These Air Jordan All-Stars badly need retro releases every year

Oct 14, 2019

The buzz surrounding Travis Scott's latest collaboration with Air Jordan has once again underscored the huge part that Michael Jordan plays in the burgeoning sneaker culture.

The "Cactus Jack" Air Jordan 6 instantly sold out on the rapper's official website and Nike's SNKRS app, with his biggest followers complaining about (un)availability and the "cheating" that plagues reselling. Travis personally responded to a fan account on Instagram:

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If you think about it, the hip-hop artist's shoe releases might not be as sought-after if not for the Air Jordan base. Models from the basketball GOAT's signature line have long been revered for their ideal mix of on-court significance and off-court aesthetic.

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Some Jordan pairs have even achieved iconic status than the rest of sillhouettes:

Air Jordan I

The OG AJ didn't just pave the way for basketball players to have their own signature shoe lines, it also broke the rules according to a stern letter from NBA officials. The first "Bred" colorway was against the league's uniform policy; Jordan would then be penalized $5,000 each time he laced 'em up on the court.

Originally released: April 1985

Air Jordan III

His Airness soared to his second slam dunk title in the White Cement 3s, while introducing the iconic Jumpman sillhouette. This was legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield's first foray into Jordans, and he rendered the most recognizable elephant print that MJ himself requested.

Originally released: January 1988

Air Jordan IV

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The AJ 4 will be forever associated with "The Shot," one of Jordan's greatest clutch moments and the stuff of nightmares for Cleveland fans. The appearance of the franchise's first global market release in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing film also made an impact on sneaker culture.

Originally released: February 1989

Air Jordan V

The Cavaliers just couldn't take a break, as Mike dropped a career-high 69 points against them the following season. Having already won Most Valuable Player the year before, he was still able to elevate one area of his game, making 92 threes — 24 more than his first five seasons combined.

Originally released: February 1990

Air Jordan VI

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The 6s are rather prominent for a couple of reasons. MJ wore it while exorcising the demons of the "Bad Boy" Pistons on his way to the Promised Land, his first of six championships. Popularly inspired by his German sportscar, the design is the perfect embodiment of speed and class.

Originally released: 1991


    Air Jordan VII

    Jordan's next release signaled his rise through the international ranks. After successfully defending his title, Finals and regular season MVP, he bannered USA's Dream Team that won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The brand also ditched the exterior Nike branding and visible Air window.

    Originally released: 1992

    Air Jordan VIII

    There are mixed emotions for the AJ 8, which will be remembered for the Bulls dominating the league en route to a historic three-peat, at the same time Mike shocking everyone by stepping away from the game. He would return to the hardwood, though, after one retirement shoe.

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    Originally released: 1993

    Air Jordan XI

    MJ bounced back in a big way a season after his comeback, reclaiming the basketball throne and his fourth ring in the 11's patent leather shine. Opposing players were spotted rocking the shoe, with its biggest cameo on the landmark live-action animated sports comedy blockbuster Space Jam.

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    Originally released: 1995

    Air Jordan XII

    More than his fifth championship, the model is synonymous with the "Flu Game," where the fierce competitor endured a 103-degree temperature to put up 38 points, seven rebounds, and five assists against Utah during the Finals. The AJ 12 is also fittingly known for its durability.

    Originally released: November 1996

    Air Jordan XIV

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    What started out as a unwearable protoype from Tinker turned into one of Mike's favorite sneakers and the culmination of his career with Chicago. The comfortable 14 Lows is a symbol of yet another game-winning sequence for the GOAT, who shortly retired from basketball for the second time around.

    Originally released: October 1998

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