Posts Tagged ‘Screen’

The Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” // A Classic on Court & on Screen

As Jordan Brand and Warner Brothers celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Space Jam, I not only feel a little bit older than I like to think of myself, but I also like to look back and think about how the movie, Michael Jordan, and his shoes have played through history over the last two decades.

The “Space Jam” Air Jordan 11s were always one of the most mysterious shoes in the line. They first appeared on Michael Jordan’s feet in the 1995 NBA Playoffs when the Bulls took on the Orlando Magic marking the first time that MJ wore a shoe with royal blue accents in his career and also only the second colorway of the Air Jordan 11 that MJ wore on court.

MJ Space Jam XI Game 6 1995 Playoffs Magic

Throughout the 1995-96 season, Nike released three colorways of the mid-top Air Jordan 11, but the predominantly black upper with a clear sole and blue Jumpman was nowhere to be found in the campaign. What ever happened to them?


On November 13, 1996, just like Michael Jordan himself, they came back. Appearing in the movie Space Jam, the shoes appeared again for the first time in over a year. Many people wanted to know if these would be coming out. By the time of the release of the movie, the Air Jordan 12 was already in stores and no information was known about the mysterious shoes we all saw in the film.

History of Holiday Air Jordan 11 Releases
Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” 2000

Fast forward a few years to the turn of the new century and on December 13, 2000, at last, the Space Jams were an attainable item for sneakerheads and Jordan fans alike.

The Air Jordan 11 was always a favorite to many sneakerheads and Jordan fans over the years, and for good reason. Not only did MJ return for his first full season after his first retirement in the shoes, but he also led the Chicago Bulls to glory once again with record-setting 72-10 regular season record and NBA Championship. On the personal accomplishment front, MJ took home an NBA All-Star Game MVP, NBA Scoring Title, and NBA League MVP – quite a year for Air Greatness.

Following the 2000 and 2001 retro Air Jordan 11 campaign, Jordan Brand went very light on the highly coveted model. It wasn’t until January of 2006 that an Air Jordan 11 mid released in a limited Defining Moments Pack and again in December of 2008 in the Countdown Pack. With limited availability and the $ 300 & $ 310 price tags of the packs, the Air Jordan 11s were out of reach for the masses – but that all changed at in 2009.

History of Holiday Air Jordan 11 Releases
Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” 2009

Starting in July of 2009, we got word of the eventual release of the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” and from that first article, we saw a gradual build up to what was, at the time, the single biggest day in our website’s history as literally tens of thousands of fiending fans for the shoes were coming to Nice Kicks for information on the release.

Also fueling momentum to the 2009 release of the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” was a reference to the shoes in the first line of Lil Wayne’s verse in the chart-topping song “Forever.”  If anyone who listened to FM radio during that year remembers, it seemed as though this song was played every hour on not just Hip-Hop and R&B stations, but Top 40 as well.

“Ok, Hello it’s the Martian // Space Jam Jordans” – Lil Wayne in “Forever”

Image via UpscaleHype
Image via UpscaleHype

Coming in at $ 175, the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” was the most expensive retro Jordan release for a single shoe, but with elevated packaging and the insatiable demand for the shoes, retailers had bigger issues with crowd control than selling of the shoes. Several malls around the country saw over 1,000 customers lined up including at the Houston Galleria where the lineup waited overnight.

Overnight and into the early morning, the shoes gained further attention as news crews covered the first large scale nationwide release with such lineups and crowds. On Twitter, the terms “Jordans”, “Space Jams”, and “Space Jam Jordans” all trended at the same time owning 30% of the Trending Topics real estate.

The 2009 release of the Space Jam 11s was the start of an annual Jordan 11 release tradition that continued to build year after year.

Air Jordan 11 "Space Jam"
Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” 2016

As the last six holiday seasons have seen Air Jordan 11 releases for colorways both old and new, the remastered Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” launch celebrates something both old and new. For fans of the film, it’s a wearable homage to the cartoon classic that put MJ into another world of pop culture icon. For fans of hoops, the shoe sees concord accents and #45 tagging for the first time at retail.

The shoe that sparked the retro Jordan wave as we know it is once again back and this time it looks like everyone will have a chance to score them. That’s a win in any universe and fun for the whole family in the VHS, DVD or Netflix era.


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