Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 4:30 pm  |  11 responses

Second Life

Rare kicks mean something different to a former SLAM Ed. who left NYC for semi-rural PA.

by Ryan Jones / @thefarmerjones

Michael Jordan had a problem with these shoes. This was six years ago. I was in Chicago for the interview that would run in SLAM 100, and you can imagine the pressure I felt—not about the interview itself, but about what to wear.

Unwilling to wear Jordans so I didn’t look like another pilgrim bowing before the shrine, I wore these: Seamless Air Force 1s. I was going for sharp but understated, fresh but not flashy. I felt they achieved the desired effect.

What did I know? I sat down in a chair across from Michael for what would be a 13-minute interview. We shook hands. He looked down at my shoes. And you know what he said?

“You guys,” he said. “You guys steal.” He explained that “we”—by which I believe he meant Jordan Brand, which is of course part of Nike—had designed a pair of shoes that were similar, and that someone at Nike proper (somehow my guilt seemed implicit) had stolen this idea and rushed them through production so that I could wear them today. It was a memorable encounter, making these memorable shoes.

Now I wear them to mow my lawn.

I moved to Pennsylvania in ’07, and while I’m lucky to stay connected to SLAM, I knew I was leaving certain things behind. Sacrificing these 1s to the demands of home ownership was part of that. My new life couldn’t justify scrubbing my kicks with a toothbrush after every wear; it couldn’t justify sneakers very much at all, except on weekends, and then usually to chase my kids or cut my grass. Priorities, man. I don’t think Mike would have a problem with that.

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  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    word. cool story. cant imagine not rocking kicks every day.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    great short read

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    I’m tempted to post the longer pre-edit version here, but that would probably be obnoxious of me. I will say that that really is my backyard grass. Which needs to be mowed…
    Glad at least a few people enjoyed this.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I was most impressed with Ryan’s photo skills.

  • http://www.ballislife.com/profiles/blogs/kobetop10moments nbk

    This is awesome. Jordan seems to always find a way to show his competitive nature

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    @nbk I was briefly afraid he’d Steve Kerr me.


    Thi was a very nice read. But Ryan, you sure those aren’t Bow-Wow”s kicks from “Like Mike”? Haha!


    ^ This

  • http://www.ballislife.com/profiles/blogs/kobetop10moments nbk


  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    LOL @ the NBA lockout.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    This is great!