Unlike the NFL where everything starts with the season opener on a Thursday night in September and the Super Bowl in February, the NBA has spotlight days throughout their season. While Christmas Day brought us some colorful kicks from the likes of LeBron, Kobe & Kevin Durant, Martin Luther King Day brings a much more restrained and refined colorway for many of Nike’s signature sneakers.

Yes, Phil Knight’s brainchild has catered heavily to the black & gold colorway instead of its usual black, red & green. For 2011, every member of the Nike Basketball family will be outlined in the colors worn with pride by my former high school and Alphai Phi Alpha, black & gold. Nike’s even upping the ante by dropping four rare kicks for retail.

Via NIKE Basketball:

Nike celebrates Black History Month by praising all those who have answered the call to greatness, with a special and well-deserved nod to the Black athletes who committed themselves to making an impact on their sport, and in the process, changed our world.

In honor of their collective achievement, every player in the Nike Basketball Family will take the court in Black History Month Edition footwear, donning a special black and gold colorway.

In addition, four limited-edition shoes will hit retail: the Nike Zoom Kobe VI, Air Force 1, Jordan III and Converse Star Player.

This tri-branded experience could only begin with these three:

Dr. J. MJ. And Kobe.

Champions. MVPs. And pioneers each.

More info at Nike Basketball but more detailed images of each spotlighted shoe down bottom.

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