Despite a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Pistons in the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals, Michael Jordan maintained a stoic demeanor while speaking to reporters on the court following the game. But inside, Michael Jordan was a ‘raging bull’, seething for another opportunity to take down the Detroit Pistons and advance to the NBA Finals. The 1990-91 NBA Season was one of the most efficient seasons of Jordan’s entire career; while still maintaining a scoring average of over thirty a game, Michael played only thirty-seven minutes per outing, which marked a career low for his entire tenure as a Chicago Bull. Michael Jordan took home an MVP Award while being placed on the All-NBA and All-Defensive 1st Team, but it wasn’t until June 12th, 1991 that Jordan received the trophy he had been yearning for over seven years.
After utterly dismantling the Eastern Conference throughout the first three rounds of the Playoffs, Michael Jordan embarked on his first-ever trip to the NBA Finals, facing off against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. The highly-anticipated series wasn’t nearly as competitive as fans though, as the Finals wrapped up in a mere five games. Michael Jordan took home the NBA Finals MVP for averaging 31.2 points, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals, and 1.4 blocks, but his most memorable moment among that heap of stats was his legendary mid-air hand-switching lay-up that marked Jordan’s thirteenth field goal made in a row for the game. Scottie Pippen ran out the clock to end the game, and Michael Jordan had finally reached the ultimate goal – winning the NBA Championship. Overwhelmed with emotions of joy and the sense of triumph, Jordan broke down in tears, clutching the Naismith Trophy in his hands, while being consoled by his father. June 12th, 1991 – truly a defining moment of Michael Jordan’s career.
So what did he wear during his first championship? That one’s easy – the Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Jordan VI. The design of the shoe was a summation of a number of ideas – firstly as an evolutionary step forward from the Air Jordan V, then with inspirations from the classic Blucher-style dress shoe as well as Jordan’s Porsche. Michael Jordan introduced the Air Jordan VI during the 1991 NBA All-Star Game in the beloved Black/Infrared colorway, finished off the rest of the NBA regular season wearing the White/Infrared colorway, and reverted back to Black for the NBA Playoffs – and for one game, despite an injury, preferred to endure pain and wear his own Jordans over a protective shoe. It wasn’t until the 1991-92 Season that Michael wore the ‘Carmine’, which is considered to be one of the greatest Air Jordans of all time. Other original colorways included Maroon and Sport Blue, and later the Olympic, Midnight Navy, and three low-cut colorways. Later, in 2006, the Air Jordan VI released as part of the Defining Moments Package, adopting the Black/Gold lux motif, and in 2010, the ‘Infrared Pack’ released alongside five all-new Retro colorways. Continue reading for a full gallery of images and video of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan VI, and stay tuned to Sneaker News for the next installment of Michael Jordan Through The Years.