Michael Jordan was not supposed to wear the Jordan 11s in the 1996 Playoffs but did so anyway, leading to the iconic ‘Concord’ 11s.
Michael Jordan at his peak in the 90s and 90s, was undoubtedly the most marketable athlete North American Sports had ever seen. His Air Jordan 1s were set to make about $3 million during their first year of release. Due to his stellar play in his rookie season, averaging 28 points a game, Nike made a whopping $126 million in a year instead.
It was only up from here as sneakers like the Jordan 4s and 5s were looked at as more than just a high performing basketball shoe for on-court activities. They were considered to be a fashion statement and soon enough, had people wrapping around blocks, waiting in line for the newest Jordan sneaker to drop.
Perhaps the most iconic Michael Jordan sneaker of all time, would have to be the Jordan 11s. This of course, isn’t set in stone but the ‘Concord’ and ‘Bread 11s’ colorway is synonymous with success.
How Michael Jordan defied his sneaker designer to wear the Jordan 11s before their release date.
Michael Jordan was given a preliminary design for his Jordan 11s after coming back to the NBA following his short stint with Minor League Baseball. Tinker Hatfield, Jordans’ designer, showed the Bulls legend the now iconic Jordan 11 silhouette.
According to Max Resetar of Slam Magazine, Michael wore his Jordan 11s way before schedule. The then, 3x champ, was told that the release was going to be around November of 1995. Jordan however, was so eager to test out the 11s that he wore them during the ECSF against the Orlando Magic and told Tinker prior that he could do nothing to stop him.
The ‘Concord’ colorway was what Michael Jordan wore in that series and from then on, the hype only got louder. Surprisingly enough, the ‘GOAT’ wore the ‘Concord’ colorway all throughout the 1996 season and debuted the ‘Bread 11’ colorway during the Playoffs.
This 72-10 season from the Bulls was capped off with a victory over the Seattle SuperSonics in the ‘96 NBA Finals. The conic locker room pictures that show Jordan in a euphoric state following the Game 6 victory all showcase his ‘Bread 11s’.