When you ban an original, expect for full-force retaliation. The AJ 1 Retro is returning and it’s stronger than ever! With its release coming up this Saturday September 3, let’s take a look back at its roots:
Thirty-one years ago, defiance was born. Michael Jordan stood as the ultimate rebel basketball player when he stepped on the court donning the original Air Jordan 1 Retro with black & red colorway, footwear that didn’t comply with the NBA’s rules and regulations. This was during his rookie year, yes, but His Airness must have foreseen some Basketball sneaker folklore because he stood against the NBA commissioner as if he knew the MJ we all know today. As many people already know of his unruly actions regarding this story, many don’t know the “conspiracy” behind it. Hold on to this story, it becomes a bit confusing. I’ll keep it really simple, as not to confuse you.
The Air Jordan 1 Retro (Black/Red) was banned from the NBA because, according to an interview with MJ and legendary talk show host, David Lettermen, years ago, the sneaker did not include any white in it. So, therefore, it was the colorway that was found unsuitable to the league’s rules and procedures in 1984, not the sneaker. According to the “Uniformity of Uniform Rule” set by the NBA, “A player must wear shoes that not only matched their uniforms, but matched the shoes worn by their teammates.” If MJ continued to wear them during games, he would be fined $5,000 per game. He was warned.
This is where the mystery arises. People often questioned if MJ actually wore the sneakers during the games. Yes, there are pictures of him donning the warring black/red colorway, but was he ever wearing them in an actual NBA game? These questions were asked because no real pictures surfaced of MJ actually wearing the shoes in an NBA game. Maybe during workouts, or the 1985 NBA dunk contest or all-star game – that doesn’t count since it wasn’t an NBA sanctioned game. So, was he ever fined or did Nike waive the fees? With all these questions, the mystery remains. Fortunately, the rebel Jumpman himself taught us all a valuable lesson: It’s okay to stand out and be different because people will eventually catch on to your effortless trend and maybe start paying you buckets of coins for it.