The Evolution of the Air Jordan

Two words, friends. Michael Jordan. What comes to mind for you when the name is mentioned? The style? The grace? The elegance? The competitive drive? The championships? Is it the shoes? Yeah, Money. It's gotta be the shoes. I was 5 years old the first time I "remember" seeing Michael Jordan play. He was different. It was clear he was the best player on the floor, but he moved and played like the best player on the planet; maybe to ever exist. The legacy was born.

The Nike Air Ship started it all.

Imagine having a shoe become a generational symbol of approval. A shoe so important to a subculture, people spend countless time, energy and money just to get their hands on a pair. A shoe so controversial, it was once banned from the league it represented; the NBA. Oh, you didn't know? The Nike Air Ship (the prototype for the Jordan 1) was banned from the NBA for its red and black color wave; as opposed to the basic white Converse most players wore at the time. It debuted in 1984 and years later, it's become a symbol of rebellious acceptance within a community of basketball, fashion, and hip hop music fans. The Air Jordan 1 is not just a shoe. It's THE SHOE.

The Jordan Brand is a top seller.

The Air Jordan III to the Air Jordan XII still remain some of the most popular (and most expensive) shoes on the market today. Their designs have transcended time and become a fashion statement. Whether it's the Air Jordan III Retro Cement or the Air Jordan 12 Retro North Carolina Blue, the Jumpman logo has proven to revolutionize the sneaker game. Yes, the Air Jordan is part of the Nike family, but it stands alone. It's become a recognizable brand worldwide and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Air Jordan is here to stay.

The Jordan Nostalgia still exists.

Michael Jordan hasn't played a game since April 16th, 2003 yet his sneaker remains one of the top selling basketball shoes annually. To be completely honest, they're not a comfortable basketball shoe, but that doesn't matter. People wear Air Jordan's to feel (or feel like) Michael Jordan; even if it's just for a bit. For those who never had an opportunity to see him play live, Michael Jordan is simply a figment of the imagination. For those of us who did, MJ is a living legend; a basketball God even.

Countless NBA players have worn the Air Jordan throughout the years. It's a testament to the level of respect players have for Jordan. Hall of Famers such as Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Reggie Miller and Ray Allen wore them at times throughout their careers. Even today players such as Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul and Luka Doncic are represented by the Jordan Brand; twenty-six years after the Air Jordan 1 was released. Clearly, people still wanna "Be Like Mike."

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