In 1995 Jordan returned to the game he loves, he returned wearing No. 45. It was chosen to honor a childhood tradition and signal a new chapter. 45 was Jordan’s baseball number, worn both while growing up in North Carolina and during his stint in the minor leagues. He wore it while playing junior varsity basketball, because it was the same number that his older brother, Larry, wore on the varsity team. When Michael finally made the varsity himself, he switched to 23, which was as close to half of 45 as he could get. Soon after what some could argue to be the greatest comeback in sports history, he introduced the Air Jordan XI.
For the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Orlando Magic, Jordan completely revolutionized the look of the game with the debut of the Air Jordan XI. With an immaculate white, woven mesh upper and a shiny, sophisticated black patent leather wrap, the shoe had No. 45 on the back. MJ laced them up and went out to play one of the inadequate playoff games of his career. Afterwards, Nick Anderson, a Chicagoan who’d been selected by Michael to wear Air Jordans in the NBA, had this to say: “Number 45 is not number 23.”
MJ didn’t say one word to the media after that game or the next. He returned for Game Two in his familiar 23 jersey and scored 38 points. In Game Three, he had 40. His Bulls would go on to lose the series but wouldn’t lose another series over the next three seasons.
Sneaker retailers had customers lined up anticipating the release in 1996, and again in 2000 and 2001 when the first iterations of the model first dropped. Jordan Brand then continued the legacy with the 2006 release of the Defining Moments Package. It’s definitely the one that made Tinker Hatfield a legend in the streets.
In 2011, the Concords returned for the first time in over a decade. Perfectly packaged in a modernized white/black slide-out shoe-box with a flashy concord purple lid. Drawing a mass crowds to retailers across the nation. It was one of the releases that forced the brand to rethink shoe release procedures. Since then the Air Jordan XI Concord has become The Grail.
Now, in 2018, Jordan Brand has its sights set on what can potentially be the best-selling sneaker release in Nike’s entire history. Perfectly timed to help replenish many sneaker rotations with pristine pairs of this epic shoe. Returning with all the original ascetics from 1996. The sneaker will be featuring the very same high-cut patent leather overlay, along with its white mesh upper with smooth leather detailing, and dark concord accents throughout. The XI Concord with “45” on the back are truly exceptional. It’s not a pair that MJ wore while winning a championship, but it’s the first XI that he wore in a game. An intrinsic part of his return that led to so much more.
These shoes honor the fact that MJ never lost, he learned. No shoe personifies Jordan’s resilience more, particularly the one with No. 45 on the back. In a commercial, Jordan famously said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Releasing Saturday December 8th, 2018
Boutiques open at 11am MST
Retail $220.00 + Tax
First Come First Served - Limit 1 Per Customer
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