March 19th, 2014 by John Kim
There’s no denying that the actions of such a powerful individual affects more than the individual. With Jordan leaving the game, NBA ratings fell, a powerhouse dynasty franchise was denied the title of being the greatest ever, and the rapid momentum of a powerful signature sneaker line was put to a halt. At the time, there was no sign that Mike would return to the hardwood. After all, during his retirement announcement, he had said that he no longer felt a challenge with the game of basketball, having won three Championships in a row. That left a number of entities scrambling for secondary plans of action, and while the Jordan-less era was still respectable in its own right, it was evident that things would no longer be the same.
With the sport’s most dominant star no longer suiting up, it could be argued that the future of the Air Jordan sneaker was under the spotlight. It was forced into a strange junction of Air Jordan re-issues and an exploration of new colorways, which may or may not have spoken directly to the Jordan-seeking consumer. Could a brand market a product named after an individual, despite his accomplishments, that would no longer be in action? There is indeed a timeline of events of within the Jordan series that was greatly altered by MJ’s return (one that some may argue would have happened eventually), so here’s a look at how Jordan’s return in 1995 affected the Air Jordan line for then present-day and the future that is today.