As an NBA player, signing a contract with Jordan Brand means stepping into an exclusive club. Unlike other big names in the sneaker industry, Jordan’s roster is smaller, with a small number of elite players chosen (often, said to be by MJ himself) to serve as ambassadors for the Mark. These days you can spot young stars like Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum lacing up the Air Jordan 35. The number of players getting their own Jordan signature is even smaller – in 20 years, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul. and Russell Westbrook are the only players to have received this unique honor. As for Jordan, they are just superstars.
This club just got a little bigger. When Zion Williamson signed an unprecedented $ 75 million five-year deal with Jordan Brand even before making his NBA debut, there was no doubt that he had been anointed the next star in the company. Zion played most of his first two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans in eye-catching Air Jordan 34s and 35s (his “Bayou Boys” debut being easily the star), but it’s now official: he’ll be finishing his season. second season escape wearing the long-awaited Jordan Zion 1.
Sneakers are often designed well over a year before their release. They are subjected to seemingly endless concept meetings, design scans, and player testing. It can all be a bit corporate. But Zion is one of the most charismatic players the league has seen in quite some time – so it was only fitting that his design process, already affected by the pandemic, was a little different. While quarantining himself with his family, he enthusiastically involved them in the conception process. A member of the Jordan Brand team remembers Zion and his mom showing up to an Early Zoom meeting with a homemade mood board to cut and paste. They had included photos of Zion’s favorite Jordans, inspirational quotes, and even some of his favorite superheroes and anime to give the team a sense of where they wanted to go with the shoe. As a result, the first batch of releases features a multi-colored number inspired by the designs Zion’s younger brother Noah drew on a white Jordan 1 Low during a visit to Nike headquarters.
This is largely indicative of the ethics Zion brought to the table. Despite the weight of the expectations of the basketball world on his massive shoulders since high school, according to their accounts he remains a calm and humble child who lights up around his family. His first sneaker reflects this. It’s a simple, timeless silhouette with jaw-dropping performance specifications. It’s not without flair, but every accent and every blossoming is ultimately rooted in sentiment.
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