The rise of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 90s featured multiple championships and accolades culminated with a ‘last dance’ season ending in a second 3-peat. The Bulls won 6 championships during that period under coach Phil Jackson. Nike and Jordan teamed up to launch one of the most iconic athlete-endorsed Brands: Air Jordan.
During Jordan’s time as a professional basketball player, the brand would introduce a new sneaker with each season, and Jordan would wear it that year. Michael had his first signature sneakers produced exclusively in 1984.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight called the success of Air Jordan I “the perfect combination of quality product, marketing, and athlete endorsement.”
Jordan was not only a success on the court, but he also became a global phenomenon off it, with record-breaking Air Jordan shoe sales and his famous number 23 imprinted in NBA fans’ brains. But why did Jordan choose number 23?
Jordan has worn the number 23 jersey since he was in high school when he was at Laney. His older brother Larry was already on the team and wore the number 45. Jordan just halved the number to achieve 23 with the help of some rounding up.
He wore the number 23 for the University of North Carolina, where he made a name for himself and was eventually drafted into the NBA in 1984.
Jordan’s number 23 was retired by the Bulls in 1994 in honor of his retirement, but he shocked the world by announcing his plans to return to the court. “I’m back,” Jordan said as he returned for the 1994/95 season’s closing stretch.