Concept Lab // Air Jordan 5 “Sonics”
MJ: The GOAT of trash-talking
Who doesn’t love a great MJ story?
Michael’s competitive streak is today as strong as it was in his playing days. His Airness seemingly has a vendetta against taking an L, as history reveals. We’ve heard stories about MJ’s obsession with winning: From betting on holes of golf, to once losing at ping pong, then going out to buy a table and practice for hours on end to get his revenge — or how CP3 made Mike take shots, and if he missed three, he had to give the kids at his camp free sneakers.
He nailed every damn one.
Here’s another story, this time from Sonic’s legend Gary Payton, that sums up Mike’s winning mentality to a T:
“It was a preseason game against the Bulls my rookie year. So it’s 1990. It was the Bulls but not the Michael Jordan Bulls yet, know what I mean? It’s before the first three-peat. They were still getting beat in the playoffs by Detroit, in like ’88 and ’89.
And so I’m coming in there, preseason, second pick in the draft. I don’t care who the hell Michael Jordan is. I’d seen him when I was coming up. To me it was like, O.K., he’s good … but he’s not all that.
MJ was on the bench most of the game — I didn’t understand that it was just preseason and MJ doesn’t play hard like that in a preseason game. So B.J. Armstrong had me. I gave him 19 points. And I’m a rookie, so of course, I’m talking crazy. I’m talking sh*t to B.J. I’m running by the bench, saying sh*t to MJ. I’m staring guys down. I feel great.
A few weeks later, we had the Bulls for the first time in the regular season, at home in Seattle. I’ve been working for it, waiting for it, I’m ready. And of course, everybody’s talking about how it’s the Bulls — how Michael’s coming to town. I’m like, O.K. I gave them 19. I know I can get down on MJ, no problem.
So we go out there before the game, and everybody is shaking hands at the circle.
MJ wouldn’t shake my hand.
He turns to B.J. and he says, “Leave the f*cking rookie to me,” so everyone can hear it. Sh*t, O.K., I’m thinking. Well f*ck it then. Bring it on. The game gets going. I’m checking Michael, and I see Phil Jackson start calling plays — four, five, six times in a row, he’s calling plays for Michael. And Michael is scoring four, five, six times in a row. Michael is on a different level than I knew there was.
In a matter of minutes, I’m in foul trouble. K.C. benches me. I didn’t really go back in the game much more after that. I remember I finished with no points — played for about seven or eight minutes. MJ ended up going for 33.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Near the end of the game, I’m sitting on the bench, and MJ comes over to our bench — comes right up to me while the game is still going on. Coach is standing right there. Everyone on the bench is staring at him. Looks right at me. “That sh*t you talking in preseason?”.
The wild thing is, MJ isn’t even mad or nothing. He’s chewing his f*cking gum…“This is the real sh*t right here. Welcome to the NBA, little fella.”.
The Bulls won the title that season, and then five more before he was done.”
Of course, I wont let a good story get in the way of a sneaker concept — and this Air Jordan 5 is a perfect fit: Throwback Sonics colors on the sneaker MJ was wearing in one of the longest-played clap-backs in history. And it serves as a reminder: Michael Jordan is one relentless mother fucker — and he’ll never let you forget it.
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Air Jordan 5 “Sonics”
From the HOUSE OF HEAT Concept Lab
Source: The Players Tribune