August 23, 2010 BY Aaron Kr.
In 1995, Michael Jordan returned to the game of basketball after a short retirement sparked by the sudden death of his father and desire to excel in other sports. During the second round of the 1995 NBA Playoffs, Michael Jordan debuted the groundbreaking Air Jordan XI ‘Concord’ as well as the Black/White colorway, but an early exit at the hands of the Orlando Magic left spectators short of views. The black/white colorway was produced with ’45’ on the heeltab, matching Jordan’s new (but temporary) jersey number, but the shoe itself never released alongside the other original colorways. A year later, Jordan returned for a full season with his original ’23’ jersey number but we also got a look at Space Jam, a film starring Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes cast, and other NBA Superstars; in that movie, MJ wore the black/white pair of Jordan XIs once more – and the nickname stuck due to the combination of black, white, and hints of blue being a perfect match for the intergalactic theme of the film.
In 2000, the Air Jordan XI ‘Space Jam’ was finally released to the public; by that time, Jordan had won another three NBA Titles and the number 45 was a mere afterthought, a minor tidbit of trivia of Michael Jordan’s storied career. However, a few sample pairs of the Space Jam XI were produced with ’45’ – not ’23’ – on the heeltab, but Jordan himself vetoed that decision and the samples were scrapped. Here’s an auction for a deadstock pair of the Air Jordan XI Space Jam with the rare ’45’ on the heel; the shoes comes with a custom wooden box with special engravings, but included in the package is some rare Space Jam memorabilia, like a VHS copy of the movie, packaged figurines, a necktie, and trading cards. Truly a collector’s item for any Jordan fanatic, this auction is one-of-a-kind and must-watch, so keep an eye on this auction from SoleSupreme on eBay.