Jordan Retro 9
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Jordan Retro 9 takes MJ’s story around the world
It was the year that MJ walked away. And we fans were left with nothing but memories.
Nike released the Air Jordan IX in November 1993, about a month after Michael Jordan had abruptly announced his retirement from basketball, at just 30 years old. But designer Tinker Hatfield remained hard at work, this time with fellow designer Mark Smith, as they sought to encapsulate MJ’s impact on the world.
Never, now always
The Air Jordan IX, re-released as the Jordan Retro 9 beginning in 2002, was the first of his signature line that he would never wear in a pro game.
Yet it’s the shoe that will forever be on the feet of the MJ statue that sits inside the lobby at the United Center, where he concluded his championship years with Chicago.
An international tale
Hatfield and Smith sought to tell the story of MJ’s impact in a worldwide way, on the outsoles. That’s where you’ll find unique looks on the right and left shoe, embossments for “1994,” as well as words in various languages that describe the ethic MJ took both to the court and to life in general:
Right shoe – Dedicated (in French), Force (Spanish), Intense (Italian), Freedom (French), Graceful (German).
Left shoe – Sport (Russian), Independence (Swahili), Freedom (Russian), Athletic (German), Hope (Swahili).
A concept drawing from nearly two years prior would have employed a strap connecting the ankle collar to the heel cup and would’ve featured an Asian script.
A story for all
Not only do the outsole details tell the story of Michael Jordan and allude to the impact he had on several countries, the shoe is available in sizes for men, women, and kids. And since kids’ sizes are universal between genders, boys and girls can swear the same sizes.
The Retro 9 is one chapter in a long history of the greatest player to ever take the court, of course. The Retro 13 draws inspiration from the black panther to reflect MJ’s stealthy yet powerful on-court style. The Retro 4 recalls when MJ hit “The Shot” that propelled Chicago to just its second playoff series win of the Jordan era. And of course there’s the Retro 1 that started it all.
And regardless of which style tells a kid’s story, they can complete the tale with tees, hoodies, and shorts. And parents can even bundle up the littlest ballers in a big look with Jordan sets for infants.