In 1984, a sinewy shooting guard from the Dean Smith-led UNC Tar Heels was selected third overall by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Draft. The daring red and jet black was in unison with his scowling demeanor and mild arrogance, but it was a disarming, boyish smile that forced the league’s collective guard down, leaving it vulnerable to attack from any vantage point. It was too late by the time the league figured out who Michael Jordan really was, and it paid dearly; six NBA Championships, ten straight scoring titles in full seasons, five MVP trophies, and shelves full of other trophies were conceded to one man who created an unreasonable standard for NBA players both during his time and for the years to come.
With him throughout the entire journey was Nike; after a meeting with founder Phil Knight, Jordan joined in and the sports-apparel brand designed a signature shoe that created league-wide disapproval from both Jordan’s on-court peers and the NBA brass up top. “Wear it in a game, and you’ll pay”, said the league, and pay they did. Five-thousand a game. “Who do you think you are? You’re not getting the ball” said his All-Star teammates. Michael answered back by playing in every All-Star Game for every full season he participated in. The Air Jordan 1 was the perfect shoe for the perfect rebel; although Jordan himself did not like the original black and red colorway of the Air Jordan 1, as it reminded him of ‘the devil’, he defied league rules along with the laws of gravity and created an unbreakable foundation for his own Legacy.
Sneaker News proudly presents ‘Michael Jordan Through The Years’, a chronicling of Michael Jordan’s memorable moments from the life and career of the man himself and his signature shoes, looking back at regular season games, All-Star Game appearances, championship-winning nights, and Gold Medal affairs. Starting things off is the Air Jordan 1, a shoe that debuted during Michael Jordan’s rookie year while making some notable appearances along the way. The 1985 NBA All-Star Game, the Dunk Contest, an appearance on David Letterman, the ’85 Playoffs, even during a 1998 game against the Knicks – the Air Jordan 1 saw its fair share of exposure and has come to be an icon in the sneaker world for a multitude of reasons. Continue reading for a detailed gallery of MJ in the Air Jordan 1, and stay tuned to Sneaker News for our new weekly Michael Jordan Through The Years feature.