Origin of a Nickname: Air Jordan XIII “He Got Game”
For as long as we can remember, sneaker releases have been accompanied by catchy nicknames to the point where these monikers are now the accepted terms in identifying the shoes. There are the newer terms to the sneaker vocabulary, like ‘South Beach’ from the LeBron series or ‘Grinch’ on the Kobe, but there are those that have been long-lasting like ‘He Got Game’, which has been in heavy and exclusive use for the upcoming Air Jordan XIII release. For that release in particular, the nickname has been around since the Spike Lee film first released in 1998 – a film that might be older than some of the sneakerheads who are planning to buy the shoes on the March 16th release date.
This Air Jordan XIII colorway originally released in 1997 and was actually the only Air Jordan XIII colorway to release that year (all other original colorways dropped in 1998). In the movie, Jake Shuttlesworth (played by Denzel Washington), a prison inmate, gets sent on a mission to convince the convict’s son, a star High School basketball player, to play for the warden’s alma mater in exchange for a shorter sentence. One iconic scene of the film features Jake shopping for a pair of kicks, and without hesitation, he requests the new Air Jordans to which he is presented with the Air Jordan XIII. From then on this colorway adopted the ‘He Got Game’ nickname; the trend resurfaced when the shoes retroed for the first time in 2008, and picked up yet again when the release was confirmed for 2013.
There are a few scenes in the film in which the sneakers as a whole take center stage, like when his son Jesus (played by Ray Allen) points them out, and when Jake and Jesus battle in one last game of one-on-one. The movie itself is a star-studded line-up of actors, NBA stars, and iconic kicks, so there’s no doubt that ‘He Got Game’ is among the must-watch films for sneaker hobbyists. Check below for these scenes and if there’s a shoe nickname you’re not quite sure of, drop a comment with a request and it might get featured on the next segment of Origins of a Nickname.
In this scene, Jake Shuttlesworth picks up the “new Air Jordans”. The employee helps him try the shoes on, but not without an awkward moment!
Jesus and Jake meet for a chat on the Coney Island boardwalk. Son quickly recognizes the “new Jordans” on his father’s feet!
This epic scene ends with Jesus finally defeating his father in a game of one-on-one. Jake’s wearing the He Got Games, while Jesus rocks a Nike classic – the Air Hawk Flight.
Never have I called these the "He Got Game". They always been Air Jordan 13's blk/wht-true red to me....
Just look at that first screen shot...not to give a "back in the day" speech but I do miss when you could walk into a sneaker store calmly ask for your size sit down and try them on and purchase without any nonsense.
calling them the he got games hah I saw Seinfeld wearing Grape 5s does that mean theyre aka the Seinfeld 5s.And to think I thought they were the Black and White 13s
Yea this post has to be for kids. ANYBODY 20 plus years of age knows about He Got Game. If not you have no actual business dealing with basketball or basketball shoes
well i guess this informs those who didn't know but a snea'd would have already done the research and known this. so if you didn't know, now you do.
@npt I totally agree! With this logic, the White Cement 4's should really be known as the Do the Right Thing 4's. Lol
@DreamChaser nah people actually wearing their jays....those are the days
@DreamChaser who cares if they never watched the movie Jordan made this shoe famous on the court not Ray Allen or Denzel on the big screen.. you shouldnt also refrain from saying the word lame
@JosephMartin1 damn beat me to it, lol. or known as "Buggin' Out"
@CarlosQuintero Lol alot of people do wear their js just go to the mall and you ll see. The difference between then and now is that it has turned into which one you have into which ones you have if that makes any sense.
@DesmondDiggaDezDavis. I never said Denzel or ray made this shoe famous all im saying its a underrated movie even though tho i do feel that Denzel did contribute in this shoes popularity mostly because its nicknamed after the movie :/ also because of its cameo like mj wearing the 11s in space jam..... I wont stop saying lame then
@DreamChaser i agree im just saying if u wearing the shoe for the movie then know the movie if u wearing it for mj (that should be the man reason) then wear it for that. Also the shoe got its nickname from the movie yes but thats cuz JB wants to force promote nicknames to sell retros (as if this is even needed). They were black toe 13s before that or no nickname just black and white js jordan wore