Michael Jordan Debuts the Nike Air Jordan
Today in 1984, a young man by the name of Michael Jordan took the court for the Chicago Bulls. Of course, MJ had played in 10 regular-season games for Chicago before this point but November 17, 1984 was special.
While the stories of banned shoes have always been hazy and mysterious, and one of MJ’s non-signature models being the model that was likely “banned” by the NBA, the beginning of the Air Jordan legacy has been something debated by sneaker enthusiasts for years.
According to people within the Chicago Bulls organization, Michael Jordan laced up the Nike Air Jordan for the first time against Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76ers on this day in 1984. Being that the game was a home game in Chicago, the Air Jordan’s debut came in the colorway known as the “Chicago” colorway.
Unfortunately, Jordan didn’t have a game worth remembering. In fact, he had one he’d likely wish to forget. MJ went 4-for-17 from the field, scoring 16 points. The Bulls would end up losing to the 76ers, 109-100.
As for the Air Jordan 1, it was just one game that MJ wore the shoe initially, opting to go back to the Nike Air Ship that he had been playing in up until this point. It wouldn’t be until December 20, 1984 that Michael Jordan would once again lace up the original Air Jordan, but that would give us all plenty of time to fall in love with the shoes before they were released in the spring of 1985.
Nobody could have known that as Michael Jordan debuts the Nike Air Jordan in 1984, it would forever change the landscape of basketball shoes, and the footwear industry as a whole. That said, is today the most important day in sneaker history? It very well could be.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.
[…] known as the Chicago colorway of the Nike Air Jordan 1 against Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76ers on November 17, 1985. Back then there wasn’t a thought of making it a grand-scaled event like modern day sneaker […]
[…] to be acceptable — it wasn’t the mandatory plain vanilla white. Its first on-court appearance came on November 17, 1984 against Philadelphia in what we now know to be the “Chicago” […]
[…] the sneaker the NBA “banned.” Yet, as detailed by longtime sneaker enthusiast Nick Engvall in a 2015 sneakerhistory.com story, Jordan didn’t debut his signature shoe for the first time until 11 games into his rookie season. […]
[…] as the sneaker that the NBA. “banned.”As Nick Engvall, a long-time sneaker fan, explains in a 2015 sneakerhistory.com story, Jordan didn’t debut his signature shoe for the first time until 11 games into his rookie season. […]