The NBA has banned shoes made by Athletic Propolsion Labs. (A link to the ESPN article is here.) The article quotes the NBA as saying: "Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game that creates an undue competitive advantage."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "undue competive advantage" the whole point behind the performance athletic shoe industry?? Nike has created "technologies"such as Air, Shox, Foamposite and Zoom Air. Reebok has produced technologies such as The Pump, DMX, hexalite and even a CO2 cartridge custom fit mechanism. Adidas has The Adaprene system and the classic "Feet you Wear" campaign. The underlying appealof all these shoes and the ad compaigns used to hauk them was the competitive advantage the wearer of these shoes would have over their competition. However with all the research, development and rigorous testing on the feet of the worlds finest athletes testing, none of these shoes have ever been considered an "undue competitve advantage."
The fact that Athletic Propulsion Labs has managed to create a shoe that improves performance so much that it could potentially disrupt the fairplay dynamics of the entire league, means APL must have one hell of a shoe.
Of course a small faction of the ThinkTank Panel (Of One) sees a thinly veiled conspiracy. When it comes to basketball shoes, history shows the only marketing ploy more effective than the explicit endorsement of the world's greatest basketball player, is the explicit banning of the shoe by the NBA.