For this entire playing career, Michael Jordan only wore Nike shoes bearing his now famous Air Jordan logo. The only time he wore shoes that were not his was back in the 1995 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. Jordan used Nike Air Flight Ones in Game 3 against the Orlando Magic.
In an appearance on NBA Hoopervision with Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson, Penny Hardaway discussed Jordan wearing his shoes for their Game 3 matchup in the 1995 NBA playoffs. Hardaway wore Air Flight Ones for the first two seasons of his career before using Air Max Penny.
"For him to wear my shoes, I was tripping," Hardaway said.
Michael Jordan famously wore Air Flight Ones in Game 3 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic. MJ used his own Air Jordan Concords in the first two games of the series before making the switch. The sudden change in shoes earned Jordan a $5,000 fine fromnba the NBA.
It wasn't the only gear Jordan changed during the series. He famously returned late in the 1995 NBA season wearing number 45 on his jersey. He changed it to his classic number 23 for Game 2, but was also fined by the NBA for $25,000.
In the first two games against the Magic, Jordan scored 19 and 38 points. When he made the switch to Air Flight Ones, "His Airness" dropped 40 points in the 110-101 loss to the Magic. MJ and the Bulls went on to tie the series at 2-2, but were eliminated in six games.
What happened to Michael Jordan and Penny Hardaway afterwards?
After beating Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Penny Hardaway and the Orlando Magic went to the 1995 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets. Despite the duo of Hardaway and Shaquille O'Neal on their roster, the Magic were swept by the Rockets.
Meanwhile, Jordan played in his first full season in 1996 since his first retirement. The Bulls went on to sweep Hardaway, Shaq and the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. MJ led the Bulls to another three-peat before retiring for a second time at the end of the 1998 NBA season.
Michael Jordan returned for the third time in the early 2000s to play two seasons for the Washington Wizards. Jordan became an NBA minority owner in 2006 and a majority owner four years later. He remains the chairperson of the Charlotte Hornets and his Air Jordan brand is dominating the shoe industry.
On the other hand, Penny Hardaway failed to realize his full potential due to various knee injuries. Hardaway also played for the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Miami Heat before retiring in 2007. He is now the head coach of the Memphis Tigers and could potentially lead an NBA team in the future.