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NIKE’S FORBIDDEN FRUIT

In 1984 the NBA operated differently. Rules and regulations were far stricter, so much so that players were penalized for a matter as simple as the color of their shoes. 

The most notable case was when basketball legend Michael Jordan donned a black and red color-way Air Jordan 1. 

Nike Air Jordan 1
Nike Air Jordan 1

Jordan wore the sneakers over an 82-game regular season and was fined $5,000 per game as the Association claimed the colors were not appropriate.  Eventually, the fines totaled to $410,000. 

Nike wasted no time by pushing a campaign highlighting the injustice. Proving all publicity is good publicity, Nike generated $55 million in Air Jordan 1 sales in 1985. 

Fast forward 35 years and the Air Jordan 1s are still one of Nike’s most popular sneakers. Reiterations of the “Banned” shoe have been released and remain in high demand. 

Michael Jordan in the 1985 Dunk Contest, wearing the Air Jordan 1
Michael Jordan in the 1985 Dunk Contest, wearing the Air Jordan 1

The NBA has also abandoned the said rule and players have the freedom to don any sneaker color-way they desire.


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