How Michael Jordan Made Everyone Pay Attention to All-Star Sneakers
George Gervin, appearing in his 12th and final All-Star game, was quoted as saying, “Michael is a rookie and he has a lot to learn, just like we all did.” Jordan learned his lesson, all right. But it may not have been the one Gervin—who would find himself Jordan’s teammate in Chicago the following season—was talking about. When the first Air Jordans released that April, they sold out immediately.
After missing the All-Star game and dunk contest the following season due to a broken foot that sidelined him for much of the season, Jordan made his return in 1987 in triumphant fashion. He left the Nike warmups at home, but once again broke out two different pairs of his signature sneakers, wearing the white, black and red Air Jordan IIs as he won his first dunk contest, then a white and red pair in Sunday’s game, where he scored 11 points on 12 shots in an East loss. Seattle’s Tom Chambers won MVP. The All-Star sneaker trend that Jordan established in 1985 was locked in in 1987, but this was just setting the table for 1988.
What would prove to be the most pivotal year in Air Jordan—and, at least up to that point, Michael Jordan—history started exceptionally well, no matter how you consider it. He scored 36 points in the first game of the 87-88 season, and posted a triple-double (25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in the first game of 1988. With the All-Star Game set to take place in Chicago for the first time since 1973, Jordan and Nike had big plans.
via @Complex Sneakers