May 7th, 2014 by John Kim
Standing on the broad shoulders of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant, Nike Basketball has never been in a healthier position than it is now. But in the mid-1990s, the official roster of signature athletes was just as robust as it featured two of the NBA’s best – one being Michael Jordan, and the other being Penny Hardaway. Jordan had earned three NBA titles and numerous accolades by the time Penny first stepped on the NBA court, but the youngster from Memphis had all the goods to duplicate Michael’s massive success. Unfortunately, Penny’s story is more along the lines of missed potential rather than achieved greatness, and his signature sneaker line with Nike was halted by the turn of the century. So why is the Air Penny such a hot commodity now?
The successful Air Penny lineage can be defined by one ignorable anomaly. “OG” doesn’t ring as harsh a bell as it does with Air Jordans or Nike runners, but instead the loud, energetic concepts entirely void of anything “Magic-al” are the pieces that total up all the Pennys into a massive sum. Bit it wasn’t a steady, unobstructed climb to the top as you may think; instead, it was a steady attack of Air Penny retro releases and impressive new models that gave Penny a second life in a generation dominated by sports stars, so much so that a signature shoe was made for the Penny in retirement. So how is the Air Penny such a big piece of the puzzle? Here’s a quick timeline of sneaker releases that explains why.