Significant Sneakers: Nike Blazer, Nike Dynasty, adidas Top Ten, Converse Pro Leather, Converse Pro Canvas, Puma Basket, Puma Suede

For all intents and purposes a continuation of 1979-80, the '80-81 season further established Converse as THE basketball brand, as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson built on their college rivalry with the Celtics and Lakers, and 30-year-old Julius Erving continued his high-flying exploits with the Sixers. Meanwhile, Nike kept building a strong base, waiting for that one player who would blow things sky-high.