In 1971, Adidas introduced basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s signature shoe, the first basketball shoe to feature the autograph of an endorsing celebrity. The shoes were available in high- and low-top and were extremely popular on and off the basketball court through the early 1980s. In fact, it was the Jabbar, rather than the more widely known Superstar, that made Adidas the brand of choice in hip-hop fashion and culture.
Additionally, Adidas’s entrance into the North American basketball market signaled a shift in the sneaker industry; no longer were basketball shoes predominantly North American in design and manufacture. Instead, European sneakers began setting trends in the 1980s.