For everyone that like's Mike.


Mike in Miami

If you have ever been to a Miami Heat home game you may have noticed a Gigantic red Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls number 23 jersey hanging from the rafters.

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Now you may be asking yourself...

What does Michael Jordan have to do with the Miami Heat?

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Why would the Miami Heat hang the jersey of a player that never played for them and had no link to the city of Miami?

The answer is Pat Riley.

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The Miami Heat retired Michael Jordan's No. 23 jersey before his final game at the team's arena back in 2003.

Miami coach Pat Riley said no Heat player will wear the number again.

"In honor of your greatness and for all you've done for the game of basketball -- and not just the NBA, but for all the fans around the world -- we want to honor you tonight and hang your jersey, No. 23, from the rafters," Riley said at midcourt. "No one will ever wear No. 23 for the Miami Heat. You're the best." Jordan then hugged Riley and waved to the crowd.

"Having our guys walk onto the court and look up to see how high you have to climb to reach what he has achieved is something that I think is honorable," Riley said.

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"I just believe he deserves it. The guy has been the greatest player in the history of the game, and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea for every team in this league to hang his number in the rafters as a reminder of what greatness is all about."

Jordan said he was surprised by the gesture.

"It was by far the best gift I ever could have received," Jordan said. "To have your jersey retired in someone else's building, that says a lot. ... It's definitely something very, very special."

Jordan averaged 30.2 points on 51.5 percent shooting in 37 regular-season games against the Heat during his career.

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He was even better in the playoffs, averaging 34.2 points in 11 games.

And now his jersey hangs in the Heats gym casting a shadow of greatness over everyone that visits the American Airlines Arena.

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Only Michael Jordan could pull some shit off like that.

Beating the team year after year and the coach hangs your jerey in the gym like there proud of the all the ass whoopings Mike hand delivered to the Heat.

Your the man Mike.

Bonus Videos:

Enjoy this old footage of the Bulls vs. Heat game back in 97 at the old Miami Arena.

Great highlights of Mike burning the Heat for a cool 50 points in only the 4th game of the 97' season. Buzzer beaters, alley oop's, no look behind the back shots, even great pre-game and post game interview.

Enjoy this old video from the 92 playoffs, game 3 Chicago Bulls vs the Miami Heat.

Miami's first playoff home game in franchise history.

Mike started off a little slow with only 2 points in the first quarter but turned up the "heat" and scored 54 more points in the next 3 quarters ending up with an ice cold 56 points to end the Heats first post season run.

Thank Hoopsencyclopedia for the old Bull's vs. Heat video's.

JORDAN BRAND X LEVI'S 23/501 Collection

Jordan Brand and Levi's have officially announced a collaborative partnership aimed at uniting "classic style with urban design flair, delivering freshly-interpreted takes on iconic flagship product from both leaders'. Through this collaboration, Jordan Brand and Levi's are set to release the Jordan/Levi's co-branded "23/501" Collection in March of 2008.

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The "23/501" collection will feature a pair of Air Jordan Retro 1s, co-branded Levi's 501 jeans, and a signature T-Shirt featuring the graphic artwork from both brands. All three of these pieces will be sold together as a set and will come packaged in an "innovative, co-branded package, specially designed for this occasion". The "23/501" jeans will feature "premium, selvage denim will be lined with the signature Jordan Brand elephant print and include a sneaker protector at the cuff, reducing the transfer of indigo dye to the shoe. The 501® Jean will feature a gold metallic zipper fly and the Jordan Brand signature Jumpman logo embroidered on the pockets along with the Jordan Brand name on the rear leather-measurement waistband patch"

The Air Jordan Retro 1s will be "one-of-a-kind and will be made from Levi's® Original 501® denim, printed with the traditional Jordan Brand elephant graphic design."

The Jordan Brand x Levi's "23/501" Collection is set to release on March 1, 2008 at select specialty retailers, Levi® Stores and Niketown locations.

Thank "KixandtheCity" for the info.


The Jumpman story

The Jumpman.

One of the most recognizable logos known to man...

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For almost 20 years now the Jumpman has been selling sneakers, shirts, hats, socks, wrist bands, back packs, and anything else Nike could attach a Jumpman to.

Slap a Jumpman on a dried up piece of dog crap and i'll bet you that shit will sell!

But this didn't happen overnight...

Let's travel back to 1984 and re-trace the path of the now Infamous Jumpman logo.

