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Sometimes it’s enough to be first. There are many things that the original Air Jordan was not: comfortable, technologically advanced, uniquely designed (unlike virtually all that followed, the original Air Jordan was essentially an in-line Nike basketball shoe done up in Bulls colors). But it’s what it was that made it an all-time classic. What it was, was Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe.

Upon its release, the Air Jordan met with varying responses. The sneaker-buying public, they loved it. The shoe sold out everywhere, advertising posters were stolen across New York City and Nike catapulted to the forefront of the sneaker business. The NBA, not so much. The initial red-and-black version clashed with the other Bulls’ white sneakers, and the League fined Jordan every time he wore them. This, of course, simply made for another great commercial and added to the sales.

And the legend.

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