Fact-Checking 10 Aspects of The Air Movie: What it Got Right and Wrong

March 18, 2024

The past five years have been a treat for sneaker fans, especially those who admire the legendary Michael Jordan. With the release of the docuseries The Last Dance and the more recent Amazon Studios original movie Air, fans have had the opportunity to dive deep into the story behind Jordan’s iconic shoe deal with Nike.

One aspect of the Air movie that received both praise and criticism was its portrayal of the events leading up to the Nike deal. While the film got some details wrong, such as showcasing the Air Jordan 1 instead of the Air Ship during the pitch to Jordan, it also got quite a few things right.

For example, the film accurately depicted Michael Jordan as an underdog in the eyes of brands like Adidas and Converse, who were hesitant to sign him due to his draft position. Jordan’s love for cars and his request for one as part of the deal with Nike were also true to life details featured in the movie.

One aspect that the film didn’t quite get right was the role of Deloris Jordan, Michael’s mother, in the negotiations. While she was instrumental in convincing Michael to consider Nike’s offer, the film exaggerated her involvement for dramatic effect.

Additionally, the movie accurately highlighted the NBA’s rule about shoe colours, which required players to wear shoes that were at least 51% white. This rule, which led to fines for each game Jordan wore his Air Jordan 1s, was eventually lifted in the 2000s.

Overall, while Air may have taken some creative liberties with certain aspects of Michael Jordan’s shoe deal with Nike, it successfully captured the essence of the story and the significance of the partnership that shaped the sneaker industry. Fans of the Air Jordan line and sneaker enthusiasts alike can appreciate the film for shedding light on this iconic moment in sneaker history.

Ethan Holland
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