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Michael Jordan defined the trend that changed the length of the basketball shorts and at the end of the 80s almost no one showed his thighs on the playing field, turning Michael into a timeless icon and giving life to the brand. From 12 to 14 June, thirty years of innovation and excellence are celebrated, creating a series of events that from New York pass to Paris. To celebrate not only the shoes, but also the whole basketball movement.
Twenty curiosities follow to get ready for the celebrations of this weekend, which we will spend in Paris together with a very special envoy. Before leaving Ghemon, the editorial staff went to tell us about his passion for basketball and we put it to the test through an interactive stream that you could participate in a lot thanks to Periscope, the new Twitter application, which you can review here.
All the initiatives that will be launched in the coming days can be followed through the hashtag #WeAreJordan and the social channels of Ghemon, our correspondent in the French capital. Stay tuned!
1. Cars always have something to do with it. From the beginning
Michael Jordan has always been a fan of cars. It is a passion that inspired him in the design of several of Air Jordan, like the Air Jordan XIV, and that pushed him into a successful adventure in the world of motors in 2004. In 1984, the young basketball player had even asked to include a car in his contract with Nike. After a long negotiation the contract had been signed and Jordan had received his car - the first of a large collection.
2. Jordan's first Air Jordan did not go crazy at first
The aesthetics of the first Air Jordan defined sport and culture street for years. But the first reaction of Jordan, when he saw the first version of his signature sneaker with team colors, was anything but enthusiastic. The design for him (accustomed to a more sober color combination) had been a shock: "Do not think I'll put those shoes on, I'd look like a clown."
Let's not forget that Jordan is a decent one. And that before the launch of the Air Jordan, the shoes did not go further than a combination of white, light gray and some hints of team colors. The footwear in the field had a conservative tone (to say it with a euphemism) and already just have a color for the home games and another one on the road was a nice break from the norm.
3. Jordan originally wanted some longer shorts
Michael Jordan defined the trend that changed the length of basketball shorts. At the end of the 80s almost no one showed more thighs on the playing field. He had said no to the usual shorts from the first conversations with Nike to define his personalized line. The first models arrived in stores seem short by today's standards, but that inch more was already a revolution in the look of the sport.
4. The historical Jumpman logo already existed in 1985
There was a Nike photo shoot with Michael Jordan in his iconic "airborne" pose many years before Jordan's flying logo came to appear on his shoes. So, Jordan used another logo, the "wings logo". The image that would have become iconic was printed on a t-shirt in 1985, with the name of "Jordan Wrap Jumper". It was the genesis of something that would become much more recognizable over the years.
5. Michael Jordan had been in Paris, London and Italy, where he had broken a board, in 1985
Before his second season as a pro, Michael Jordan had left for a promotional tour with Nike around Europe. It was the summer of 1985 and Jordan had visited several cities, including Paris and London. In Trieste, during a match, he had crushed so hard to break the board. An explosive episode, commemorated with a special coloring of the Air Jordan I.
6. There was already a hybrid between the Jordan I and the Jordan II before the launch of the models
There was a shoe that made a bridge between the two models, a sort of 1.5. Michael Jordan had broken a toe bone in October 1985, so Nike had created a special model with the upper part of Jordan I reinforced with better protection and the sole of the II, which gave a better feeling on the pitch. Jordan would return to the playoffs, just to set a new record: he would have scored 63 points in a single game, in April 1986.
7. The Air Jordan II were made in Italy, with Spanish technology
The Air Jordan II are unique. You can see European influences, which gave them a certain distance from the original Air Jordan. Designed in America, these shoes have rubber parts made with innovative techniques invented in Spain and parts in fine Italian leather. They are a high-end product, made in Italy, which reflects Jordan's style at the time. They broke the rules because they lacked the classic Nike mustache (the "swoosh") and internal innovations like the Dynamic Fit straps.