The nineties were a great time for many things. Music, cinema, television and pop culture all seemed to hit a high-point during the decade. Another thing that was at the top of its game in the nineties was basketball. The NBA became one of the most watched and lauded leagues in the whole of sport. It wasn’t just Americans tuning in night after night to watch the games, the NBA went truly global.
Of course, it was mainly down to the superstar effect of one Michael Jordan; in the nineties he was everywhere. He was being used to deter burglars in 1990’s Home Alone, he was winning Olympic Gold in the 1992 Olympic Games, and he was advertising everything from McDonald’s to Rayovac Batteries. Plus, a certain movie with Bugs Bunny in 1996 took his fame to even crazier heights.
So, maybe, people tuned into the NBA in the nineties for the Jordan show, but there was also a fantastic slew of supporting characters adding to the wow factor. You had greats like Allen Iverson criss-crossing across the hardwood, Karl Malone dunking on everyone, and Reggie Miller shooting three after three. They also all wore incredible footwear. The nineties had some of the most noteworthy basketball shoes of all time, and they’re still so popular with fans that they keep getting re-released.
Here is a quick look at some of the most legendary.
The Reebok Question
This Reebok design was released in 1996 and was Allen Iverson’s debut shoe. He was just the fifth rookie to be rewarded with his own signature shoe. It was called the Reebok Question and was the first release by the brand to really make its mark on the world of basketball.
This was no doubt helped by the magnetic appeal of Iverson, but also by the fact that the shoe looked fresh. It also came in some striking colourways, including the red and white pair that Iverson famously wore when he crossed over Michael Jordon, which made everyone sit up and remember both the player and the shoe. Iverson’s old team, the Philadelphia 76Ers, have struggled since he left but look to be having a remarkable season this year, and are 8/1 to win the NBA Championship at the best betting apps.
One thing that the nineties didn’t have is being able to bet on the move thanks to apps that can be downloaded straight to your smartphone. Over at SBO.net they’ve compiled a list of the top apps on offer and give information on how to access offers, in play bets and which have the best odds. So you’ll know you’re in safe hands.
The Air Jordan XI
Michael Jordan was flying high above his rivals in the nineties, but were his shoes too? Step forward the Air Jordan XI, which was released in 1995 and is widely regarded as the most cherished signature silhouette of all. It was the first Air Jordan shoe to feature patent leather and carbon fibre in its design, whilst still including all the innovative shoe tech that the brand had become famous for.
Jordan wore them whilst playing for the Chicago Bulls in the 95/96 season, where he led them to win a staggering 72 games. Jordan himself picked up the regular-season MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and Finals MVP, whilst the Bulls picked up their fourth Championship ring. He also wore them to defeat the MonStars in the smash-hit Space Jam that summer and made kids everywhere clamber for those special shoes. No wonder, then, that they still manage to sell millions when Nike releases special editions.
Nike Foamposite One
Now this is a shoe from the future! Except for the small fact that it was released back in 1997 as Penny Hardaway’s first signature shoe. Yet the design was so captivating and original, that it still looks like something from the year 2050. Hardaway, when he saw the design, was quoted as saying “I had never seen anything like that in my life.” It’s easy to see why, with the process that Nike used to create the shoe being a lengthy and costly one. It required heating a liquid and then moulding it into the foam shell that became the seamless upper of the finished product.
Hardaway then rocked the shoes whilst playing for Orlando Magic and a legendary shoe was born. Lots of people are still huge fans today, with Nike releasing new colourways every couple years. The ostentatious style isn’t for everyone though, some even say the design looks like a bug. Whichever way your opinion falls, they are some truly ugly beloved shoes.