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Michael Jordan Through The Years: Air Jordan II

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Last week, Sneaker News launched Michael Jordan Through The Years, a shoe-by-shoe chronicling of the Air Jordan Legacy featuring Michael Jordan, the shoes, and the stories of that year. We kicked it off with the original Air Jordan 1, a shoe that Jordan said reminded him of the devil, but undoubtedly matched his feisty on-court persona and the bullying aura of black and red. However, the Air Jordan 1 was a mere spin-off of the Nike Dunk High, so it was time start anew for the Air Jordan II; the design exuded an attitude if luxury and high performace while seeming shedding its rebellious reputation, but Air Jordan II didn’t necessarily follow all the rules.

The Air Jordan II was designed by Bruce Kilgore, who you know readily for being the man behind the historic Air Force 1, the quintessential Nike shoe and currently the face of the Nike Sportswear. The Air Jordan II was a special project for Kilgore because it wasn’t meant to be a conventional Nike shoe; it was the first signature Nike shoe to not feature a Swoosh logo, but instead featured a diminutive ‘NIKE’ on the rear heel, and introduced an interesting faux-lizard skin material on the upper. The Air Jordan II also featured the luxurious Air Jordan Wings logo on tongue, which also marked the last time the logo would ever make it on an Air Jordan shoe in the years to come. Overall, the level of style and design was unmatched at the time, as Air Jordan II’s 19th-Century boot inspiration and Italian roots separated itself from convention and created a new standard for all the Air Jordan designs to come.

Was there a sophomore slump for the Air Jordan II? The design itself was incredibly unique as were the materials used, and Michael Jordan had a stellar year wearing his second signature shoe (actually his third year – he sat out most of his second year due to injury). Jordan averaged a career-high 37.1 points a game, scored more than 3000 points in a season – the first such occurrence since Wilt Chamberlain did in 1973, and established himself as the best shooting guard in the game, as he was selected to the NBA All-Star team, as well as the All-NBA First Team. An NBA star was born in 1984 – did that 1986-87 season and the Air Jordan II establish a growing legacy? Check out the great gallery of Michael Jordan in the Air Jordan II and stay tuned to Sneaker News for our next installment of Michael Jordan Through The Years.