The Jumpman logo is actually a silhouette of studio photograph of Mike performing a ballet move, not an actual dunk as the image suggests.

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Here's part of an interview with HOOP Magazine from April of 1997 where Mike talks about the creation of the Jumpman Logo.

"I wasn't even dunking on that one.
People think that I was.
I just stood on the floor, jumped up and spread my legs and they took the picture.
I wasn't even running.
Everyone thought I did that by running and taking off. Actually, it was a ballet move where I jumped up and spread my legs.
And I was holding the ball in my left hand."

Not many people know that the original idea for the photo shoot of the Jumpman came from an older photo of Mike in Life Magazine for the 1984 Olympics.

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This is the rarely seen photo that started it all.

Nike "sampled" the idea for a poster featuring Mike suspended in air for what would later become the now famous Jumpman logo.

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This photo was first featured on the hang tags of all the original Air Jordan I's from 1985...

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But the actual Jumpman logo didn't join the mix for another 3 years.

Fast forward to 1988...

Mike's contract with Nike was about to finish.
Rob Strasser Nike's VP was in a power struggle with Nike CEO Phil Knight. Rob and Peter Moore, Nike's head designer, were secretly hatching a plan to lure Mike away from Nike to their new sneaker company called Van Grack.
Peter originally did the preliminary design work on the Air Jordan III.
He had a pile of sketches of the Air Jordan III but waited until it was too late to execute.

When he left Nike, Tinker Hatfield got the sketches and in amongst it were the outline of the Air Jordan Jumpman logo.

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Since 1985, Nike sales have jumped through the roof and Phil Knight (Nike's CEO) was not about to lose Mike that easily.

He gave Tinker the task of presenting the next AJ III to Mike.

Both Tinker and Ron Dumas designed the entire AJ III line in a matter of weeks.

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At the Air Jordan III presentation, Mike was ready to leave Nike.

This was Nike's chance to show and prove.

When Tinker said that he has a sample pair of the AJ III, Mike's eyes lit up...

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Once Mike saw that luxurious tumbled leather wrapped in elephant print with that big, beautiful, fire red Jumpman logo on the tounge, that was it, Mike was in love.

Nike added Spike Lee to the mix and the rest is history.

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From the commercials, the dunk contest, the scoring titles, the MVP's, the buzzer beaters, the heart breaking losses, the championships, the retirement, the come back, the 72 and 10 season, the tap on the ass, nothing but net goose neck with 6.6 on shot clock...

What a ride!

By the end of Mike's career with the Bulls, the Jumpman was strong enough live outside of the shadow of big brother Nike and Brand Jordan soared to new heights.

From a quick Life Time Magazine photoshoot to a CEO of a multi-million dollar company...

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Now moving into the year of the Air Jordan XXIII, Brand Jordan is bigger then ever.

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2008 should be a fun year for everyone that Like's Mike.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please stay in your seats...

The ride is not over.

Bonus Video:

Check out Andy De Lore doing the "One armed Jumpman".

Thank ISS Member "Flight 83" for the OG AJ I&III pictures.

The Man Next to the Man

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Grab the December issue of Slam Magazine to check out the story on Scottie Pipppen, "The Man Next to the Man".

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Dope story, great interview.

Da Bulls

Mike on SNL chilling with the superfans...

"Be Like Mike" History

In February 1991, Bill Schmidt, director of sports marketing for Gatorade, and Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk, met in Charlotte, North Carolina, the location of the NBA All-Star Game that year. At a bar, the two started throwing out numbers for securing Jordan's endorsement for Gatorade. Schmidt said that he would be willing to commit to Jordan for five years. But Falk had just finished reading a story on golfer Jack Nicklaus's marketing deals, most of which were 10-year deals. He knew that his client was reaching iconic status like the Golden Bear. When Schmidt left Falk that night, he was well aware of what it would take to get Jordan.

Written on a cocktail napkin was, "10 years, seven figures per year." Falk was prepared for a bidding war. His sources told him that Whitney Houston was making $1.8 million and Elton John was being paid more than $2 million by Coke. He thought his client was on that superstar level, and he knew that Coke had more cash than Quaker Oat's Gatorade brand. In a move that might have helped seal the deal for Gatorade, Jordan prohibited Falk from going back and forth.

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"Michael always had a desire to know what people thought he was worth, as opposed to what I was capable of getting for him," Falk said. "And so he wanted to know without a bidding contest."

