When Michael Jordan left the game of basketball between 1993 and 1995 to pursue a career in baseball, many considered it a lesser moment for the sport as its best player had “lost a desire to play the game”. Others remember that period with a more opportunistic and enthusiastic mindset. As for a brief time span, your team might of had a shot.
The Houston Rockets capitalized on that moment by capturing back-to-back NBA championships in the 93-94 and 94-95 seasons, respectively. An underlying storyline at the time was the quandary Nike found themselves in. The Air Jordan line was surging and, unexpectedly, its towering namesake decided basketball was no longer a priority. Nike was at a loss. Yet, without hitch, they continued to produce his popular sneaker. The second to release during his first retirement was the Tinker Hatfield designed Air Jordan 10.
Since Jordan wasn’t playing in the shoe (yet), Nike had to create an intriguing rollout for the sneaker that would resonate on a wide scale. Thus came the City Series — a collection of original colorways that represented key cities around the NBA. The haul would include “Chicago,” “Sacramento,” “New York,” “Seattle” and “Orlando” iterations. That latter, which hasn’t released since 1995, is set to return this holiday season.
The Air Jordan 10 “Orlando” was famously worn by Nick Anderson, the Magic shooting guard for a decade from 1989-1999. Anderson, to his credit, did something very few ever did: he beat Michael Jordan in a playoff series wearing his Air Jordan sneakers. The Magic topped the Bulls in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. They’d go on to fall to the aforementioned Rockets and Hakeem Olajuwon in the ’95 Finals.
Greater perspective lends to Anderson’s place in Chicago Hoops lore. He was named “Illinois Mr. Basketball” in 1986 when he led the famed Simeon Career Academy to a state title. A school that once featured current Jordan Brand athlete, Jabari Parker. Earlier in Anderson’s high school tenure, he played alongside the mythical Ben “Benji” Wilson before his untimely passing in 1984.
Although not on the surface, there’s a larger story behind the Air Jordan 10 “Orlando” — one that has little to do with MJ directly. Expect the shoe to release during Jordan Brand’s celebrated holiday campaign in December.
Update 10/23: The Air Jordan 10 “Orlando” is reported to release on December 1, 2018.
Update 11/8: Check out an early look at the Air Jordan 10 “Orlando” courtesy of FineLine 1721.
Air Jordan 10 “Orlando”
Colorway: White/Black-Royal-Metallic Silver
Style #: 310805-108
Release Date: December 1, 2018
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