I remember the first time I wanted the Air Jordan XIII.
Growing up as a massive Michael Jordan fan–I’m talking basketball cards, videos, CDs, Space Jam, games and magazines and posters and jerseys and basketballs–I worshipped him. Watched every SportsCenter segment he was on. Watched every game I could–when my parents would let me stay up. Watched every video. I memorized his statistics, read all of his magazine features. When his three-pointer against Indiana rimmed out in ’98, I broke a glass table in my living room. When he won the title in ’97, I freaked out in a hotel room and ran down the hallway.
In fifth grade, we even watched ESPN coverage of his second retirement in school. That’s how real it was. ESPN was running 24/7 highlights and interviews and shows and we’d skip out on class to watch that. Dude was more than an icon, especially to a young, impressionable kid like myself.
But as far as the sneakers, I didn’t obsess over them like you’d probably expect. I was a young middle schooler who couldn’t afford them. The XI changed my life. The XII was cool. And the XIII was so sleek and ill that I could’ve guessed something like a black panther inspired it. But I didn’t own any of them. Yet when I first saw He Got Game, my mind was blown. I needed them.
Today, Champs Sports is bringing back the Air Jordan XIII to introduce a new audience to the legend. This colorway has been aptly nicknamed “Baron” because in 2014 any Jordan sporting the old colors of MJ’s Birmingham Barons minor league squad automatically catches the label.
The shoe features many aspects of the traditional XIII that people fell in love with, from the tumbled leather upper to the grey toe. It also has the iconic hologram–could any other sneaker pull that off?–which is meant to be a panther’s eye when looked at in the dark. The black panther inspiration is complete with sick-looking paw prints on the outsole.
However, this release also separates itself by replacing the shoe’s suede with a patent leather that’s almost glossy. See for yourself below and make sure to cop before it’s gone for good. Don’t be like a young me and miss out.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney
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