Even after more than a year away from the game, Michael Jordan showed he was as smooth as ever against the Orlando Magic in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Mike had just returned from a year-long retirement in which he played baseball, coming back with just a few games remaining in the regular season. On this play, Mike showed off his quick first step against up-and-comer Penny Hardaway. After getting past the Magic guard, Shaquille O’Neal rotated over to contest in the paint. MJ looked like he dove directly at Shaq, but somehow glided mid-air past the big man. Mike double-clutched and threw up a reverse layup on the opposite side of the rim. O’Neal could only turn his head while still in the air, as he saw the ball drift through the net.
The sneaker that Michael wore for this game was the Nike Air Flight One. You’re not reading that wrong, Jordan didn’t wear Jordans in this game. The NBA had fined Mike for wearing non-uniform conforming colors on the Air Jordan 11, so MJ had to make do with what was there. That happened to be Penny’s sneaker, although Mike cut off the heel tabs bearing Hardaway’s Nike 1-cent logo.
The black colorway can be found HERE, but you have to cut off the tabs yourself if you want to be accurate.
Cover image via Ballislife.com