Falk had already told Schmidt what he expected, so he felt it was only fair to give Chuck Morrison, the head of ethnic marketing for Coca-Cola, the same parameters -- 10 years, seven figures per year. Jordan had just turned 28. It wasn't likely that he would be in the league for 10 more years. The contract would not include a right to terminate if Jordan walked off the basketball court. But that was the price to pay, the risk, for companies that wanted to continue or forge new relationships with Jordan, whose NBA championship the year before, 1991, made him complete.

Coca-Cola crumbled under the pressure. It offered a five- year deal at $750,000 per year. Gatorade stepped up to the table, satisfying Falk's wishes with a ten-year deal worth $13.5 million. Jordan would be paid $1 million a year for seven years, $2 million a year for two years, and $2.5 million for another year. An added bonus in the deal was that Schmidt had promised that Jordan would be the exclusive spokesperson for the brand.

"It was the Secretariat strategy," said Quaker marketer Matt Mannelly, whose brother Pat was devastated to learn of the switch, since he was the chief financial officer at Coca-Cola at the time. "While Coke was going to have a different person all the time, we'd say that we would have only one horse."
Not only did Gatorade have Jordan, but it prevented Coca- Cola from using him for its upstart sports drink POWERade, which was introduced in 1990.

"I think if you had kept Michael with Coca-Cola and the advertising was well done, they would have been able to dramatically penetrate Gatorade's dominance in the marketplace," Falk said.

Falk certainly wasn't complaining. The 10-year deal that Gatorade had agreed to became the model for every company looking for a relationship with Jordan. From then on, Falk insisted that if a company wanted to borrow the tremendous equity that Jordan had in the endorsement world, it had to sign a 10-year deal. Companies like Sara Lee and WorldCom signed on, while others (including McDonald's) decided to go in a different direction. The Gatorade deal was completed in principle in the late spring, but Jordan's contract with Coca-Cola didn't expire until July. In the meantime, Gatorade officials scrambled to make sure that they were ready to unveil a commercial as soon as their contract with Jordan could legally commence.

There was a lot of hesitation at first. Hank Steinbrecher, who had worked on the Gatorade brand from 1985 to 1990 and had recently left the company, called Schmidt when he heard that the company was going to announce a deal with Jordan. He told his former boss that the thought the deal was a mistake.

"I was thinking, 'God, we were growing the brand based on having a pre-eminence on the field and on the court, and now they're going to go the individual athlete route?'" Steinbrecher said.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

He wasn't the only one who was unsure about the strategy.

"Signing this massive professional athlete and for such a sizable amount of money was kind of like, 'Wait a minute, what are we doing?'" said longtime Gatorade executive Cindy Alston. "I think a lot of people were saying, 'We love Michael Jordan at a Chicago-based company,' but there was a lot of angst about getting it right."

"Gatorade had always stood for being for team, win or lose," Quaker marketer Peggy Dyer said. "Not for an individual star athlete. And that [signing Michael] challenged some of the core values of the brand in terms of what we stand for and does this mean that we support only people who are star athletes, only those who are winners. But we thought Michael was just so extraordinary and so exceptional that he could transcend all of that."

~ Be Like Mike ~

Knowing that this was a big moment, Gatorade's advertising firm at the time, Bayer Bess Vanderwarker, brought back its creative chief, Bernie Pitzel, who had moved to another Chicago advertising firm. He was lured back by the fact that he was going to introduce Jordan and Gatorade to the world.

But when he arrived, he found out that the first commercials had already been approved. One played off the true story of a kid in Yugoslavia who wrote a letter addressed to "Michael Jordan. USA," and it actually arrived in the hands of Gatorade's spokesperson. Another showed highlights of Jordan dominating opponents and doing his signature dunks. The latter spot had already been approved by all the top executives at Quaker.

"I was totally stunned," Pitzel said. "It was just a highlight reel -- a video of him dunking -- and Nike had done that over and over again. I was thinking, 'I came over here to do this and this is what we did?'"Pitzel was given three days to come up with something different, although there were no guarantees that it would beat out the spot that was planned -- the one that he had so despised. That night, he went home frustrated that he couldn't think of anything. He sat down to watch a movie with his younger son. Disney had recently re-released its 1967 classic animated film "The Jungle Book." When he heard "I Wan'na Be Like You," the Monkey Song in the film, it immediately clicked.

"I knew that a million people wanted to be like Mike," Pitzel said.

