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Adidas Unveils Extra-Light Basketball Shoe

The athletic brand will debut its new basketball shoe during the 2011 NBA playoffs.

Adidas is gearing up for the grand finale of the NBA season.

The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based athletic company launched its newest and lightest basketball shoe, called the Adizero Crazy Light, in New York on Thursday.

Debuting nationally this weekend, the sneaker will be worn by brand endorsers Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard during round one of the NBA playoffs, and it will hit retail stores on June 3. Four colorways — in bright-blue, red, black and tonal gray — debut first, and six more come out throughout September. The retail price is $130.

“We’ve been planning this for 12 to 18 months, and we thought about it carefully,” Lawrence Norman, VP of global basketball for Adidas, said about the timing of the launch. “So leading into the NBA finals, what better time to launch a basketball shoe than when all eyes are on basketball.”

Weighing in at 9.8 ounces, the Crazy Light is touted as the lightest shoe in the category, which is a major selling point for the target consumer: 14- to 19-year-olds. “The shoe speaks to lightweight, the colors are graphically loud and completely young and relevant,” said product marketing manager Jack Gray.

And while a possible NBA lockout is looming at the end of this season, Norman said Adidas (the official league outfitter) isn’t too worried. “Nobody wants a lockout, but we certainly have contingency plans in case there is,” he said. “We have a pretty global business, and it’s diverse in scope. We also have a presence in the NCAA, AAU and high school basketball, so we’ll be OK.”