Michael Jordan and Nike changed the shoe game forever during the Chicago Bulls legend’s rookie season in 1984-85. Nike sold around $126 million of Air Jordans after the company told Jordan’s agent, David Falk, that they hoped to sell $3 million worth of Air Jordans by the end of year four.
Jordan’s sneakers are still the top-selling shoes despite His Airness being retired from the NBA since 2003. During his playing days, MJ would not only sometimes wear shoes that weren’t available to the public, but he also had his sneakers match the color of his fancy cars.
Michael Jordan’s shoes matched the color of his Ferrari
Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford began his NBA career with the Bulls in 2000-01. Through Tim Grover, Jordan’s legendary trainer, Crawford became good friends with the Bulls icon and played several pickup games with him.
Crawford was not only in awe of Jordan’s game, but he was also stunned when he saw the six-time champion’s Ferrari match his shoes.
“When we were playing together, I used to watch how he carried himself and how he dressed,” Crawford told NBA scribe Landon Buford. “His workout gear was all baggy and all Jordans, and he would wear a pair of Jordans that are probably still not out. Like you have not seen anyone else with them on, and then when you walk outside, he would have a matching Ferrari with the shoes. I’m like, ‘This guy is out of this world.’ I remember one pair was yellow and something else, and then when you walked outside, he would have the yellow Ferrari in the parking lot. He was out of this world with everything he did. It wasn’t just on the basketball court.”
Jordan and Crawford developed a close relationship after playing pickup games together, so much so that the latter starred in a viral commercial with the former. However, Crawford didn’t play himself.
Jamal Crawford played a younger version of Michael Jordan in a Gatorade commercial
Crawford played a younger version of Jordan in a Gatorade commercial. He was honored and shocked when the five-time MVP asked him to do it since Jordan could have approached anyone in the league.
“I can’t even say it was a dream come true because I never even dreamed that,” Crawford told Roderick Boone of The Athletic. “You don’t dream stuff like that. So I just couldn’t believe it. To this day, it still doesn’t feel real. But I remember him wanting me to play him in the commercial, and I was like, ‘Well, what do I have to do?’ And he’s like, ‘We just play one-on-one. Read a couple of lines and we play one-on-one.’ He was really talking trash and we played and it was just a fun time. We shot it at the United Center, which I was very familiar with because that’s where our games were. And I actually got paid for it. I’m like, ‘Man, I get paid to be in a commercial with him?’ I would’ve paid him and just said let me anywhere on set.”
The commercial aired in 2002 when Jordan was on the Washington Wizards and Crawford was on the Bulls. It was a tremendous hit, and a moment Crawford will never forget.
Jamal Crawford will remember the commercial forever
Jordan was Crawford’s idol growing up. So meeting him was one thing, but to star in a commercial with him was something Crawford couldn’t believe happened, and he had to pinch himself several times.
“That is something you think about long after you retire and you are like, ‘Man, that actually happened.’ It was almost like a dream even meeting him,” Crawford told The Athletic. “For me even meeting him and him knowing my name, being a kid in Seattle and watching what they did. I mean they beat the Sonics in the ’96 Finals. They beat them, I saw that. Being here, you don’t think, ‘Hey, I’m a kid around this community, just playing hoops and I’m going to meet him one day and he’s going to know my name.’ You don’t even think about stuff like that.”
Jordan and Crawford have maintained a strong relationship despite the former being the majority governor of the Charlotte Hornets. They indeed have developed a brotherhood, and it all started from working out with each other.