One specific reason Michael Jordan played in black shoes: ‘It was a mentality’ – Basketball Network

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Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan changed the basketball landscape and sneaker culture with his line of shoes. But unbeknownst to many, he hated wearing a color off the pitch, which has to do with his competitive mentality.

“He doesn’t like black shoes”

MJ didn’t like wearing black shoes. He wears black sneakers from his sneaker brand, but given the choice, he would prefer another color. Former Jordan brand executive Gentry Humphrey reveals why via an interview with Complex Sneakers Podcast.

“He doesn’t like black shoes. You’ll probably rarely see him wearing black shoes. Every time he wore them in the playoffs, it was a mentality. He wanted to wear black shoes depending on how he wanted to take his game to the next level when he was in an opponent’s arena. So he felt that notion of being stealthy was important. That would be the only time. By the way, you’ll never see him wear black shoes.” Humphrey said.

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Even choosing the colors, Mike did so in a way to gain a mental advantage over his opponents. A good pair of shoes could give a player confidence on the court, but MJ was the only one that went further. Wearing black shoes in public probably loses its meaning for Jordan.

Of course, there are plenty of black versions of Jordan sneakers and gamer exclusives. The Chicago Bulls legend was very particular with the players who would rock his mark. But, as Raja Bell found out, no one was allowed to wear MJ’s shoes unless he had them handpicked.

Black shoes in sports

In color psychology, black meant serious and serious in sports. It intimidates opponents, but it also has its drawbacks. For instance, a study by Frank and Gilovich in 1988 revealed that teams wearing black uniforms tend to be penalized more than their opponents. Black uniforms made people expect violence or aggression.

We don’t know if MJ got called for fouls more often if he wore black sneakers during games, but he did get an on-court advantage when it came to the intimidation factor.


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