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The sneaker that marked the rise of the greatest legend in basketball history

Nike's Jordan brand just released a shoe that pays tribute to the legacy that is Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

The year was 1982

Long before he became the GOAT that we all love and revere today, before his 6 NBA rings and 5 MVPs.

The University of North Carolina's Michael Jordan hit a game-winner that would mark his launch to the pinnacle of the game and change basketball lore forever.

NCAA Championship Finals Game '82

The stage was set

It was the Finals of the 1982 NCAA Championship game,17 seconds left on the clock and North Carolina trailing by 1 point against Georgetown with the score at 62-61; The 19-year-old college Freshman elevated into a jumper from 17 feet away that's the stuff of legends.

You really can't make this up - unbelievable:

The game wasn't over. Georgetown's Fred Brown raced the ball up the court, Jordan jumped into the primary passing lane, causing Brown to hesitate and then infamously toss the ball into the grateful hands of UNC's James Worthy (the future LA Lakers' Hall of Famer) for the 63-62 win.

Nike's Air Jordan 11 Retro Win Like '82

Jordan 11 win like '82

To commemorate his Airness' game-winner 35 years ago, Jordan brand recently released the Air Jordan 11 Retro 'Win Like '82' on the 11th of November this year.

This particular colorway Sports a white, navy blue, and hints of University of North Carolina Blue accents that marks MJ’s turning point from an emerging star to a legendary player.

Air Jordan XI - A Brief History into an iconic shoe

His Airness wearing the Air Jordan XI
His Airness wearing the Air Jordan XI

Arguably the most popular Air Jordan silhouette of all-time, Michael Jordan announced his comeback from retirement at the end of 1995 into the NBA after a stint in Minor League Baseball.

Designed by the famous Tinker Hatfield, Jordan showed up in his brand new kicks (Concords colorway) at a highly anticipated Eastern Conference Semi-Finals match-up against the Orlando Magic that featured a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.

However, with each game that MJ wore his Jordan XIs, he was subsequently fined $5000 as it was not in line with the NBA uniform regulations at the time.

Needless to say, the Bulls saw the unprecedented success the next season - in his Air Jordan XI he went on to a 72-10 then record-season win and his fourth NBA Championship ring.

1996 Bulls Post-game Championship celebrations
1996 Bulls Post-game Championship celebrations

Not only were the Jordan XIs a basketball shoe media sensation within the game, it also rocked the Hollywood landscape making appearances in the movie Space Jam and jump-started a new era of sneaker culture - it changed everything. 

Win Like Mike

According to Jordan brand, this shoe pays homage to his alma mater and the iconic '82 victory to jump-start his legacy as the GOAT and also celebrates MJ's famously well-known ritual of wearing his collegiate practice shorts under his professional Chicago Bulls uniform.

Michael Jordan donning his UNC shorts underneath his Bulls uniform

When North Carolina returned to the NCAA Finals in 2016, Michael Jordan explained to sports reporter the late Craig Sager -

"That was the birth of Michael Jordan. Before that, I was Mike Jordan. All of a sudden I make that shot and I'm Michael Jordan."

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