The Story of the Legendary Air Jordan 1 Bred that was Banned by the NBA

The Story of the Legendary Air Jordan 1 Bred that was Banned by the NBA

The Air Jordan 1 Bred, or Black & Red, is a work of sports shoe art born in 1985. This iconic colorway is not only known as one of the best in sneaker history, but also has a controversial story behind it.

When it first debuted, the Air Jordan 1 Bred stole the attention of basketball shoe fans. Released when Michael Jordan was still young and just starting his career in the NBA, the pair of Air Jordan 1 Bred became a symbol of rebellion and resistance to the rules.

At that time, the NBA had strict regulations regarding player uniforms. Teams like the Chicago Bulls, who have red and white uniforms, are required to comply with the rule. However, the Air Jordan 1 Bred, with its dominant black and red colors, is considered to violate this rule. The NBA did not remain silent and gave a strong warning to Nike, the shoe manufacturer, with the threat of a $5,000 fine every time Michael Jordan wore them on the court.

However, what is a threat to some, becomes an opportunity for others. Nike cleverly exploited this situation as part of their marketing campaign. They not only asked Michael Jordan to keep wearing these shoes, but also to pay the resulting fine. This decision not only elevates the shoe’s status, but also gives the Air Jordan 1 Bred a strong rebel image.

Although there has been much speculation about the ban, some historical accounts suggest that what the NBA actually banned was the Nike Air Ship Black/Red, not the Air Jordan 1 Bred. The Nike Air Ship, which is similar in color to the AJ 1 Bred, was worn by Jordan in a preseason game in October 1984 against the New York Knicks.

The Air Jordan 1 Bred finally became famous through the 1985 Dunk Contest, where Michael Jordan was seen wearing a pair while jumping for a slam dunk. Even though they were only visible at that moment, these photos succeeded in strengthening the myth surrounding the ban and became legendary icons in sneaker history.

Not only was it controversial, the success of the Air Jordan 1 in 1985 was striking. The shoe was a huge success in the market, generating sales of $55 million for Nike in its first year. Priced then at $65, the Air Jordan 1 Bred has become a highly sought after and appreciated collectible to this day. With various colorways constantly updated, a pair of the Air Jordan 1 Bred remains one of the most coveted sneakers among fans.

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