NBA Tried to Ban the Air Jordans When They First Debuted

The Air Jordan I is arguably the most iconic shoe in all of sports. When the shoes debuted in 1984, legend has it that Jordan was fined $5,000 by the NBA each time he wore them because their colors broke the league’s uniform rules. At the time, the league had a rule requiring that players’ footwear be mostly white.

Nike capitalized on this, reportedly paying the fines for Jordan and turning it into a marketing opportunity:

Although, this may all be a myth and just a clever marketing tactic, as there isn’t any evidence of Jordan wearing the red and black Jordan 1 sneaker in a regular-season game. Jordan did, however, wear the shoe in the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest.


Carmine Galasso/North Jersey Media Group via USA TODAY NETWORK