(Photo Courtesy of Aaron Doster, @Doster, aarondoster.com)
The Last Dance has taken us all back in time.
Whether it's reminiscing about the Bulls fantastic run of the 1990s, the amazing Michael Jordan stories, or the amazing soundtrack, we all have things from this docuseries that we love so much.
One thing that jumps out to us here on the network more than most. Well, it's gotta be the shoes.
This past week's episode did a deep dive into the history of Air Jordan's and the history of the most famous sneaker line of all time. Here at 48 Minutes Basketball Network, we all have had experiences with the Jordan sneakers that mean something to us all, and we decided to share those stories with you here. We tell you our favorite sneaker in the series and what the shoe has meant to us all.
Josh Hays, Shot Callers:
Growing up, The air Jordan was a milestone in basketball culture, and it was the Start of the shoe culture. The Jordan III was the Rolls Royce of shoes. It had a look no shoe ever had. Jordan's logo on the Tongue. The snakeskin or elephant print A visible air pocket, and it had was also the shoe that helped create Mars Blackmon! It was worn in the Slam Dunk Contest, and it held for Decades. The OG white cement has kept me a fan. Up until the Jordan XI came out. The shoe literally looks like it came from space. The Concord has an all-time classic look and feels for a shoe. It can be worn with everything from Suits, tuxedos, jeans, to actually wearing them for performance. It was worn in the movie Space Jam, and it was the shoe that started the second Three-peat.
Carlo Jorge, Friend of the Program:
Favorite Jordan of all time. Yikes, that's a tough one. Jordan XIII bred from 1998. I own three pairs of the same sneaker. 2004, 2013, and the 2017 releases. I know a lot of people might think I'm crazy. But when I see those feet. I feel like a kid at Christmas. The inspiration for the shoe came from the black panther. When the 3m pops and the hologram shines at you. Gives me goosebumps because you have something special on feet. Michael Jordan wore them 98 a hand full times. To me defines the last dance to the tee because the Jordan XIII was his go-to shoe in 98.
Ben Brown Shot Callers:
As we are looking back at the greatness of the Bulls and Michael Jordan, we are getting a glimpse into what made him click. We are also getting a look back at history and culture. Seeing some of these old clips and highlights takes me back to my childhood. When I first started to notice how celebrities and athletes influenced culture. This impact, to me, started with Michael Jordan. Jordan, of course, was not only the best basketball player in the world, but he was also the most influential person in our culture. So as a 12-year-old kid, I can remember the first release of the Jordan IV.
Of course, there were other shoes and releases, but for me, this the first one I vividly remember. I also remember that shoe having it all, the look, the comfort, the cool factor, and the ability to be a great basketball shoe. The black and red ones were my absolute favorite. I get a little giddy every time I look at that shoe. It was the first shoe to me; I noticed that carried weight wherever you went. If you had a pair of IV's, you were the man! I also remember this was the first shoe I asked my parents for and them responding, "they cost how much!". Needless to say, I never got those IV's and truth be told, I am not a shoe person and have never been in the shoe culture until recently with my son. He is a shoe lover and is beginning to have a decent collection. I see his eyes light up with new releases. I can see him look at shoes the same way I looked at those IV's. It's amazing the generational span the Jordan brand continues to have on the culture. I'm sure this will be a life long passion for him. As for me, nothing beats the Jordan IV and what it meant to me. It's #1 seed in my book.
Sean Mackey, 48 Minutes:
While I'll die alone on a hill screaming that Dennis Rodman's signature Nike Air N'Destrukt's were the GOAT of all sneakers in my mind, Jordan had some damn fine shoes. Personally, for me, I'm a huge fan of the Air Jordan 9's. I know, I know....the shoes Jordan famously never wore during a regular-season game are my favorites. The shoes borrowed design queues from the baseball cleats MJ wore in 1994. However, the color schemes that were released at the time were all over the place and were just fun. It's weird to think that both Penny Hardaway and Kendall Gill may have worn these more than Jordan himself. I'm not ashamed to admit that I not only owned a pair but the ugliest pair available...the olive and black. There was a reason these were available by the boatload at my local Value City, but man, they were awesome, and I still love them.
Taylor Bergfeld of At Large Bid:
When it comes to picking my favorite Jordan shoe of all time, it's relatively simple. I think the most iconic and pound for pound greatest, is the Jordan 11. Ever since I began collecting/purchasing Jordans, I always had an affirmation with the 11's, specifically the Concord 11's. The colorway is so simple yet, it is one of the most iconic and one of the most pursued Jordans on the market. How can you forget that one of the most influential sports movies; Space Jam, feature their own version of the 11's that are just perfect, the black and blue colorway work together in a way that makes the shoe POP and just drives the point home that the 11's are the greatest Jordan ever made. What makes the 11's so unique is the sheer number of Athletes who have made their own PEs in various different sports. For instance, Ray Allen, Randy Moss, C.C. Sabathia, Deion Sanders, Maya Moore, Warren Sapp, & many others have added their own little twist by changing the colorways to their respected teams they played for at the time. Ray Allen's gold-tinted 11's he wore during their title run with the Miami Heat' were so visually appealing and talked about by sneaker-heads throughout the country. Every Jordan has their one or two popular colorways that are linked with that specific shoe model, but with the 11's the colorways of the Bred 11's, Concord 11's, Cool Grey, Space, Jam, Columbia's, & Gamma's are just a few of my personal favorites.
Josh Strange, Friend of the Program:
To me, it's all about the individual. Is it the first time you realized you were watching greatness, and it's the pair he is wearing at that moment? Is it the championship you were first old enough to recall? Or the all-star game you were allowed to stay up and watch?
When speaking about picking his greatest shoe, I personally break it down like this. The first is just that the first, the initial pair, the one that started it all. The myth behind them being banned but that actually being the air ship that was banned. The next part of the conversation for me has to go to his championship sneakers. Then after that, you go to his iconic moments (3's slam dunk, 4's shot over Elo). I appreciate the all-black 14's for what they are. They were the shoes he wore to hit the last shot over Russell. But when I think 97-98, it's def the 13 and the black cat inspiration that comes to mind. To me, it's all about the individual. Is it the first time you realized you were watching greatness, and it's the pair he is wearing at that moment? Is it the championship you were first old enough to recall? Or the all-star game you were allowed to stay up and watch?
Tim Daniel, 48 Minutes:
The Air Jordan 1 is the shoe of shoes to me. Like every die-hard MJ fan of the 1990s, I owned the classic VHS tapes of "Above and Beyond" and "Come Fly With Me." In those films, when you saw the clips of the Air Jordan 1, the shoe just popped so well on the screen. I will never forget the first time I saw a pair in person. I was in line at my middle school cafeteria behind a kid wearing the classic Chicago 1 colorway, the shoe that started it all, and from that moment on in my life, I always wanted a pair so badly.
My parents quit purchasing me Jordan's after the 12's, so I didn't own a pair again until I was in my 20's. I remember during the 2016 NBA Draft, Nike aired the commercial for the Bred Air Jordan 1's, most famously known as the "Banned 1's". I entered every raffle possible to get a pair, I even blocked an hour off of my calendar at work that Saturday morning to try and get my hands on a pair, but it wasn't my day. Funny enough, the Black Toe Air Jordan 1's released in November of the same year, and I won a raffle at Lapstone & Hammer in Philadelphia to get a pair in half-size smaller than I normally wear and I have worn those shoes so much. The box with the removable lid, the way the swoosh stands out on the side panel, and the classic Jordan wings logo make this silhouette mean so much to me. In my eyes, the Air Jordan 1 is the Chuck Taylor of my generation.