While the old saying “It’s the clothes that make the man” was probably first uttered by somebody who was pretty full of himself as he was staring into a mirror, there is something to that, however.

For instance, how impressive would say Superman or Batman be, out saving the world while decked out in a mesh tank top and long shorts?

The same goes for an NBA player. While Dwight Howard did manage to pull off the cape look once last year, watching Shaquille O’Neal work the low post in a form-fitting body suit just doesn’t seem to be quite right on so many levels.

But fear not, true believers. 

Today, the NBA and adidas unveiled what they are calling “the most innovative basketball uniform ever,” which will debut at the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix.

No, it won’t repel bullets or withstand 1,000-degree flames, but the new look is touted as 30-percent lighter than the traditional uniform and features adidas’ Formotion technology which reduces seams, decreases friction and optimizes the player’s natural movement. The jersey also has strategically placed ClimaCool zones which conduct heat away from the body through a combination of ventilation channels, three-dimensional fabrics, and materials that disperse heat and moisture. 

And if that wasn’t high-tech enough, the uniforms are also combining the use of compression fabrics and polyurethane powerbands to boost power to key muscle groups. Boasting a supposed four-percent increase in one’s vertical leap, that’s the NBA equivalent of being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Like most All-Star jerseys of late, the 2009 model will once again infuse a little hometown flair in the design. The new All-Star jerseys were inspired by the aesthetics and history of Phoenix with colors representing the earth, desert, sun and sky, and will be integrated throughout the entire adidas NBA All-Star on-court and fan apparel collections. The jerseys feature various shades of horizontal lines that resemble Arizona’s iconic rock formations. The flame design on the shorts represents the story of the mythical bird, the Phoenix, for which the city is named. And, of course, holding with recent tradition, the All-Stars from the host team’s conference will wear white uniforms. The West All-Star uniforms will be white, gold and desert red, a color scheme inspired by the colors of the 2009 NBA All-Star logo and the uniforms of the host Suns. The East All-Star uniforms will be navy, silver and sunset blue. 

To order your customizable 2009 All-Star Authentic jersey now, head to NBAStore.com for both the Eastern and Western Conference looks.

Or if you’re waxing nostalgic for the 1995 All-Star Game, check out that same link for retro Hardwood Classic jerseys featuring the very same jerseys sported by Shaquille O’Neal and Dan Majerle 14 years ago at the last midseason exhibition held in Phoenix. 

You remember the cactus look, don’t you?