When Michael Jordan’s shoes were banned by the NBA, costing him $5,000 every game he wore them

Michael Jordan - Nike Air Jordan 1
Michael Jordan - Nike Air Jordan 1

Michael Jordan's Nike Air Jordan 1s are arguably one of the most worn sneaker lines in history. Initially released back in 1985, Jordan 1s captured the hearts of millions of shoe collectors and sneakerheads around the world. It's so popular that a plethora of colorways and custom designs have been released in retail. But did you know that the famous Jordans 1s were banned back in the day?


Michael Jordan's banned Air Jordan 1s

Banned Air Jordan 1
Banned Air Jordan 1

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According to the legend himself, Michael Jordan was subject to $5,000 fines from the NBA for violating the league's uniform regulations each time he wore the sneakers during their 1984 debut. The league even informed Nike in a notorious letter that black and red sneakers were forbidden in February 1985. Nike took advantage of the situation to stir up more hype for the shoes.

The famous shoe company ended up paying a fine for each game Jordan played wearing the pair. Nike even made creative advertising with a forbidden theme to make the Jordan 1s seem more enticing for consumers to purchase. However, according to Complex, the tall tale of the infamous black and red Jordans is possibly a myth.

There is no photographic proof of Jordan sporting that hue of the Jordan 1 shoe during an NBA game. Researchers have concluded that Jordan was most likely donning the Air Ship, a non-signature Nike model, instead. Jordan collector Marvin Barias is one such investigator.

Jordan, for the most part, stuck to his version of the story for more than 30 years, despite the fact that it is now widely acknowledged that the Air Ship was the actual banned sneaker. Interestingly enough, the only time he legitimately wore the banned pair of Jordan 1s was back in the 1985 dunk contest. Its appearance in the contest increased its notoriety and helped people remember the color scheme.


The time when Michael Jordan's feet were bloody after wearing Air Jordan 1s

When Michael Jordan faced the New York Knicks in 1998, he wore his classic Air Jordan 1s. It was fitting that he wore the vintage pair because it was his final game at MSG and the Jordan 1s were the first pair he wore in the Garden. As touching as that may sound, his feet were apparently beaten up that night.

In a 102-89 Chicago Bulls victory, Jordan ended with 42 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals. What did it cost? Just a couple of bloody feet because of outdated shoe technology. Jordan revealed in "The Last Dance" documentary that he was aware of the painful situation. He explained that he didn't want to take them off because he was having a magical performance that night.

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Edited by Krutik Jain
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