It was hard to ignore. Number 23 was quickly becoming the most popular jersey among high school and college players. Pitzel had planned to run "The Jungle Book" music over the video, with a final screen saying, "Be Like Mike. Drink Gatorade." But that plan was quickly undone when he found out that Disney officials wanted $350,000 to allow Gatorade to use the song for a five-week commercial run. Plan B was to develop his own lyric, mimicking the sentiments of the idol worship of Jordan, but not infringing on the lyrics owned by Disney.

So Pitzel went to his favorite restaurant, Avanzare (where he did all his creative work), sat down at a table with a pen in hand, and started writing the lyrics to "Be Like Mike" on the paper tablecloth:

Sometimes I dream
That he is me
You've got to see that's how I dream to be
I dream I move, I dream I groove
Like Mike
If I could Be Like Mike
Again I try
Just need to fly
For just one day if I could
Be that way
I dream I move
I dream I groove
Like Mike
If I could Be Like Mike

Four hours later, he was faxing a ripped tablecloth with the lyrics to four different local music companies, hoping that one of them would come up with a catchy tune. Everything, Pitzel said, had to be done in 48 hours.

Ira Antelis and his business partner, Steve Shafer, a local pair of jingle writers, had a chance at the poem.

"I figured I would make more of a song out of it, take the 'Be Like Mike' and really make it the chorus," said Antelis, who was intrigued by the opportunity thanks to his love for the NBA. Antelis hired eight singers to sing the work, and when he was done, he knew that it was a smash and that no other company would beat it. He was right.

That day, with no sleep, Pitzel and Tony Vanderwarker drove the tape of Antelis and Shafer's creation to the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin, where Gatorade executives were meeting. There, they heard "Be Like Mike" for the first time, from a tape played on a boom box. No words had to be spoken. They knew that they had a winner.

There was initial skepticism about the phrase "Be Like Mike." The fact was that Jordan really wasn't ever called Mike in the public spotlight. Gatorade and Quaker Oats executives worried that Jordan would mind and that it would get the relationship off to a bad start. Falk wasn't initially thrilled, but Jordan had no issues with it.

"The dunking made him a god, and what we were trying to do was humanize him and bring him down to a level to make him more acceptable," Pitzel said. "As long as he allowed us to do it, which he did, it was going to work."

Pitzel then dreamed up the commercial's image. He commissioned a group of kids -- including many children of Quaker executives -- to try to be like Jordan in front of Jordan at a basketball court in Chicago. He also got shots of Jordan goofing around and drinking the product.

To Pitzel's credit, the spot didn't feature great basketball players. It featured kids who weren't stellar at all, but merely dreamed of being like Jordan. In fact, Pitzel's 13-year-old son Nathan is one of the stars of the commercial. He tries to dribble the ball through his legs, but things don't exactly work out.

On August 8, 1991, Quaker officials, 2,000 strong, gathered outside the Quaker tower to see the announcement of their prize brand's new spokesman. Tubs of Gatorade littered the tent over the parking lot, and the spot -- which ended with "Be Like Mike. Drink Gatorade" -- was shown to the crowd.

Original "Be Like Mike" Gatorade commercial.

Here's the second version from 1998

In Gatorade's 26-year history, this was definitely its shining moment. It was arguably Quaker Oat's shining moment as well. After all, only a few months before, Gatorade had, for the first time, passed oatmeal in sales.

One media member, predictably, asked Jordan when he had changed his name to Mike.

"You can call me Mike, Michael or Air. I'll get used to it," Jordan replied.

Within hours, "Be Like Mike" was on television. Quaker officials paid $1 million to run an eight-page ad that turned into a poster of Jordan posing in the same way he did for Nike's "Wings" poster, this time with that familiar waxed Gatorade cup in his hand.

"After leading the league in scoring," the ad began. "After taking the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Championship. And after winning the NBA title, what is there left to reach for?" When the reader turned the page, the green cup was revealed. Quaker officials weren't intending to copy the Nike black-and-white poster, but Nike still threatened to sue. Nothing materialized.

The next week, "Be Like Mike" was running in movie theatres.

"I say that when we signed Michael, Michael was bigger than the brand," said Tom Fox, who began his work with Quaker in 1985. "I think we knew that we had a product that worked, and we saw we were on the cusp, from a marketing perspective, of becoming a product that was more mainstream. That instead of people looking at us as 'Oh, that's what serious athletes drink,' we thought we could create that linkage with, "Hey, I'm hot, I'm sweaty, that's what I should be drinking."

