23 Things You Might Not Know About Air Jordans

September 6, 2012 BY

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How good is your Air Jordan knowledge? Not just the shoes, colorways, and release dates-how much do you know about the overarching history of the brand? Compiled recently by Complex is this laundry list of forgotten tidbits, including info about Michael’s initial hesitance to sign with Nike, the model that made him stick around, one particular phobia that influenced a late era Air Jordan marketing campaign and more. Click through with us for a few samples from the piece and let us know in the comments below how you think you’d fare in a round of Jordan Brand trivia given how much there is to know about the house that Michael built.


Superstar Jordan

When Michael Jordan left the University of North Carolina in 1984, he wanted to sign with adidas, not Nike. He was a self-described “adidas nut,” and told his agent that if the deal the German company offered was even close, he’d sign with them. Apparently it wasn’t. Their loss.

The Devil Wears Jordans

When Nike first presented MJ with sketches of the black and red Jordan 1s, he innocently responded “I can’t wear that shoe, those are the Devil colors.” As a Tar Heel, MJ wasn’t so eager to don the colors of rival NC State, even if it was his new NBA look.

Dedication

MJ suffered an injury to his foot in the second game of the NBA Finals against Magic and company. When asked if he wanted a special shoe to help protect the injury or his usual VIs — Michael simply responded to the training staff, “give me the pain.”

Jordan IIIs Kept MJ From Walking

Michael wasn’t too big on signing with Nike from the start and after two of the people who did the most to bring him to the brand (Peter Moore and Rob Strasser) left, he was considering a change of scenery as well — his initial deal was up in 1988. In the end, it was young designer Tinker Hatfield’s incorporation of the elephant print and the Moore-conceived Jumpman logo on the revolutionary Air Jordan IIIs (and Michael’s dad telling His Airness that Nike had his best interest at heart) that convinced him to stay. The Air Jordan IIIs should be everyone’s favorite shoe beyond aesthetic reasons.

Afraid of Snakes

Jordan Brand had to completely re-work its marketing plan for the black mamba inspired Jordan XIXs because Michael is afraid of snakes. Kobe Bryant should remain forever thankful (for this and, um, pretty much his whole career).

Illuminated

Just like bonus tracks on your favorite album, the Air Jordan XXI came with something extra that you might not have known was even there. Heck, you might still haven’t seen it. If you ever hold them up to a black light, a special message illuminates. What is it? Find out for yourself.

You can check out the full list of “23 Things You Might Not Know About Air Jordans” over at Complex.

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