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Classics Revisited: Nike Air Bakin’ (1997)

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NIKE BASKETBALL 1990’s WEEK

Finishing off this week’s focus on some of most unforgettable 1990’s Nike Basketball Classics is perhaps one of the most controversial sneakers of all-time – the Nike Air Bakin’. Falling in one of the best years of Nike Hoops of that decade (1997, which spawned the Air Foamposite One, Zoom Flight Five, and the Air Jordan XII), the Air Bakin’ was a visual standout with the uniquely place waves that adorned the upper and the funky Black/Red/Yellow colorway (there was also a lesser-known Black/Royal version). The shoe was popular among speedy guards – particularly Tim Hardaway, who was known for one of the quickest first-steps in NBA history – but the Bakin’ has a place in sneakerhead history for a whole different reason.

What makes the Nike Air Bakin’ such a sizzling story is the controversy that arose from the fiery logo on the heel; it was the word ‘Air’ designed in a fiery motif, but backlash from the Muslim community for its slight resemblance to ‘Allah’ in Arabic text forced Nike to recall the shoes and re-release with a basic Nike Air logo. Not only was this a high-performer, but also a scintillating story that is still recalled today. More of the Bakin’ after the jump, so take a look and let us know if you think there’s any real controversy behind the Air logo, and stay tuned to next week’s new batch of Classics Revisited!

Nike Air Bakin’
1997