Twenty years ago last month, the cult-classic film “Space Jam” hit theaters and captured the hearts of millions. The combination of live sports and animation as well as the collision between cultural icons Michael Jordan and the Loony Tunes was an instant hit and earned almost $250 million internationally. Speculations about a sequel have started swirling, and it seems that a new movie starring two-time NBA Finals champion LeBron James is in the works. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait a few years for the release; while advertisements featuring characters from the original film, alongside modern NBA players like Blake Griffin, have surfaced, the full-length flick has a tentative 2019 release date.
Of course, any news even marginally concerning Michael Jordan is usually accompanied by word about his sneaker line, and Jordan enthusiasts are in for a treat in that regard. When the original movie premiered, a pair of Air Jordan XI sneakers was made in celebration. Dressed in black patent leather with blue accent stitching and dubbed the “Space Jam 11,” the shoe was initially distributed for family and friends only but later enjoyed a public general release. Since that time, the sneaker has been one of the most iconic and coveted Jordan designs on the market.
As the movie’s anniversary is such a momentous occasion, Jordahn Brand is re-releasing the beloved pair for a new generation of sneaker enthusiasts to enjoy. The 11 will be in high demand but will be available later this month with some welcome bonuses, like never before seen “Loony Tunes” themed packaging.
The 11, though, might have to share the spotlight pretty soon. Alongside the well-known pair, Jordan Brand has introduced new versions of four other models, all done up in black and blue. Included are the timeless Air Jordan 1 along with its modern adaptation, the Air Jordan 1 Ultra High, as well as the Air Jordan 9 and the newest addition to the line, the Air Jordan 31. It seems that these sneakers will have staggered release dates, but anyone wishing to get their hands on a pair can expect all of the models to drop before the winter is through.
This is far from the first time that Jordan Brand has extended a classic colorway to other models. White, red, and black, the colors of Jordan’s beloved Chicago Bulls, have been used on countless sneakers in the past, and even the “Space Jam” color scheme found its way onto a Nike SB Dunk Low in 2011. On the other hand, this pack is massive and sends a clear message. Jordan Brand is relevant today as it was two decades ago, and by putting familiar designs on new players, the brand allows younger people, who were not around during the original theatrical release, to experience the magic of “Space Jam” to its fullest extent.
Did you catch the original “Space Jam” in theaters? Did you ever own a pair of the 11? Let me know here or on Twitter @BillChangNY