Basketball shoes are a pretty common sight these days – if you don’t own a pair yourself you’ll have definitely seen someone wearing a pair walking down the high street.
However, as with a lot of sportswear, just because someone is wearing them, it doesn’t mean they actually play said sport. On the other hand, if you live in an area popular among tall dudes who can run like hell while deftly bouncing a ball with extreme precision, there’s a fair chance they’re wearing them for a reason.
What you won’t have realised though, is the extremes professional basketball players go through, particularly their feet. And though basketball shoes look good on the high street, there’s a very real reason the pros wear them on the court.
Check out Darrell Armstrong’s feet:
DA calls me big mummy but he is working with these dinosaur toes …. ? pic.twitter.com/xsGeZVdG5i
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) October 8, 2017
Watch any game of basketball from the NBA and you’ll see how much these players are running, turning, dodging and jumping. Their feet go through a ridiculous amount of strain during a game, and while the trainers they wear have come a long way since the flat-bottomed, canvas Chuck Taylors, there’s no getting away from the toil an athlete’s body will go through.
To prove this, photos of the feet of some of the NBA’s biggest stars are making their way round to show us that, well, basketball can kind of mess up your feet.
Thankfully, Portland player Evan Tuner also knows how to take care of himself:
Though he couldn’t help posting this question:
In fact, Turner seems to quite like posting basketball players’ feet on his Instagram.
Here he is filming Arnett Moultrie getting his feet done too:
And another from Turner himself:
Of course, it’s not just their feet that go through the paces.
Check out Lebron James icing himself off after a game:
For basketball fans, Netflix recently announced they’ve teamed up with ESPN to make a 10-hour documentary on one of the biggest – if not the biggest – stars of all time – Michael Jordan.
Even if you’re not a fan of basketball you would have undoubtedly heard the name Michael Jordan, no single player has been paramount to the success of not only his team but a whole sport (sorry LeBron and Kobe fans but it’s facts). Along with his six NBA Champions rings, five MVPs, two Olympic gold medals and a whole host of other accolades (we’d be here forever if I recounted them all), he’s credited for popularising the sport outside of the United States.
Part of this is to do with his lucrative, and rather polished, sneaker deal with Nike but you don’t get that kind of marketing shine just by being an above-average-athlete.
Jordan set the bar so high it’s impossible to reach. He also starred in the iconic kid’s film Space Jam alongside Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Bill Murray (the 90s was a strange decade).
While the documentary will take a look at his infamous trainers, we doubt they’ll focus too much on his actual feet.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.