It’s hard to imagine a world where Michael Jordan and Nike aren’t inextricably linked.

But according to Spike Lee, who was involved in the Air Jordan line early on, there was a time when some at Nike didn’t think MJ was the right choice for the face of the company.

Then-CEO Phil Knight saw the potential in Jordan as Nike’s standard-bearer and went ahead despite those naysayers. The rest, as we all know, is history.

Spike Lee’s role as Mars Blackmon in late-’80s and early-’90s Air Jordan commercials revolutionized the way sneakers were marketed. Jordan and Lee’s on-screen magic not only presented Air Jordans as elite performance tools, but must-have pieces of off-court fashion as well.

The industry hasn’t been the same since.


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Rich Maze Lopez and Zac Dubasik, Sole Collector
Rich Maze Lopez and Brandon Richard, Sole Collector