The advertisement was a huge hit, but Quaker Oats took it a step further. The company made cassettes of four versions of "Be Like Mike" and passed them out to radio stations. Three months after the commercial was first aired, approximately 100,000 copies were available to the public for $4.95 each, with proceeds going to the Michael Jordan Foundation.

Opposing NBA teams got their hands on the cassette, and the song was used when the Bulls came to town, not shying away from the fact that the arena was often sold out because of the visitor. For Gatorade, it was free commercial after free commercial.

"If we had used the music from "The Jungle Book," the advertisement would have been forgotten," Antelis said. "Instead, we generated a piece of music that we could own that the world could identify with Gatorade."

Anchors on ESPN's SportsCenter all of a sudden started to occasionally refer to Jordan as "Mike," a moment that Quaker executive Matt Mannelly says was evidence that "we had hit a home run."

"When we signed Jordan, beyond the court he was pretty much 100 percent associated with Nike," Mannelly said. "But after "Be Like Mike," Gatorade was all of a sudden part of the equation."

Perhaps greater evidence of the power of the spot could be found on the streets of America, where kids across the nation almost immediately echoed the sentiments of the commercial; they too wanted to "Be Like Mike."

"I had a kid at a Cubs game wanting my autograph because he was singing it behind me and my kids told him that I had written it," Pitzel said. "It became part of pop culture, and as an ad guy, that's basically what you are trying to do with everything."

Darren Rovell

Bonus Video:

Best Gatorade commercial Mike ever did.


UNDRCRWN Holiday Collection

Last week I showed you a sneak peak of the RockSmith/UNDRCRWN "Keep Bouncin'" Tee coming out next spring.

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Peep the New UNDRCRWN Holiday Collection hitting stores this week.

NEW website lanches Tonight at Midnight featuring the STARTING 5...

Prince Paul
King Britt
DJ Neil Armstrong
Rich Medina
Green Lantern


Magic Mike

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Check out this insane wind-mill dunk during Magic Johnson's 1990 Charity Game's Dunk Contest.

Behind the Swoosh

Like Nas said.....

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" I'm a Nike head...
I wear chains that excite the feds."

I don't wear chains that excite the feds...

But I been a Nike Head for almost 20 years now.
The first time I saw the Air Bubble I wanted it so bad!
I drove my mom nuts until she finally gave in.

She couldn't get away with taking me to Payless for a pair of Bo Bo's anymore!

If it didn't have the big ass "NIKE AIR" on the back I didn't want it.
And everything that had that Nike on it, I wanted it, the shoes, the shirts, the shorts, the hats, the wrist bands and head bands, the socks the backpacks anything with a swoosh or a Jumpman I wanted it!

Almost 20 years later and not much has changed.
Nike's and Jordans are my only choice of footwear.
Nike puts so much into the concepts and designs of the shoes.
The style, performance, comfort and of course the neck breaking ablitiy.

I'm gonna be buried in a pair of Nike's.

But Nike's being exposed for some of its questionalble labor practices over seas.

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I have always heard about this problem, but never saw or read anything about it until now.

If you consider yourself to be a "sneaker head" then you should take a few minutes to watch these videos.

As a guy that grew up eating, sleeping and shitting Nike, this video rasies a slight moral dilema for me...

My love for Nike verse Nike's love for the almighty dollar.

Like my man Jim Keady said,

"Somethings wrong here, and we can fix it."

The solution is simple, but corporate greed will probaly prevent it from ever happening.

Heres's ESPN's feature "Sports in Court" to help introduce you to the film "Behind the Swoosh" about Nike's unfair labor practices.

ESPN: Sports in Court


If you would like to find out more, check out this 18 minute video by Jim Keady.

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"Behind the Swoosh"

Behind The Swoosh



I still love Nike, But I really think Nike should take better care of the half a million workers that are making the products we all love so much.

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It's sad to see the lifestyles of the factory workers over seas....

We work all day to buy these sneakers to look fresh, and the people over seas work all day to make us these sneakers just so they can stay alive.

And they only make $1.25 a day!

Any shitty job in the U.S. you more then that in less then 10 minutes.

I'm not trying to throw Nike under the bus, I know it's all business, It's the way of the world, If I had a huge company i'd want to find the cheapist labor too.
But if my workers are doing a good job, and they make great products then I reward them for all there sacrifices and hard work.
Its not asking to much to just give them a little bit more money so they can improve the style of the life they live.

How about a raise?

Think about it Phil.

Put yourself in there shoes.....

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Just Do it.