April 14, 2011 BY John Kim
Sneaker News’ Michael Jordan Through The Years has detailed Michael Jordan’s entire professional career in the Air Jordan. Beginning with the Air Jordan 1 and ending with the Air Jordan XVIII (don’t forget the three-part Air Jordan XI series), each and every Air Jordan on Michael’s feet was included in the feature. But keep in mind that Michael Jordan came before the Air Jordan, and that there were a few instances in his career during which he wasn’t representing his own signature shoes. Let’s begin with his collegiate years; Michael and the entire Tar Heels squad wore the Converse Pro Leather and Pro Star in a matching White/Carolina Blue colorway. It wasn’t until reaching the NBA that Michael signed on as a Nike athlete; on October 24th, 1985, the world of footwear changed forever.
Before the word ‘Air’ became synonymous with his name, Michael Jordan began his journey as a professional basketball player with the Nike Airship Hi in three colorways – White/White, White/Red, and Black/Red. Michael later debuted the Air Jordan 1, and the astounding international sales combined with Jordan’s apparent megastardom in the making pointed to a long-standing relationship between Michael and the Swoosh. Since the Airship Hi, Michael has rarely been seen without an Air Jordan shoe on the court, but he did appear in a few Nike Running, Training, and Basketball shoes, like the Air Trainer SC II High, Nike Air 180, and Nike Air Force Low for photoshoots, fan events, and other promos.
It wasn’t until 1995 when Michael would sport a non-Air Jordan shoe in an NBA game; when he came back from retirement in 1995, Michael unofficially debuted the Air Jordan XI during the second round of the Playoffs. The White/Black-Dark Concord colorway was an immediate crowd-pleaser, but didn’t do much for the NBA bigwigs, as the white/black colorway did not fall in line with team-uniform guidelines and was unsuitable for use. For Game 3 of that series, Michael, with no shoes to wear, borrowed a pair of the Nike Air Flight One from Penny Hardaway’s stash, and cut off the heeltab as it featured Penny’s One-Cent logo. Michael ended up dropping 40 points that game, but the Bulls were not able to win the game. Michael’s final non-Jordan appearance came during his Washington Wizards days, when he wore the Jordan Team F.B.I. in the White/Royal and White/Varsity Red. Continue reading for a recap of the Non-Air Jordan Edition of Michael Jordan Through The Years and stay tuned to Sneaker News for the next installment of Michael Jordan Through The Years.
Filed under: Air Jordan