Every year, The Greatest Of All-Time (nee Michael Jordan) brought it on the court when the NBA Playoffs arrived. And every year he played, he made sure his feet brought it in the postseason, too.
MJ hasn’t been seen in the Playoffs for 15 whole years now, but that hasn’t stopped him from keeping his footwear legacy alive. With the help of some of the best players of today (and yesterday), Brand Jordan has given a special touch to some of the finest sneakers in the Brand’s history (with a player exclusive touch).
Starting with the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, the Melo M9 comes in the classic Knickerbocker colorways of blue, orange, and white. A great characteristic of Melo’s signature shoe is that it shows off a large “M” lace loop strap that’s featured on both sides of each sneaker. It’s not classically styled like an Air Force 1 and not extremely ‘teched up’ like a LeBron, but it’s got a nice finish to it, and has some festive New York pizzazz that you can floss.
Why It Gets The Co-Sign: The color blocking on the Melo M9 is just flat-out dope. Commissioner David Stern eased up on the color restrictions and now teams can do more than just black and white-based shoes. Check the blue suede on the road kicks – buttery.
The Los Angeles Clippers have two Jordan stars in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Both Griffin’s Super.Fly 2 and Paul’s signature CP3.VI are dope. What’s great about the Super.Fly 2 is that it’s a true exclusive, and isn’t set to be available until late 2013. It isn’t overdone and complements the Clippers’ unis with blue and red, while making use of black and gray to make them versatile for the street and the hardwood.
The CP3.VI is lower-profile and has more classic color styling. The shoe itself is an upgraded version of his regular season shoe and tagged with the initials “AE” (meaning “Artisan Edition”), signifying the shoe’s more precise craftsmanship and design.
Why They Get The Co-Sign: Blake’s shoe goes hard, because of the way it wraps up on the foot and that matte/glossy touch on the front of the shoe gives it some pop at the feet. A 3/4-high sneaker like CP3’s is likely to get more run (and it pops a little brighter on the colors,) than the Super.Fly 2. Those are more festive, perfect for those barbeques on Memorial Day and Independence Day.
The cream of the crop of the entire Jordan postseason group, is represented by the Air Jordan XX8, which is something of a flagship sneaker that meets a high-fashion runway shoe.
Going 8” high up on the lower leg and shrouded totally when zipped, the AJ XX8 is worn by specially selected members of the Jordan Brand. The fashion-forward thinking Russell Westbrook, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Gerald Wallace and Richard Hamilton each have PE home and away versions of the high-performance shoe. They also have custom logos for each of the players stamped on the shoes.
Westbrook’s versions come in black and white, with Photo Blue and Tour Yellow trim, and come to life with the blue inner bootie and yellow soles.
Why They Get The Co-Sign: Remember the “Do The Right Thing” series that Jordan Brand did? These have that similar kind of color blocking. Sky blue and gold are always gonna get some attention, and these just spell out “fresh.”
“Iso-Joe” Johnson and “G-Force” Wallace have more concrete stylings of their PEs, with black and white being the only hues used, but they are expertly blocked and sophisticated no matter how they’re worn.
Why They Get The Co-Sign: Sometimes, all you need is black and white.“Ray-Ray” is the only one with three pairs, all varying with elements of black, white, Gym Red and Del Sol gold that make his set arguably the freshest AJ XX8s of the bunch.
Why They Get The Co-Sign: Dwyane Wade used to get the best Miami Heat PEs, but ever since he jumped ship, Jesus Shuttlesworth himself has scooped up all of the heat (pun intended). Black, red, and gold is super-underrated, and is fire on the XX8s.
“Rip” Hamilton’s versions are the truest to the Jordan Brand canon – straight black, white, and Gym Red are the classic Chicago Bulls colorway made legendary by His Airness himself.
Why They Get The Co-Sign: In truth, the dopest thing about Rip’s kicks is the skyline logo. That small touch wins.
The AJ XX8s are doubtful to be released to the public (and if they are, they will be extremely limited in number), but if so, make sure to stay up on your trusted shoe supplier.
This is simply the best selection of current Jordan Brand sneakers that anyone has seen in years.