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Just Jordans: Why Are the Air Jordans 1 Banned?

Once upon a time, a shoe was just shoe. Sure, athletes sought out high performance sports shoes, ladies lavished their attention on finding the perfect heels, and kids might have had brand they were partial to – but the humble sneaker was nothing special. And then out of the blue, the Air Jordan 1 was born.

The Jordan Retro Fragment has a resale value of $2,000. This one shoe is a part of a legacy that is responsible for starting the sneaker culture.

The myth of the Air Jordans 1 getting banned by the NBA is wrong. This famous shoe wasn’t and isn’t banned. All Air Jordans 1 colorways get people excited and continue a legacy that blends sports and fashion for a unique shoe that’s instantly recognizable.

Learn a bit about the history of this shoe and its relationship with the NBA.

The NBA Official Regulation

There was a time when the NBA has a “uniformity of uniform rule” as a part of its official regulations. This rule stated that player’s shoes must match their uniform and teammate’s shoes.

Why This Was a Problem

The problem arose because the red and black motif of the shoe was considered rebellious and radical. No other shoe in the NBA had a black sole or a multi-color design. The shoe stood out and didn’t look like anything any other player had on their feet.

The Famous Letter

On October 18, 1984, the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls played against each other at Madison Square Garden. It was the sixth preseason game of the season. It was this game that caused the NBA to send the famous letter.

NBA Executive Vice President Russ Granik addressed a letter to Nike Vice President Rob Strasser. In it, he stated that the shoes worn by Michael Jordan were prohibited.

The Myth and the Truth

The problem with this story is that Michael Jordan never wore red and white Air Jordans 1. The shoes he was actually wearing during this time were three colorways of the Air Ship. They came in black/red, white/natural grey, and white/red.

The black and red version of the AirShip is what the NBA banned, not the Air Jordan 1. There is no proof that Michael Jordan ever wore a pair of black and red Air Jordan 1 shoes in an NBA game.

Modern NBA Shoes Rules

On August 28, 2018, the NBA official relaxed its shoe rules. Players can now wear shoes of any color. This sounds like a big deal, but it wasn’t as groundbreaking as it seems. Over the decades, the NBA has relaxed its regulations.

Thanks to this rule change, you can now wear the same shoes that your favorite player wears on the court. Check out KicksCrew and rock a pair of Air force 1 Jordans in blue or another pair of kicks.

Get Your Own Pair of Air Jordans 1

The story of the banned Air Jordans 1 shoes is a good one. Unfortunately, like every great myth, the reality isn’t quite the same as the legend. Michael Jordan was a young up-and-coming player, and Nike was a new sneaker company.

Thanks to their brash and boldness, these two shook up the NBA and its rules. Decades later, players now have the freedom to wear whatever they want. They can express their personal style and tastes.

Check out our other articles for more insight into your most burning questions.

NBA wrote to Nike in a now public letter, “In accordance with our conversations, this will confirm and verify that the National Basketball Association’s rules and procedures prohibited the wearing of certain red and black NIKE basketball shoes by Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan on or around October 18, 1984.”

Since its launch almost three decades ago, the Air Jordan 1 has remained one of the sneaker world’s most celebrated designs. New colors continue to be launched. Fresh Jordan designs are constantly created, but the original has never lost its shine. In fact, old color ways are frequently re-issued as Air Jordan 1 Retro sneakers.

While every color imaginable has graced its classic silhouette, the red and black of the Chicago Bulls continue to play a prominent role. Tucked in between issues of sky blue or golden yellow, variations on the Bulls color scheme gain accolades as perennial favorites. No matter which color piques your sneaker urges, the story of the Air Jordan 1 is one of the greatest in sneaker history and will continue to tell its tale for years to come.

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