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23 Things You Should Know About Air Jordans

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Air Jordan

Sorry Chuck. But, Air Jordans are the most popular and iconic basketball sneakers of all-time. People drop thousands of dollars, wait in line for days or weeks and go to any lengths possible just to cop a pair of Jordans – sometimes resulting in dangerous and illegal acts. They dominate the feet of some of the most elite NBA players. They”™ve been worn by some of the biggest celebs in the world. And, they”™ve become timeless thanks to appearances in film, TV and song. Putting it mildly, Air Jordans are the essential basketball shoes.

Because these kicks are so legendary, it”™s only right that we highlight the brand with the following 23 things that you should know about Air Jordans.

23. There was a clause in the 1984 contract between Jordan and Nike. If Air Jordans didn”™t make $3 million during the first 3 years, or if MJ didn”™t earn a spot in NBA All-Star Game in his first three seasons, then Nike could drop him. Thankfully, this didn”™t happen. MJ made the All-Star roster and Air Jordan made $130 million in 1985.

22. The original price tag for the Air Jordan I? $65. That would cost around $136 today. A hefty price back then.

21. Despite being the color of his NBA team, Jordan wasn”™t happy with the black and red Jordan 1s. He reportedly said, “I can”™t wear that shoe. Those are the devil colors.” This wasn”™t a religious reference, however. These were the colors of the Tar Heels”™ biggest rival at the time – NC State.

20. The Air Jordan XIX ,released in 2004, was inspired by the most dangerous snake on earth, the Black Mamba. Because MJ is deathly afraid of snakes, the brand was forced to tone things down a bit.

19. That statue of MJ in front of the United Center in Chicago is wearing Jordan IXs. As a player, Jordan never wore those models on the court.

18. Instead of wearing a special protective shoe after injuring his foot during the second game of the NBA Finals against the Lakers in 1991, Jordan stuck with the brand and endured the pain by continuing to wear his VIs.

17. It”™s rumored that Mike predicted the day when people would wear patent leather sneaks with suits. After Boyz II Men rocked White Sox baseball caps, tuxedos and Jordan 11s during the Grammys, it turned out that His Airness was right.

16. It”™s estimated that MJ has made between $206 million to $330 million with the Jordan Brand.

15. The Jordan IIs were the only AJs made in Italy. The faux lizard skin on the upper and design inspiration from a women’s boot introduced luxury to the sports world, as well as pop culture. This luxurious-type of design would appear again on the Air Jordan XII.

14. Tinker gave MJ a sneak peak of the “Concord” XIs, which Jordan immediately fell in love with. Against Hatfield”™s wishes, MJ debuted the sample version during the 1995 playoffs. Fans went nuts and Nike was forced to release the hyped shoes as the sample version.

13. The Jordan XXI were inscribed with a secret message that could only be seen when held under a blacklight.

12. The inspiration for the XIs came from a lawn and its protective cover.

11. Ever wonder why Jordans are released on Saturdays? That”™s easy. Nike doesn”™t want kids to skip school to snag the latest drop.

10. There was a rule in the NBA when Jordan was a rookie. All sneakers had to be white. The Jordan 1s were red and black. What happened when Jordan wore them on the court? The league fined him $5,000 each time. Nike footed the bill for the publicity.

9. Nike designer Peter Moore, the same guy who designed the Air Jordan Is and Air Jordan IIs, created the ball-and-wings logo during a spur of the moment sketch.

8. After Jordan left the NBA to pursue a career in baseball, Tinker Hatfield was informed to leave the Air Jordan brand. Hatfield, wisely, didn”™t believe that Mike”™s basketball days were finished. He kept designing new Jordans.

7. His Airness didn”™t like the leather strap that Hatfield included on the Xs. Mike told Tinker to remove the strap and have a clean toe.

6. The Air Jordan V was the first basketball design to feature 3M material. Tinker Hatfield included the material to create a flashier look that would match Jordan”™s superstar status.

5. Believe it or, basketball players didn”™t get the signature deals that we”™ve become accustomed to today. Superstar agent David Falk changed that for MJ. He made sure that Jordan was treated more like a tennis player.

4. Air Jordan became it”™s own brand with the release of the Air Jordan XIIIs in 1997.

3. His Airness was ready to leave Nike following the departure of Pete Moore. Enter Tinker Hatfield in 1987. Hatfield”™s design for the Air Jordan IIIs, with that elephant print and “˜Jumpman”™ logo, were enough to keep Jordan with the brand.

2. The Air Jordan II were the first Nikes released without the iconic Swoosh logo.

1. MJ was apparently an “adidas nut” and had wanted to sign with the Three Stripes after leaving North Carolina in 1984. A deal was never finalized, despite getting a $500,000, and one of the greatest partnerships ever shortly emerged when Jordan inked a deal with Nike. Why Nike? The Swoosh offered MJ a percentage of revenue.

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