10 Things You Don’t Know About the Air Jordan 4

  • Air Jordan 4 black cement

    1. Phil Jackson wore them on the sidelines

    No matter how outrageous the on-court fashion choices of players have been, NBA coaches have always tried to stay above the fray when it comes to basketball fashion. But in in the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals, Bulls coach Phil Jackson attempted to channel his star player’s success and donned a pair of Air Jordan IVs after Michael Jordan’s “Shot” had lifted the Bulls over the Cavaliers in the first round. The Bulls actually won Game 1 in Detroit against the highly-favored Pistons, so clearly Phil was on to something.

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  • Do the Right Thing movie poster Spike Lee

    2. They’re the subject of one of the most famous sneaker scenes in movie history

    You can probably count on one hand the number of times sneakers have taken center stage in an iconic movie scene, and one of the most well-known moments belongs to the Air Jordan IVs in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. An accidental scuffing of Buggin’ Out’s IVs leads to a meltdown worthy of his namesake, and along with it came a line that you still hear people repeating today: “Yo man, your Jordans are f***** up!”

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  • Air Jordan 4 Michael Jordan Spike Lee

    3. They were featured in the iconic “Can/Can’t” ad with Spike Lee

    While Spike Lee’s “Mars Blackmon” ads for the Air Jordan III are more famous, Spike in fact returned for a second Mars campaign for the Air Jordan IV. The news ads underscored something that sneaker advertising had basically ignored to that point: buying the shoes wasn’t going to make you as good at basketball as Michael Jordan. Seems pretty obvious, right? I think we all can agree, though, that sometimes it’s good to get a little reminder like this one.

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  • Air Jordan 4 Eminem Carhartt

    eBay user marshall_mathers_foundation

    4. Eminem and Carhartt collaborated on a Friends and Family edition of the IVs, which sold on eBay for a combined $200,000-plus

    Eminem has been a longtime fan of the Air Jordan IV, and this past year he decided to use his love of these iconic sneakers for a good cause. Teaming up with Carhartt, Eminem raised more than $200,000 for the Literacy Through Songwriting Program by Michigan State University’s Community Music School by selling 10 custom pairs of IVs on eBay. The final prices for the sneakers ranged from a low of $18,750 to a high of $30,100. One of the lucky winners? None other than Drake.

    image via eBay

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  • 5. Mo’ne Davis wore them while breaking Kevin Hart’s ankles in last year’s Sprint Celebrity All-Star Game

    Mo’ne Davis is a legitimate superstar at pretty much everything she does. We already knew this long before she took the floor at NBA All-Star Weekend’s Celebrity Game last year. But comedian Kevin Hart really cares about the celebrity game, and specifically said that he wanted a piece of Davis. Be careful what you wish for, Kevin. Sporting Air Jordan IVs, Mo’ne unleashed the highlight of the night when she threw Hart off balance with a crossover, then spun him completely around on her way to the hoop for an easy two.

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  • eBay user arnaudmele

    6. MJ himself produced a line exclusively for his motorsports team in 2007

    Did you know that Michael Jordan had a motorsports team? It’s okay if you didn’t; it’s buried way down on the list of off-court ventures His Airness has gotten involved in. But in 2007, MJ wanted to salute his team for their four years of hard work by making them their own special edition of the IVs, appropriately called the “Motorsport.” They only went to team members, and were never actually made available for sale in stores. That’s probably why, if you want to snag a pair, be ready to drop at least $30,000.

    image via eBay user arnaudmele

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  • White House Down

    7. “President” Jamie Foxx wore them in White House Down

    Despite a ton of hype and ubiquitous advertising, 2013’s White House Down was not an especially memorable movie. One thing it did have going for it? A memorable line delivered by star Jamie Foxx. As our very young and fashion-forward president, Foxx decides to flee the White House in a pair of Fire Red Air Jordan IVs. When one faceless villain tries to slow him down, an agitated Foxx yells, “Get your hands off my Jordans” and quickly dispatches him with some well-placed kicks to the face. Obviously, that’s not the ideal use of Jordans, but there’s no questioning the effectiveness.


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  • Air Jordan 4

    Jordan Brand

    8. The IVs were the first Jordans to have both nubuck and mesh, and could be laced 18 different ways

    The Air Jordan IIIs are held in extremely high regard, but the IVs took things up a level with a strong emphasis on performance. They introduced mesh and nubuck to the line, giving a level of breathability to the shoes that they previously did not have. The IVs also came with 18 different ways you could lace them, a dizzying number that allows wearers to choose the fit that’s best for them. It’s no wonder, then, that the IVs are considered one of the most comfortable versions in the entire Air Jordan line.

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  • Hoop Dreams Arthur Agee

    9. They had a memorable appearance in Hoop Dreams, widely considered the greatest basketball documentary ever

    The documentary Hoop Dreams holds up today as one of the most compelling, enduring basketball stories ever told. The journeys of Arthur Agee and William Gates struck a chord with basketball fans around the world, and Agee, in particular, had a fondness for the Jordan IVs that played a key role in the movie. Not only does he wear his own custom pair during his own games, but he also wears them for an important scene in which he plays on the street trying to gain his father’s approval.

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  • Air Jordan 4 laser white

    10. It was one of the first (and still most frequent) laser-etched Jordans

    While their initial purpose was for basketball, Air Jordans have become equally, if not more important, in the world of style. Laser etching has become a huge part of JB’s fashion sensibility, and the IVs were one of the first sneakers to get the laser treatment. Indeed, since the early 2000s the IVs have been perhaps the most-lasered of all the Jordans, delivering a unique look to go with the sneaker’s famous comfortable fit.

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  • Air Jordan 4 black cement
  • Do the Right Thing movie poster Spike Lee
  • Air Jordan 4 Michael Jordan Spike Lee
  • Air Jordan 4 Eminem Carhartt
  • Mo’ne Davis, Kevin Hart
  • White House Down
  • Air Jordan 4
  • Hoop Dreams Arthur Agee
  • Air Jordan 4 laser white

On May 7, 1989, Michael Jordan delivered one of the most famous game-clinching shots of his storied career. With time about to expire and the Bulls trailing by one on the road in the deciding Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round, MJ took the inbounds pass, rose up over the Cavaliers’ Craig Ehlo, and buried the do-or-die jumper with his team’s season on the line. “The Shot” is still considered one of His Airness’ greatest moments in a nearly flawless career. The shoes on his feet at the time? The Air Jordan IV.

Designed by Tinker Hatfield as a performance-based upgrade of the Air Jordan III, the IV has stood the test of time and remained one of the most popular models in the entire Air Jordan line. Since its initial launch in 1989 and first retro in 1999, the IV has been released in numerous colorways and extremely limited editions. It’s been featured in memorable movie scenes of both the fictional and nonfictional variety, and has even been used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity.

No matter what kind of sneakerhead you are, the Air Jordan IVs are an essential part of your collection. They offer a great combination of style and comfort, and can still be regularly seen today in the world of both style and basketball. (The “Oreo” retro from February of 2015 was one of the best releases of the entire year.)

Despite its sneaker fame, the silhouette has been overlooked at times by its predecessor. With the latest release of the Air Jordan IV retro “Alternate ’89” coming this Saturday at Champs Sports, now is the perfect time to take a look at 10 Things You Don’t Know About the Air Jordan 4.

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image via Jordan Brand