Jordan Brand- A History of the Jordan Brand Culture in the NBA (Retro)
The Beginning of Jordan Brand…
In the NBA, no other sneaker brand has been able to eclipse the Jordan brand. Michael Jordan and Nike created something special that will continue for generations. With the rise of different sneaker brands coming back in the basketball game such as Puma and New Balance, the Jordan brand remains elite!
Each brand brings its own touch of creativity, but no other brand can match Jordan. These sneakers have been running the sneaker game since 1985. The Retro 1 “Banned” sneaker was iconic and still is to this day. We could talk about a masterpiece that is the Jordan 4’s as well. Michael Jordan brought culture to the NBA that would continue. His style still lives on in the NBA with sneakerheads such as the infamous P.J. Tucker or even Montrezl Harrell. Each player brings their creativity to the court when they choose which shoes to rock in game.
The Air Jordan 1 was unlike any other shoe. It revolutionized the sneaker game. When I think of the AJ1 I think of three words: greatness, breakthrough, and legendary. The shoe itself has had so much attention that it has a documentary based solely on it. Due to the strict nature of the uniform rule in the NBA back in the 1980s, wearing the red and black shoe was prohibited.
Luckily Nike was more than willing to pay the price of $5,000 per game they were worn. Jordan didn’t even start wearing them at the start of the season back in 1984. This shoe has caused so much controversy and yet is iconic to this day. As we look back on the history of this shoe we think of Jordan himself and how he helped take over the NBA and brought something to the game unlike anything we have seen.
The AJ1 to Jordan was even dubbed ugly due to his college roots at the University of North Carolina. So many things can describe this shoe, but we all know that the only word that can truly describe it is “legendary”.
The Saga Continues
Jordan didn’t just stop with AJ1. He continued to help Nike with developing more shoes that we still wear to this day. One of my favorite Jordans is the Jordan 4. It is extremely comfortable and has a look I think is very unique.
Now, some of the most infamous Jordans are the MotorSport 4s, The Flu Game 12s, The Space Jam 11s, and The Charcoal 7s ( Raptor 7s). Each style represents a moment in time that was special to Jordan and we get a taste of his creative genius as well as that of Tinker Hatfield and the rest of the development team at Nike.
The AJ1 was still altered and given new colorways as time went on. A few to mention are the AJ1 Barons (represent his time playing baseball with the Chicago White Sox in the minors), the AJ1 Shattered Backboard (represent his dunk that shattered a backboard while playing in Italy), and the AJ1 Letterman (represents his interview back in 1987 when he was on David Letterman).
Each shoe typically comes out with several colorways as time progresses. The AJ 3 Cement is one of the famous colorways as well as the AJ 5 Grapes. It’s almost impossible to truly have a favorite.
The Future of Jordan Brand!
From the banned AJ1’s to the Jordan 13 He Got Game shoe, the Jordan brand has shown they think outside of the box. It’s crazy to think that this brand has been growing from Jordan himself to players like Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and their newest addition Zion Williamson. They are constantly changing the game and will continue to do so in the future.
These sneakers are still loved to this day. You will see hundreds, if not thousands, camped out waiting for a release of a Retro Jordan Brand shoe. The demand for these shoes is insane and, because of that, the shoe game has developed into a multi-million dollar industry. There are teenagers selling sneakers and making thousands off just one pair. When we think of the future of the shoe game, Jordans will always be the first ones that come to mind.
Yeah, Adidas has been on the come up and New Balance has Kawhi Leonard now, but Jordan is at the top. It’s a legendary name. They are always finding ways to improve and have a winning mentality.
When Michael Jordan came to the NBA, he took over the shoe game and took over the NBA. It’s crazy to think that, even to this day, he is still at the top. With the current state of demand for the Retro Jordans, I don’t think we will see a decline in Jordan Brand’s worth. It only solidifies that he will continue to rise and his shoe legacy will rise as well.
Look out for the next part of the Jordan Brand series. Next up: New Era.