Sole Shots: “Cement” Air Jordan III Spotlight

Sole Shots: “Cement” Air Jordan III Spotlight

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight

words_Brandon Richard

Michael Jordan’s 1987-1988 campaign will go down as one of the best individual NBA seasons in league history. Though his first championship ring was three seasons away, Michael launched a statistical assault on the rest of the league, separating himself from his peers in the process. Jordan laid claim to virtually every accolade possible during the season, including League MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star Game MVP, Scoring Champion, Steals Leader, 1st Team All-NBA and 1st Team All-Defense.

The way Michael was redefining the way we looked at basketball as a sport, he was doing the same with basketball footwear. Along with perhaps the greatest sneaker designer of all time, Tinker Hatfield, Jordan and Nike launched the Air Jordan III during the same season. The shoe featured revolutionary concepts, like Visible Air, elephant print and the first public appearance of the Jumpman logo. To help market the Air Jordan III to the public, Nike called on Michael’s good friend and film director Spike Lee, who reprised his She’s Gotta Have It role as Mars Blackmon for the advertisement campaign.

The most well-known Jordan memory created while wearing the Air Jordan III is also one of the defining moments of his career. Looking to repeat as the NBA Slam Dunk Champion, Michael took the floor against dunk nemesis Dominique Wilkins at the Old Chicago Stadium during All-Star Weekend in 1988. The two athletic juggernauts squared off, matching each other dunk for dunk until they eliminated the “competition.” In the finals, Dominique took a lead after two dunks, setting the stage for a final dunk showdown between the two.

With Michael needing to post a big score, he reached into his bag of tricks for a dunk he attempted in the previous year’s contest – the free-throw-line dunk. Though he had done the dunk before, Michael felt he could add enough flair to put it over the top, and that’s exactly what he did. On his second attempt, Michael ran down the court, took off from the free throw line, cocked the ball back in mid air and kicked his legs out, completing the best-looking free throw dunk the world had seen at that time. With Wilkins’ final dunk only scoring a 45, Michael was able to seal the deal on a second-straight Slam Dunk Title.

The shoes Jordan wore for the ’88 Dunk Contest were the “Cement” Air Jordan IIIs, which will make a return to retail a week from tomorrow for the first time since 2003. Perhaps the single most iconic sneaker in the entire Jordan line, the shoe features tumbled white leather, signature cement grey elephant print, a black midsole, and red detailing on the tongue and inner liner. This year’s version will come almost exactly the same way the Air Jordan III came in 1988 – with cement-printed box and paper, orange hang-tag and tech booklet.

To celebrate the return of the Air Jordan III, Sole Shots has captured some of the best “Cement” Air Jordan III photography from members of the Sole Collector Forum and beyond. Be sure to leave a comment and let the photographers know how you feel about their work below.

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – quicksterPat Lauder aka quickster, Gilroy, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight - Stephan KuntzeStephan Kuntze, Hamburg, Germany

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – D4ZzLeDerek Dazzle aka D4ZzLe, San Jose, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – FINESSEAndre Aranez aka FINESSE, Southern California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – jmh97213Jerek Hollender aka jmh97213, Oregon

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – leyesaPhillip Leyesa aka leyesa, Long Island, New York

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – boyNERDboyNERD, San Jose, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – cristianmcristianm, Oregon

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – Levy PalmerLevy Palmer, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – joegon103joegon103, Northern Miami

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – SteveSteve Mullholand, Key Largo, Florida

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – JHONNYC410JHONNYC410, Queens, New York

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – LoganCLLoganCL, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – RaeRaymond Banh aka Rae, Toronto, Canada

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – FIREPOWER23FIREPOWER23, England

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight - KGordon75Kevin Gordon aka KGordon75, Washington, D.C.

If you’re interested in submitting your photos for Sole Shots, e-mail us at eastbaysoleshots@solecollector.com. Please include your name and location with your submissions. You also have the option of providing us with a link to your online photo album or website to link back to when we post your work.  You do not have to be a registered member of Sole Collector to participate.

Sole Shots: “Cement” Air Jordan III Spotlight

Jordan Retro 3 White/Cement Preview

words_Nick Engvall
images_Zac Dubasik

There are very few people in the world that have left a greater impact than Michael Jordan. As far as sports goes, there is nobody that has, and there will likely never be someone that has the impact MJ did, and still does to this to this day, years after he stepped off the court. With unbelievable skill on the court that dazzled the crowds and dizzied opponents, Michael’s legacy not only left his name at the top of the page in most record books, but also left an icon that would forever change sneaker culture, clothing, and for that matter, pop culture as well.

Sure, the line of Jordan shoes began with all eyes focused on the Jordan 1, which was banned by the NBA and subsequently cost MJ $5,000 a game for breaking the uniform code. The Jordan 2 with its “Made in Italy” quality helped further secure Michael’s place at the top of the sneaker world. However, it was the Air Jordan 3 that Tinker Hatfield designed that kept Michael as a member of Nike. Amongst the inner turmoil over the future of the League’s brightest star, Hatfield created the iconic shoe that would forever change the world in which we live.

The Air Jordan 3 gave birth to one of the most recognizable icons the world has ever seen, the Jordan Jumpman logo. For those that were into sneakers in 1988, the first time seeing the Jumpman logo on the tongue of the Jordan 3 is likely something they will never forget. That year Michael also made sure that it was a logo that fans and opposing players would never forget either. MJ put up one of his greatest years ever while wearing the Jordan 3. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player, the All-Star game Most Valuable Player, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and his second Dunk Contest title. The Dunk Contest, a duel with Atlanta Hawks star Dominique Wilkins, proved to be one of the most memorable moments in the NBA over the last few decades. Jordan captured the eyes and hearts of nearly every basketball fan in the world while flying through the air in his Swoosh-less, Elephant Print-laden Jordan 3.

You can relive the memories with the Jordan Retro 3 when it returns on January 22nd.

Jordan Retro 3 White/Cement
Jordan Retro 3 White/CementJordan Retro 3 White/CementJordan Retro 3 White/CementJordan Retro 3 White/CementJordan Retro 3 White/Cement