35 Years After His Services, Michael Jordan’s Billion-Dollar Endeavor Honors $60,000,000 Worth Filmmaker

Published 06/24/2023, 12:42 AM EDT

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Michael Jordan has reached the pinnacle of global popularity not only through his on-court prowess but also through the help of several influential people. Apart from dominating the hardwood, the Chicago Bulls legend captured his fans’ hearts through various off-court endeavors. Notably, several filmmakers have brought out Jordan’s flamboyance on screen through commercials and films. As an ode to one such filmmaker, MJ’s billion-dollar shoe brand honored the $60 million worth legend 35 years after his contribution to Jordan’s popularity. 

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Air Jordan has almost become a synonym for MJ’s global identity because of its massive success. The 6x NBA Champion not only made the brand popular but also revived Nike from the brink of insolvency in the 1980s. The iconic filmmaker made history at Cannes recently and the Jordan Brand decided to commemorate his achievement.

The 66-year-old director got validated for his memorable work in cinema

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The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity recently honored one of the country’s most influential filmmakers, Spike Lee, with the Creative Maker of the Year award. Notably, Lee emerged as the first-ever recipient of the award in 2023. Subsequently, MJ’s Jordan brand honored the New York Knicks superfan with a special tribute.

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The special tribute included exclusive 100 pairs of Air Jordan sneakers. Lee directed his first Air Jordan commercial with His Airness and also played the character ‘Mars Blackmon’ from his film, She’s Gotta Have It. Moreover, the sneakers had Mars Blackmon’s face embedded in them.

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The 66-year-old director has directed several influential films like Malcolm X, BlackkKlansman, and more in his Hollywood career. 

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Apart from their professional collaboration, Michael Jordan and Spike Lee carried a great bond behind the camera. However, Lee once narrated a hilarious story of how he got the best out of his powerful friend. 

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How did Spike Lee convince His Airness to fund his film?

During the making of the film ‘Malcolm X’, Lee ran out of funds and reached out to various personalities to fund his film. He also approached Magic Johnson and MJ in 1991. While he received funds from Johnson, he had his own ways to get more funds from Jordan, reported Entrepreneur.

Lee understood MJ’s competitive spirit and revealed how much Johnson gave and the rest is history. Moreover, the film went on to win two Academy Awards in 1993. 

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What do you make of Michael Jordan’s special tribute to ace filmmaker Spike Lee? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Written by:

Shahul Hameed

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Shahul Hameed is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports, where he brings his passion for sports and entertainment journalism to life. With a Master's Degree in journalism from a reputed institute and years of experience in the industry, Shahul always strives to provide insightful and astute coverage of the NBA to the fans. Shahul's love for sports writing dates back to his college days.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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