The Air Jordan III “White Cement” returns in limited quantities once again. Once heralded throughout Jordan’s career as the shoe that earned him his second Slam Dunk title, a proper re-re-re-release of the shoe was necessitated to coincide with a 25th anniversary celebrating the accolades that followed every time he stepped on the court with them on. The shoe itself was showcased during one of the most incredible nights, which featured the All Star MVP in Chicago Stadium. The glory was his for the taking, as the defending Slam Dunk champion battled fearlessly to regain the bragging rights of the title, going against a great rival in The Human Highlight Reel, aka Dominique Wilkins. It wasn’t just a gimme though but when Wilkins received a 45 on his final dunk a small window was left open. Jordan pulled out the all the stops, earning the perfect score of 50 on his final dunk. The cocked back one handed jam from the free throw line is forever emblazoned on a sneakerholic’s wall and every Jordan 3 retro card. Nike Air on the heel and all.
The sneaker itself introduced the world of basketball to the designer that we have come to love in Tinker Hatfield. The Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Oregon, Hatfield had previously designed another timeless classic, the Air Max 1. Introducing what would lead to some of the most innovative multi-sport cross training sneakers to the market, his resume runs far and wide when it comes to the accolades he’s received in creating the Air Jordan III’s. “Midas” created the sneaker which is widely known to have saved Jordan from leaving Nike, leading to a line 28 shoes deep with more spin offs than an American Pie movie. This sneaker was the first Jordan model to feature the famous “NIKE AIR” logo on the heel and the Elephant Print additions that kept Jordan from leaving Nike.
Many may not know that this was also the shoe that introduced Mars Blackmon to the Jordan family. The ad campaign “Mars and Mike” featured the character that Spike Lee played in his film, “She’s Gotta Have It,” standing next to the great Michael Jordan. “Do you know how I get up for my game?” We can only dream of Mike picking us up with one hand, treating our head like a basketball while rocking these sneakers. The ad campaign was a true hit not only to his Brooklyn roots, but to the world. This has lead to what has made him the marketing success he is today. It’s no surprise that “The Best on Earth” didn’t leave us “hanging” when he was able to uphold this title that famous All Star weekend.
The All Star appearance of these sneakers aren’t just limited by the release this weekend, but also saw the greatest matchup between two greats, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Though this particular colorway was not featured during the 2003 All Star weekend (they were released later that year), the “True Blues” that were not only representative of the colors of Jordan’s then team the Wizards, but also the colors of the All Star Game jerseys. It’s no surprise that this was also Jordan’s final All Star game, an honor Vince Carter recognized by stepping down as a starter in order to allow Jordan his final gift to the fans that February weekend. Even the jerseys the players were wearing commemorated that same weekend which saw Jordan win his first All Star MVP in 1988. Jordan may not have worn these shoes, but another player was ready to take those reigns and literally step into the shoes that made him famous. Bryant, wearing Jordan’s signature shoes, is the greatest send off he could have given to the legend.
Original Air Jordan III White/Cement uploaded by PabloJordan
The upcoming 2013 All Star Weekend will not just mark the 25th Anniversary of MJ’s Slam Dunk victory in the AJ3’s, but all the memories and history of what this great player has brought us throughout the last quarter of a century. Whether you are able to get your hands on these sneakers or not, it’s important to remember what these kicks have brought to the game. Game changing like the player it represents, the history will always play a reminder as to why we don’t just love his performances, but the style on his sneaker.