Michael Jordan Through The Years: Air Jordan X
Michael Jordan’s sudden retirement in October of 1993 shocked the world of sports and completely changed the horizon of the NBA’s future. The league was guaranteed an all-new champion by default, and the Houston Rockets rose to the occasion and captured the NBA Title in the Summer of 1994. The Chicago Bulls put up a formidable attack that season, tallying fifty-five wins and advancing to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, but the 1994-95 season was a different story. The Bulls were unable to continue Jordan’s winning legacy, and late into the season, the Chicago Bulls were standing at .500 with the powerhouse New York Knicks and Orlando Magic standing farther ahead of them. Not only were the NBA Finals an unrealistic goal, but at times it appeared that the Chicago Bulls would miss the Playoffs completely. The team, the franchise, and the town were in dire need of a savior, and on March 17th, 1995, the citizens of the Windy City were about to be blown away.
Michael Jordan announced his comeback to basketball on March the 17th and was quickly inserted into the starting line-up. Despite losing on his first game back, the Bulls went 13-4 the rest of the season, solidifying themselves a Playoff position and owning an unstoppable momentum. At times, it appeared that Michael Jordan was just a shell of himself, but on his fifth game back, Michael Jordan dropped 55 points on the New York Knicks, an outstanding, awe-inspiring performance that today is referred to as ‘the Double-Nickel’. Unfortunately, not all the rust was shaken off, the the Chicago Bulls fell to Shaquille O’neal, Penny Hardaway, and the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, but spirits were still sky-high. The Chicago Bulls faithful believed once again, and the Promised Land was again on the horizon.
The Air Jordan X was officially released in November of 1994. Despite Michael wearing the shoe for a short period of time, the Air Jordan X holds its fair share of history in the Air Jordan Legacy. Tinker Hatfield and the designers at Nike were fully prepared for Michael Jordan to never lace up a pair of sneakers on an NBA court ever again, and so Hatfield treated the Air Jordan X as a tribute of sorts to Michael Jordan and his illustrious career. The most notable feature of the Air Jordan X is the bottom sole, which details Michael’s career achievements during each year of active play. Another interesting note about the Air Jordan X was that it marked the 10th Anniversary of the Air Jordan shoe. To mark the 10-year milestone, Nike re-issued the original Air Jordan 1, II, and III, and released a special ‘City Pack’ of the Air Jordan X in colorways matching the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics, and Orlando Magic. Upon his return to the NBA, Michael wore the White/Red ‘Bulls’ colorway during the regular season and the ‘Shadow’ colorway for the First Round of the Playoffs; special Player Exclusives were made for Michael with ’45′ stitched on the upper to match his new jersey number. The Air Jordan X was later re-issued in 2005 in a number of colorways and again in 2008. Continue reading for a full visual history of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan X, and stick with Sneaker News for the next installment of Michael Jordan Through The Years.