Michael Jordan Through The Years: Air Jordan V
By the end of the 1988-89 NBA Season, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls had reached their closest point to an NBA Championship despite not reaching the NBA Finals. Sparked by an astounding series-winning shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, the Bulls blew past the New York Knicks in the second round and lost in six games to the eventual champions Detroit Pistons. Although coming short of total victory, Michael Jordan was still riding high on the Air Jordan IV as his celebrity reached an enormous peak near the level of movie-stars and musicians. Fresh for the 1989-90 NBA Season, Michael Jordan was once again ready for battle, but with a new general at the helm, as legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson began his tenure with the Chicago Bulls. Despite finishing the season one game short of the NBA Finals, Michael Jordan experienced his winningest season as a Chicago Bull and gained valuable experience to piece together a Championship team.
After wearing the Air Jordan IV for the first half of the ’89-’90 season, Michael Jordan debuted the Air Jordan V in February of 1990 during the All-Star Game. The Air Jordan V featured a few carry-over design elements from the Air Jordan IV but utilized an all new architectural muse. Likening Michael Jordan’s gameplay to a World War II Mustang Fighter Jet for his sneak attacks and aerial assaults, repeat designer Tinker Hatfield transferred the design of the plane onto the shoe, marked by the ‘shark’s teeth’ on the midsole and the over-sized padded tongue with 3M-reflective material to match the shiny panels of the Mustang’s body. Tinker Hatfield also introduced the translucent sole to the Air Jordan, creating even more of a dazzling appearance, and used that same material on the upper netting, which reduced the weight of the shoe. Combined with the visible Air cushioning, the Air Jordan V is considered to be one of the most comfortable Air Jordans ever created.
Four original colorways of the Air Jordan V were created; the Black/Metallic Silver, which Jordan wore during the All-Star Game and Playoffs, a White/Black/Red colorway that he used throughout the remainder of the ’89-’90 season (including the infamous #12 jersey game), the ‘Fire Red’, which Jordan wore for the first half of the ’90-’91 NBA Season, and the ‘Grape’ colorway, arguably the most popular of the bunch and one of the greatest Air Jordans of all time. The Air Jordan V was re-issued a decade later in a number of new colorways, like the ‘Laney’ that paid tribute to Jordan’s high-school, and a clean White/Metallic Silver pair, followed by a much larger Retro release in 2006-2007, which introduced a number of great new color-ups rarely seen in the Air Jordan Legacy. In 2009, a special two-pack of the Air Jordan V called the ‘Toro Bravo’ Pack was released, one in a passionate red suede, which highlighted Jordan’s tenacity for the game, and another in a full-3M upper, which emphasized the marquee feature of the Air Jordan V. Five signature shoes and a closet full of personal accomplishments. What else would be left for Michael Jordan? Continue reading for the entire Michael Jordan Through The Years: Air Jordan V feature and stay tuned for the next installment.