After Massive August Drop, Potential Michael Jordan Competitor Challenges Bulls Legend’s $2,500,000 Worth Iconic Deal

Published 09/09/2023, 11:10 AM EDT

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The Jordan brand remains among the most iconic in sports history. For nearly 40 years, the sneaker line has been associated with the NBA. And things aren’t slowing down. Just this past August, the Jordan brand boasted 6 new releases! However, things could have turned out a lot different. After all, Nike was a relative newcomer when it enlisted Michael Jordan as its poster boy. Taking that idea as inspiration, a rival brand has launched a brand new sneaker line. What does the new sneaker entail?

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A brand new take on a timeless story, let’s take a deep dive into the Stuntman 650.

Is there a Michael Jordan and New Balance future?

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New Balance and Joe Freshgoods are back with another iteration of the 650 model. While they’ve taken many inspirations, this collaboration delves into an intriguing piece of Michael Jordan’s sneaker history. In 2020, KITH’s Austine Scotti revealed the story behind MJ’s Jumpman logo photoshoot, where he sported New Balance basketball sneakers. This tale, featured in Life Magazine in 1984, inspired Freshgoods to create the “Stuntman” colorway.

The sneaker sports a grey and white color palette, reminiscent of the 1984 shoe.

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To add contrast while maintaining a clean upper, Freshgoods incorporated a grey thin outsole. The high-top design features a broad ankle section with a perforated pattern on the ankle counter.

Freshgoods’ take on the New Balance 650 is personal and creative. In an Instagram post on September 6th, Freshgoods described this project as more of an art project than a commercial campaign.  The sneakers hit the stores today with a price tag of $165.

The New Balance 650, a high-top model, entered the market in competition with the Air Jordan 1 during the 80s. It has a rich history, evolving under the guidance of Terry. Joe Grondin, an NBA executive, explained their journey in reviving this silhouette. They discovered the 550 model in an old New Balance Japan catalog and meticulously recreated it with Teddy’s expertise.

The “Stuntman” iteration and the NB 650 model share a connection rooted in history. These fresh kicks hit shelves on September 9th, offering sneaker enthusiasts a unique and nostalgic piece of footwear.

As a result of stumbling upon a photograph of someone “Special” wearing New Balances in a photo shoot from years ago, one question came to the forefront, “What if the story was different?” Of course, the story as it stands, is something entirely different.

The Jordan deal

Back in 1983, before Jordan became an NBA GOAT, he was a relative no-name in sports circles. While he obviously possessed talent, it was still on a lower tier than even players from his own draft class. As a result, Jumpman fell to the Chicago Bulls at No.3 in the draft.

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Since then, it’s safe to say that the investment has paid off for both parties. Today, Nike stands at the top of the sneaker industry as it pertains to the NBA at the very least and its Jordan brand continues to excel. Similarly, their poster child stands at the top of the NBA pyramid.

from arguably the greatest of all time to a business empire that included a stint as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan is a name forever etched in sports history. But, the origin of all the accolades was the same.

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A soon-to-be multi-billion dollar franchise anchoring its ship to one man out of North Carolina. Nike and Jordan signed a 5-year, $2.5 million deal. While the amount might sound paltry, it was three times more than any other sneaker-athlete deal in the entire league.

Watch This  Story: NBA Analyst Thrashes LeBron James’ Agent Rich Paul’s Comments On Pressure Of “Following” Michael Jordan: “He Had To Follow Magic Johnson”

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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Priyanshu Choudhary is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. Basketball has been his favorite sport for over a decade, and he has written close to 300 articles. If asked what he loves about the sport, Priyanshu would cite the technique, the breakdown, the ebb and flow and the theatrics that have endeared him since 2009.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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