA's ban on Nike's Air Jordan shoes, albeit for reasons of their colorful appearance rather than any performance advantage.

Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) was notified by a senior NBA official who stated, "League rules regulate the footwear that players may wear during an NBA game. Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game ‘that creates an undue competitive advantage (e.g., to increase a player's vertical leap).' In light of that rule...players will not be permitted to wear the APL shoes during NBA games."

[Rewind: Trainer banishes Nike shoe]

Shoe companies, for decades, have promoted a sort of "unfair competitive advantage" through their shoes, from PF Flyers to the most recent set of Derrick Rose(notes)-brand adidas that we'll showcase here at BDL later this afternoon. But this is the first time that the NBA has borderline endorsed one brand of shoe being better than another, even if they won't allow its players to run in it.

[Photos: A collection of the ugliest shoes, ever]

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