Michael Jordan had a wild message for players who wore his shoes while playing against him: “Don’t embarrass my shoes”
Michael Jordan signed with Nike after being drafted by the Chicago Bulls and got his own signature shoe. The shoes were called Air Jordans and became the biggest hit of the late ’80s and all of the’ 90s.
Jordan’s shoes were so popular that several NBA players wore them, even when playing against the Bulls superstar. When MJ saw other players wearing his shoes, he got a wild message for them.
Michael Jordan: Don’t embarrass my shoes
After winning his fourth championship in 1996, Jordan was asked by SLAM magazine what he said to players who wore his shoes while playing against him. As expected, His Airness had a classic response.
“I tell them, ‘Don’t embarrass my shoes.’ [I say that to] anyone who wears them, ”Jordan said.
During his Hall of Fame career, Jordan was a talkative villain and rarely said anything nice to his opponents. While he might have appreciated his rivals wearing his shoes, he certainly wasn’t going to let them know since he wanted to maintain a competitive edge.
Thanks to Nike, Jordan built a brand empire. However, without his mother, Black Jesus would never have signed with them.
Michael Jordan did not want to sign with Nike
Jordan wore Adidas shoes at UNC and was a huge fan of their sneakers. However, his agent, David Falk of ProServ, knew that Adidas was too dysfunctional for his client.
Converse was the official NBA shoe when Jordan entered the league, so Falk hoped they would gift the Bulls goalie with a deal and a signature shoe. However, they already had several top players, including Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Bernard King, Larry Bird, and Isiah Thomas, and weren’t ready to make a shoe specifically for Jordan.
Nike was a fledgling company in the late ’80s, and Falk felt they were the perfect brand for Jordan. However, the All-Star had no interest in meeting Nike on their campus, so Falk was forced to call in the big guns. He told Jordan’s parents that their son was making a mistake by not meeting Nike and that Jordan’s mother convinced her child to fly to Oregon.
Nike had a sensational pitch for Jordan, and Jordan’s dad told his son it would have been foolish not to accept the deal. The Bulls star signed a sponsorship deal with Nike, and his first shoe was called the Air Jordan 1.
The legend of the bulls has arguably the most popular sneakers of all time
In episode 5 of The last dance docuseries, Falk said Nike plans to sell Air Jordans for $ 3 million by the end of the fourth year. In the first year, Nike sold around $ 126 million.
According to Forbes, Nike has paid Jordan around $ 1.3 billion since 1984. In 2019, the six-time champion earned around $ 130 million from Nike, which is four times more than LeBron James, who has the biggest shoe contract. among active NBA players.
The Jordan brand helped the Bulls icon become a billionaire. He has a net worth of around 2.1 billion in 2021, and that number will only increase in the future as the Jordan brand shows no signs of slowing down.
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