An NBA ban may have been the best thing that ever happened to Ryan and Adam Goldston.

Two years ago, the twin brothers developed a pair of shoes using a type of spring that help the wearer jump an additional 3½ inches in the air. A few short months later, the National Basketball Association banned the shoes from all its games, saying they provided an unfair advantage.

That sent sales of the shoes from the brothers’ Beverly Hills-based Athletic Propulsion Labs sky high.

So high that the brothers, 25, bought matching condos only one door apart from each other on one of the top floors of the 54-story luxury condo tower the Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live downtown last year. They wouldn’t disclose the prices they paid, but condos there start at $850,000.

Appropriately, or perhaps ironically, the two now live next door to the Staples Center, where the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers play.

“Basically, we are in the sports mecca of Los Angeles,” Adam said. “It’s like we are above it and looking down.”

The twins, whose father is Mark Goldston, chief executive of United Online Inc. of Woodland Hills, are already working on another line of shoes: These will help the wearer run faster than usual, they said.

So what happens when a major sports organization bans those shoes?

“We’ll move up to the penthouse,” Ryan said.

Ringer Punches Up AT&T

After Sean Elmi escaped the Iranian capital of Tehran during that country’s war with Iraq in the 1980s, he settled in Harbor City with his sister and parents.

Leaving the war zone was a relief to Elmi, who was 9 years old at the time. Except for one thing – he was the scrawniest kid at his new Torrance elementary school. So, he decided to learn some self-defense and started taking boxing lessons.

Now 33, Elmi, AT&T’s director of sales for Los Angeles, said he still gets into the ring at least once a week to stay in shape.

The biggest difference, now that he’s an executive, is that he no longer competes for knockouts. He spars with opponents while wearing pads. That’s partly because he’s sometimes interviewed by local TV stations when there are notable product launches at AT&T stores.

“It doesn’t look great for an executive to show up with a broken nose or a black eye,” he said. “It’s not the greatest image for AT&T.”

Staff reporters Jacquelyn Ryan and Jonathan Polakoff contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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