When it comes to basketball, there is no way around Nike – the brand with the Swoosh belongs to the game like dunks, three-pointers and cross-overs. Whether in the NBA, European leagues or your neighbourhood streetball court – the world’s largest manufacturer of sports equipment is a staple in all things basketball since the 1980s.
The Nike „Blazer“, released in 1973, was the company’s first sneaker designed specifically for basketball. While the shoe was very functional for its time and was worn by NBA scoring machine George „Iceman“ Gervin, Nike still was not able to step out of other sports companies’ shadows. Following models of the early 80s, like the now legendary „Air Force 1“ and „Dunk“ also did not manage the success the company had hoped for. That all changed when in 1984/85 Michael Jordan decided to conquer the NBA and the shoe game with Nike. While the „Blazer“ was Nike’s way of politely knocking on the door of the basketball-sneaker world, they blew it out of its frame with the success of „His Airness“ and the „Air Jordan 1“.
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