When it comes to tradition and legends, there are likely some behind-the-scenes type stories — The Air Jordan is not an exception. Here is a list of 7 things you may not know about Air Jordans. Check it out and let us know which facts are new to you.
Michael Jordan wanted to sign to adidas over Nike.
When Michael Jordan left the University of North Carolina in 1984, he wanted to sign with Adidas, not Nike. The fact was that he loved Adidas’ shoes, but Adidas told Jordan and his representatives that the company could not make a shoe work at the time. Therefore they did not even offer Jordan and he signed with Nike.
How the Air Jordan “Wings” logo was created.
The very first drawing of the Air Jordan ball-and-wings logo was sketched out in the spur of the moment by Nike’s Peter Moore, while the “Air Jordan” name was actually conceived of by superagent David Falk. And while it’s hard to believe now, Falk wanted Jordan treated more like a tennis player than a basketball player—because back then, they were the ones getting the signature product.
Michael Jordan didn’t like “black and red” sneakers.
When Nike first presented Jordan with sketches of the black and red Jordan I, he innocently responded, “I can’t wear that shoe, those are the Devil colors.” As a Tar Heel, MJ wasn’t so eager to don the colors of rival NC State, even if it was his new NBA look.
People were skeptical the first Air Jordan I would sell.
Michael Jordan was an unproven rookie when the Air Jordan I were designed and marketed, and at $65 a pop there was skepticism that anyone would buy them. Instead, he emerged as the most exciting player in the NBA, and when the shoes finally released, they flew off the shelves.
The Air Jordan II was the first luxury basketball sneakers.
The Jordan II was the only pair of Jordans to be made in Italy. With the faux lizard skin on the upper and design inspirated from a women’s boot ( which would pop up again with the Air Jordan XII), they brought a new level of luxury to sports product.
The Air Jordan III stopped Michael Jordan from leaving Nike.
Jordan did not prefer signing with Nike at first, and after the left of two people who persuaded him to the brand (Peter Moore and Rob Strasser), he was considering a change of scenery as well—his initial deal was up in 1988. In the end, it was young designer Tinker Hatfield made the revolution on Air Jordan III that convinced him to stay.
The Air Jordan XI was inspired by a lawn mower.
It is no secret that Tinker Hatfield has drawn inspiration from strange places when designing Jordans. Therefore the most iconic Jordan to date—the XIs inspired by a lawn mower and its protective cover seem to be normal thing. Patent leather has found its way onto countless sneakers since. However, on the Air Jordan XI, it served a functional purpose besides adding flash.