Happy Birthday to the GOAT

Happy Birthday to the GOAT

If you’re a sports or sneaker fan, then Michael Jordan has undoubtedly had an impact on your life. At Eastbay, sports aren’t just our job – they’re our passion. In honor of Michael Jordan’s birthday, we asked a few of our teammates to share their MJ memories.

Jordan's Birthday

Check out what they had to say and let us know your favorite memory or favorite shoe using the comments section below or by finding us on Twitter.

Brandon Martin, Marketing Coordinator

“The first pair of sneakers I bought with my own money were the Jordan Retro 11 ‘Space Jam’ during my senior year of high school in 2009. I had to have them! Space Jam was my favorite movie as a kid and I remembered having the shoes when they initially released.”

Brandon’s favorite Jordan: Jordan Retro 11 ‘Concord’

Benjamin Emanuel, Graduate Associate – Brand Marketing

“My favorite Jordan shoe (that I can remember – my mom said she got me baby Jordans) was the all-white Jordan Team 10/16. I have been a fan of shoes since I can remember, but when I saw my brother get the Jordan Team 10/16 for basketball, it really solidified my love for Jordan shoes. Since that first Jordan shoe, I have owned over 50 pairs and most of them were Retros. The shoes led me to read Michael Jordan’s biography, pick him as the subject for school projects, and choose to root for North Carolina.”

Benjamin’s favorite Jordan: Air Jordan 11 ‘Defining Moments’ pack

Krystal Anthony, Vendor Marketing Manager

“There are two things that my dad and I have in common: our passion for sports and kicks. In 2001, a couple of weeks after my birthday, my dad and I went to the mall to buy the Retro 3 ‘True Blue.’ I wear a grade school size 5, so normally we could go to the mall after the rush on release days and still get the shoes, but this release was different. We drove and called around without any luck. I was disappointed because I wanted to wear them to school on Monday with everyone else. Fast forward to Monday, around the second period I got a called down to the office. My dad was there with the shoes in hand and the t-shirt to match with a huge smile. #ClutchLikeJordan

Krystal’s favorite Jordan: Jordan Retro 11 ‘Columbia’

Ben Schumacher, Marking Manager

“I was a die-hard Jordan fan growing up. He is by far my favorite athlete ever. My entire bedroom growing up was covered in Jordan memorabilia and every night from the time I was 6 until I moved out for college, a life-size cardboard cutout of MJ stood two feet from my bed. I’m pretty sure I wore nothing but a Jordan jersey all of elementary and middle school. My most memorable Jordan moment is unfortunately a bad one. On the way home from a family vacation when I was in middle school my dad surprised us with tickets to a Bucks/Wizards game in Milwaukee. This would be my one and only chance to see MJ play in person. We were at a restaurant prior to the game. I watched in horror as the ESPN ticker revealed that MJ would not be playing due to ‘rest.’ I was devastated. I still think about this moment all the time and it immediately comes to mind as one of the biggest ‘misses’ of my sports life.

Ben’s favorite Jordan: Air Jordan 1 ‘Banned’

Trenton Bodin, Graphic Designer

“The Retro 13 ‘He Got Game’ became my favorite shoe after having it as a child, plus using the Black Panther as inspiration and that being my favorite animal brought it all together. Another favorite of mine is the Retro 11 series with the all-black gamma 11s being my favorite. I used to play basketball in the Space Jam 11 when that originally came out. I also became a big fan of MJ when he came out with a golf collector set that came with golf balls with MJ’s face on them. My dad purchased it for me back when I began golfing when I was a young child and I still use the collector bag to hold all my extra golf balls and tees.”

Trenton’s favorite Jordan: Retro 13 ‘He Got Game’

Kedrick Williams, Social Media Strategist

“My most memorable MJ moment was when I met him for the first time at his birthday party during All-Star Weekend in New York in 2015. He complimented me on my shoes as I was rocking the Statue of Liberty 10s a few days before they released, so I’ll always remember that shoe. My 1st Jordans were the Retro 5 ‘Fire Red’ as a newborn and I had every pair that released after. My mom started this addiction that I still have yet to shake.

Kedrick’s favorite Jordan: Retro 16 ‘Ginger’

Katie Rosenberg, Content Strategist

“In the ’90s, my Milwaukee Bucks had Glenn Robinson, Vin Baker, and Ray Allen. Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway made the Orlando Magic cool. My home state’s Green Bay Packers had Brett Favre at the helm and even the Wisconsin Badgers had one heck of a run with Ron Dayne. The ‘90s were chock full of sports moments and Michael Jordan was a shining star in the sports world milieu.

During that time, my older brother, Jack, was an unabashed Michael Jordan fan. He had the posters, the t-shirts, the hats, the book, and of course, the shoes. I begged my mom to get whatever shoes he brought home and he had a significant collection because he had an after school job at Eastbay.

He had every Jordan but my favorite was the Air Jordan VIII in the playoffs colorway. You can see him wearing them here during his high school graduation party, while I made very bad life decisions. I like to think I would have been wearing my matching VIIIs but unfortunately, I was banned from wearing the same thing at the same time, especially since this was his party. They didn’t survive the abuse I put them through but I made sure to snap these up when they came back in 2013.”

Katie’s favorite Jordan: Air Jordan VIII ‘Playoff’

Jack Rosenberg, eCustomer Care Manager

Growing up in Wisconsin during the ’80s and ’90s, Michael Jordan was larger than life. Whether it was sticking our tongues out every time my friends and I played basketball or singing the iconic “Like Mike” Gatorade song, we were hooked.

My neighbor was the first kid I knew who owned a pair of Jordan’s – Air Jordan 1’s in the Bull’s colorway. I was jealous. I have worn nothing but Jordan’s ever since. When I started working at Eastbay, the first Jordans I bought were the 60+ series in the Atlanta Hawks colorway. I eyed up them for so long and was so happy when I finally got them. They go down as my favorite!

Jack’s favorite Jordan: Jordan 60+

Luke Karban, Marketing Manager

MJ was on everything growing up. McDonald’s commercials, Nike commercials, Gatorade commercials. My first memories of the NBA are watching the Bulls vs. Suns in the NBA Finals. I remember watching the flu game, the Bill Russell pushoff, and MJ taking it to The Glove. His “Wanna Be Like Mike” commercial summed it up best. MJ is associated with greatness and we all want to be great.

Luke’s favorite Jordan: OG AJ 1s and 11s

Happy Birthday to the GOAT. Thanks for the memories, MJ!