Now we’ve all heard the story, where the black and red Air Jordan 1’s was the controversial colourway that soon became known as the “banned” sneaker that Michael Jordan was not permitted by the NBA to wear in the 1984-1985 season.

As the story goes, we’ve been led to believe that the Air Jordan 1 “Bred,” designed by Nike’s Peter Moore was banned from the NBA for violating the NBA’s uniform regulations. And by wearing the aforementioned sneaker, Michael Jordan was or would then be fined $5,000 per game for any infraction. The story also adds that Nike footed the bill every time this penalty was handed down to his Airness. Why you ask? Well, the NBA claims that as per the “uniformity of uniform rule” a player must wear shoes that not only matched the players’ uniforms, but also matched the shoes worn by his fellow teammates. There’s also the notion that because the Bred 1’s did not have any white fabric upon its upper, was also a violation to the rule.

But was this now iconic sneaker model, in fact, the one that then “rookie” NBA Boss David Stern & Exec. VP Russ Granik told MJ he couldn’t wear?

Nope. Well, not according to Jordan aficionado Kris Arnold.

As the video chronologically breaks down, there was in fact another model altogether that the NBA would single out and ban prior to the start of the 1984-1985 NBA season. What’s even more ironic is that the banned shoe was not even a Jordan model at all!

Check the video, so eloquently narrated by Kris and uncover the truth behind the real Red & Black “Banned” sneaker that made some sneaker noise back in MJ’s Rookie season.


Letter to then Nike VP Robert Strasser from NBA Exec. VP Russ Granik