50 Moments That Changed Sneaker Culture Forever

adidas Releases the Abdul-Jabbar, the First Official "Signature Sneaker"

Date: 1971

By 1971, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was already a superstar. He'd emerged from NYC's Power Memorial as the best high school player in the nation, and gone on to win three NCAA championships (freshmen weren't eligible for the varsity back then) at UCLA. He also caused the NCAA to actually ban dunking. Drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969, Jabbar became an immediate star in the NBA, scoring 29 points in his first game and going on to win Rookie of the Year. His second year he was named MVP. So when adidas gave him his own signature shoe, it was precedent-setting - but should have been entirely predictable. Who better to be first?

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