April 16, 2012 BY John Kim
We’ve come to feature a ton of Air Jordan Player Exclusives over the years, but none carry as much of an interesting story as this pair you see here. For those who aren’t sure who Harold Miner is, that’s quite alright, because he hasn’t played in an NBA game since ’96 nor has he given any sort of formal interview for nearly 15 years. Since he was last seen on a televised NBA game, any bit of news confirming his existence came in the form of inane rumors that spread on the internet – working at a Jack in the Box in LA, a member of the LAPD, stuck in the Witness Protection Program.
The man once called ‘Baby Jordan’ had an incredibly bright future ahead of him, earning Player of the Year honors ahead of Shaquille O’neal and Christian Laettner (two of the greatest collegiate ballers in history) and earning over $7 million from the Miami Heat as part of his rookie contract and from a Nike endorsement deal that was reported to be close to $14 million. He broke scoring records at USC, rocked the bald head, wore ’23’ on his jersey, and shared a few other mannerisms with MJ – this guy was poised to become a marketing machine on top of being a future star. This Air Jordan X PE with Miner’s ’32’ embroidered at the ankle should be enough to tell you that Nike had some high hopes for Miner, and although he didn’t have Jordan-like numbers in his first few seasons, he won two NBA Dunk Contests (just like Michael). And given Jordan’s retirement from the game in ’93, the door had been opened and Miner’s arrival was all but written in the books.
Sadly, that page was never turned, and after knee surgery in ’96 and a failed tryout for the expansion Raptors, Harold Miner’s legend came to a screeching halt and it seemed that ‘Baby Jordan’ never went beyond the crib. In fact, Miner never poked his head out in the sporting news world for years, leaving basketball fans eternally curious about Harold Miner in his post-NBA life until he finally gave an interview two years ago. Miner isn’t flipping burgers, patrolling the streets, or in some undisclosed suburb in Arizona – he’s alive and well, investing in real estate and still living off of his original earnings from the mid-90’s while supporting his family. Safe to say that Baby Jordan is all grown up now, but he’d prefer it if you just called him ‘Harold Miner’. More on this incredibly rare Air Jordan X collectible below, so take a good look, let us know if you have any ‘Baby Jordan’ memories, and check out the auction from d_g.o.a.t. on eBay.
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