Looking back, perhaps no one in 1984 could have predicted just how successful Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers would be. The man who popularized the shoes was just a rookie, albeit one picked third in the draft. So when Nike signed him up, it was cautious, proposing all sorts of conditions. But Michael Jordan had other ideas.
Jordan quickly became an extremely popular player, loved by fans for his rampant scoring. His 28+ points a game won him the title of Rookie of the Year in 1985. And the shoes that he wore sold like hotcakes, and by 2012 Air Jordans made up more than half of basketball shoes sold. Youngsters desired to “Be Like Mike,” although Jordan himself was forbidden by the NBA from wearing the shoes because they were multicolored.