The 23rd…Damn, how smooth…But is this the end for the ‘Black Cat’ mobile?!!…Stay tuned.
Yes, the Air Jordan XXIII is out and raging among sneakerheads in cyberspace and the wait in on for the 23 ‘chosen’ retailers who will carry the shoe.
However, what is surprising to hear is the debate over whether or not the Air Jordan XXIII is done after this year’s release. Bold call?
Perhaps, when you consider that the Air Jordan is still grabbing a national retail chain price of $185, and fiends are creeping at the doors of chosen retailers for the $230 release.
Yet, the question that seems to be emerging around this year’s release, is the Air Jordan ready for a farewell parade? I don’t know the exact number of Jordans sold in the past five years. Yet, I can say that the clearance racks of retro Jordans and new editions are fairly populated by late summer, which makes you wonder if the brand and the silhouette still hold the same prestige and power held in the early part of this decade.
In terms of basketball, with apologies due to Ray Allen, Michael Finley, and Quentin Richardson, the brand has been developed with the lack of a true icon. And yes…Carmelo Anthony does not really do it for me, and I’m still up for debate of whether or not he is a true long-lasting icon for urban youth.
What’s brutal is to watch how reporters regard the Air Jordan as a long-standing icon such as the Converse Chuck Taylor or the Adidas Stan Smith. The Air Jordan was never that hokey of a buy…That’s a pure prestige item…In the same fashion as the cashmere sweater or even a mink coat.
If you rocked the Air Jordan on the court during the early years, you were rocking a mink on the court. That’s how hot the product was…And yes, if you wore the first two to three models, you were rocking a mink or even a leopard skin out there…You were that bad.
Now, I’ll give respect to the fact that Chucks were nice enough that Calvin Murphy wouldn’t use a jab-step because he didn’t want to wear the Chuck down, but I definitely can’t say the same in the ’70s for a pair of clean Stan Smiths. The comparison for an Air Jordan to a Chuck, Stan Smith, Top Ten or even a Converse All-Star is not even close, and what a shame for an iconic product to fall into the annals of cheap chic.
I hate to say this, but my call may be to shut the door.
Why?…Maybe, I’m tired of players cheapening the logo with thuggery, but when you consider the primary market for Jordans were either in grade school or not even born when MJ emerged into the mainstream in ’84, the shoe feels like players are paying to a homage that was never known to them just passed down through stories, video tape, and Classic replays.
For that reason alone, the time may be now to say farewell. And perhaps we should take a lesson with the end of his career.
How fitting was the initial close in ’99? Then, ask yourself how bad was the water damage that Brand Jordan took on with the comeback with the Wizards…(On my end, with the forced exit of MJ as a GM, I still believe the comeback parallels the time of Willie Mays and the Mets. Thank you Abe Pollin and Ted Leonsis, I don’t think the word ‘leech’ even matches a description for what you did.)
Despite the pain that comes with watching a legend, show, or product leaving while on top and even looking back at how perfect the time was for MJ to walk away in ’99 after his championship, the time may be now to make the pull on the prestige product. Hell yes, it hurts.
The ’60s saw the close of Jim Brown and Sandy Koufax. I saw the pain with the Bulls and Walter Payton, and even today, I’m going through major pains with the end to ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ within 12 months.
Oh what fun, when you can say the product never slipped. Perhaps Brand Jordan should do the same…
Regardless, this year’s version is incredible. Rock them with sleek black pants and a blazer…You’ll flip the people in the cubes.