NBA

The One Time Michael Jordan Wore Another Player’s Shoes in an NBA Game

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player in the history of the NBA. He also has a famous shoe brand that is worth a lot of money. Jordan wore his shoe brand, and now you see players and people walking around in his shoes.

There was one time during his playing career where he did not wear his shoe and ended up wearing another player’s shoe. Let’s find out who that player was.

The creation of the Air Jordan sneaker

Before the shoes were created for the world, the Air Jordan sneakers were made exclusively for Jordan. The shoes were designed for Nike by Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield, and Bruce Kilgore. During his rookie season, Jordan had the chance to sport his new shoes that no one has seen before. The Air Jordan I was the first shoe of his collection. The shoe featured a red and black colorway, and the shoes ended up being outlawed by NBA Commissioner David Stern because the shoes did not have enough white in them. There was a rule in the NBA where shoes had to have a certain percentage of white featured. After the shoe was banned, Jordan and Nike released the Jordan I in colorways with more white featured in the shoe.

After that shoe was created, more and more of the Air Jordan’s came out. Nike expected to sell $3 million worth of Air Jordan’s after four years, and they sold $126 million after one year. That tells you how much people wanted to wear his shoes. The demand for Air Jordan’s was very high. During the late 1980s and mid-1990s, not only was Jordan, a top player in the league, but he also had the top shoe in the league. Movie actors, rappers, and other professional athletes who played different sports wanted a pair. Jordan changed the game with his shoe brand.

The Hall of Famer’s shoe has been released in hundreds of colorways in high, low, and mid-top versions. Air Jordans aren’t just popular basketball shoes, and the shoes are among the most popular shoes on the market. No other professional athlete will be able to top what Michael Jordan did with his shoes.

Michael Jordan wore this player’s shoes, and it was the only time he wore another shoe other than his

In 1995 during the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Chicago Bulls took on the Orlando Magic. In Game 3, Jordan did not wear his shoes. Instead, he wore Penny Hardaway’s Nike Air Flight One shoes. That was the first and only time Jordan wore another player’s shoes. So why did he wear them? When Hardaway first came into the league, Jordan admired his game. In an article from The Undefeated, Hardaway talked about how Jordan saw him as the next star in the NBA.

Hardaway was signed to Nike as a rookie, and he wanted to see if the brand could make him a custom pair of the Air Jordan 9s. Jordan agreed to have it done, and that made Hardaway one of the first players outside of Jordan to wear player-exclusive Air Jordans. When the Bulls were playing the Magic in the 1995 playoffs, Jordan was fined $5,000 for wearing shoes that were too white. Jordan had to find another shoe to wear. Instead of wearing one of his other shoes, he decided to wear Hardaway’s Nike Air Flight Ones.  

Penny Hardaway is in a class of his own

No other NBA player can say that Michael Jordan wore their shoe except for Hardaway. Jordan did not have to wear Hardaway’s shoes, but he did it out of respect, and they had a good relationship. In Game 3 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals, Jordan went to work wearing Hardaway’s shoes. He scored a series-high 40 points, but the Magic won the game and went on to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals.

But Hardaway will never forget the time when Jordan wore his shoes. “We all know that Michael Jordan is one of the fiercest competitors ever. He’s not gonna wear just anybody’s shoe, he wouldn’t do that for a lot of people,” Hardaway said. “For him to do that for me, it was the ultimate level of respect.”