Not many Non-OG colorways are openly accepted in the sneaker world. But the AJ1 ‘Shattered Backboard’ worn by Michael Jordan is an exception.
Any sneaker with the name of Michael Jordan attached to it sells like hotcakes. When it comes to Air Jordan 1’s anything sells. Back in 2015 Nike decided to honor MJ’s incredible feat of shattering a backboard while he was on tour in Italy. Playing in the colors of orange black and white, the then-sophomore Jordan took the basketball scene in Europe by storm.
Already a household name in the states, Jordan set out to be a global phenomenon. He achieved just that, by showing out in Italy. Playing for the Stefanel Trieste, Jordan scored a quick 30 points against Juve Caserta. While people were in awe of his skills there, the highlight of the night was the dunk that shattered the backboard.
Not too many players have ever broken a board apart from Shaq a few years later. Nike went on to release a color blocking of that iconic night on its 30th anniversary. The sneaker world lapped it up and the value of it has never gone down since.
The quality of the material, the story behind it, and in general the most sought-after silhouette meant that Nike had a slam dunk as ferocious as the one that broke the board all those years ago.
For folks who may not remember Michael Jordan in 1985 before he was considered “Air Jordan”.
Europe. The summer following his rookie year…pic.twitter.com/oj7VeEq1h3
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) February 23, 2022
The Sneaker world is a fickle place – the same story that tasted great success with its first two iterations bombed with the third
Every emerging sneakerhead looks to the Air Jordan line-up to start the collection. A lot of the younger ones gravitate towards the usual hype like the Travis Scotts, the fragments, the original black and reds. But there is one story that people generally overlook, and that is how the Shattered backboard came to be. To a regular person, it is just an orange and black shoe, but to people who know, it is much more than that.
The Shattered backboards in their first two iterations tasted immense success. They sell for huge amounts on the resell market. The third however tanked. The idea behind the sneaker was great. It was the closest in terms of representation of what happened that summer. The crinkled patent leather symbolized the breaking of glass, and as an idea it was great. However, in terms of wearability, it did not bring the same level of hype the other two did.
Every manufacturer knows the importance of a story that is behind a regular commodity like shoes. They are a necessity, but how do you make people buy more of something so commonplace? This is the reason why big companies bring in artists and athletes to cross collaborate. Even with a great story like the shattered backboard, the sales did not match the hype since the execution did not bring out what the other two had so effectively done.
Also read: “The Air Jordan 1 banned has the best backstory for any professional athlete!”: Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe caused a big controversy when it was launched, continuing to remain relevant to this day