Early last week we shared with you the Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot” that Michael Jordan wore for his final NBA Championship. Well, today we wanted to share another special shoe from the Air Jordan catalog.
We’ll start with a little history lesson for some. After winning three consecutive NBA Championships from 1990-93, Jordan retired from the game of basketball following his father’s death in July of ’93. He decided to revisit a dream he shared with this father and pursued a career in professional baseball. Although MJ progressed and improved as a player, baseball’s lockout and his burning desire to get back to basketball brought MJ back to the NBA. 1995-1996 would be MJ’s first full season back in a Bulls uniform and also the season that the Air Jordan XI (11) would be unveiled to the world.
With the return of MJ, legendary designer Tinker Hatfield returned to design and create the new Air Jordan 11, and what an Air Jordan it is. Pulling out all the stops (like Michael in the video below), Tinker wanted to create a shoe with both form and function as well as utilize new materials. The new material was of course the use of patent leather on the mudguard and toebox portion of the shoe, used to help mimic a shiny, convertible sports car. Cordura additions finish off the upper of the shoe, and sit above the always popular translucent sole, which made its return to the Air Jordan line and served as a window-like framework to the full length carbon fiber shank.
Wearing the Air Jordan 11, MJ was able to become the All-Star game MVP, the scoring leader and rack up plenty of other individual marks, as well as lead the Bulls to a record-setting 72 regular season wins. The Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic were all victims of the Bulls through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, as Chicago moved on to face the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA Finals. The Bulls took a 3-2 lead back to Chicago for Game 6 on June 16th, 1996, America’s Father’s Day. There was no stopping MJ in his Air Jordan XI’s in the Black/True Red (Bred) colorway as he was able to win his 4th NBA Championship and 1st since his father’s untimely passing. Right after the clock hit 0.0 seconds Jordan grabbed the gameball and fell to the hardwood. In the locker room MJ lay overcome with emotion, sprawled out on the floor, with his XI’s on his feet and the game ball by his side. Father’s Day 1996 is a day that will always be important one in Jordan history.