by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad
The December ’11 re-release of the classic retro Air Jordan XI Concord was met with so much sneakerhead buzz that riots broke out at shopping malls. NBA players with the luxury of being able to skip to the front of the line took advantage of the perks, and soon thereafter the Concords began popping up on a nightly basis in the L.
So there really isn’t anything unique about Nets swingman Gerald Green choosing to wear them. Except that while most of his teammates rotate kicks on a regular basis, Green has worn the exact same pair of XIs since signing his first 10-day contract with New Jersey—including the night he threw down the dunk of the year.
Green’s insistence on wearing the same, beat-up pair of Jordans every game until there are holes in the soles (and trust me, he’s getting close) struck me as unique. A few weeks back after the Heat held shootaround in Philly before a game against the Sixers, Chris Bosh was rocking the Concords as he lounged on a courtside seat. When I asked him if he’d ever wear them on-court, he gave me an emphatic, “Nah man.”
And yet Green swears by the Concords as his game shoes. I was curious why Green would choose a shoe so loved for off-court wear to be his mainstay—since so many sneakerheads would shy away from pounding their most prized kicks to a pulp. So on Saturday night, as he laced them up before New Jersey hosted Charlotte, I asked. Here’s what he told me:
“I think they’re lucky and honestly, I feel like I have so much support and so much grip. I’ve worn a lot of shoes, I love the Kobe Bryant shoes, but I just feel like these are more comfortable, and they’re just as light. They have more ankle support—and I mean, they’re Jordans. Sometimes I kind of feel like I’m Jordan with them on. [Laughs] I wish.”
The coolest part? After the Nets beat the Bobcats, Green retreated to the home locker room, got dressed, and put on a fresh-out-the-box pair of the same exact Jordan XIs to go with his jeans and polo shirt. Same kicks, on-court and off. All in a night’s work for Green, who thanks to his play of late, will be around to see how long his lucky shoes last this season.