For someone growing up in Chicago during the Jordan era Bulls, it’s almost hard to fathom that Michael Jordan will turn 50 this Sunday. It’s almost sad when you think about it really. There is an entire generation of kids growing up who will never fully appreciate His Airness and who never got to see his championship runs with the Bulls. Some of them will never truly appreciate his greatness and will be confined to watching YouTube highlight clips of the greatest basketball player to ever live.
Some of them won’t know what you are talking about when you mention “The Flu Game.” Some of them will only remember him from his Washington Wizards days (I consider this to be a very dark time and choose not to remember it). Some of them will grow up as heretics to the one true basketball messiah, thinking players such as Kobe Bryant or LeBron James are better players than he was. Some of them will only remember MJ for his shoes, for while his playing days are but fleeting memories from the past, his shoes still remain in the forefront of popular culture.
Michael Jordan was a once in a lifetime player, a force of nature both on and off the court that we may never see again. This generation of kids may all be witnesses to LeBron James, but I mourn for those who didn’t get to see MJ wearing #23 for the Chicago Bulls.
As an ode to Michael Jordan and the legacy he left behind, we are giving you his 10 greatest Air Jordan commercials in no particular order (ranking them was just too hard). These are his greatest Nike commercials, which is why you will not see an all-time great like this on the list.
CEO Jordan (Air Jordan XIII)
I fully believe Mike could have dropped 43 during his prime wearing wingtips.
Tell Me (Air Jordan XII)
This commercial epitomizes the self-created doubt that Jordan used as motivation for his entire career.
Is it the Shoes (Air Jordan V)
Spike Lee as Mars Blockman along with Michael Jordan may be the single greatest advertising campaign ever. While there are many great Jordan commercials featuring Mars we had to choose just one and did you really think I wouldn’t choose this one?
Takeoff (Air Jordan I)
This marked the launch of Michael Jordan.
Dream (Air Jordan X)
Many of us wish his hiatus from basketball and brief pursuit of a baseball career was just a dream.
The Charles Barkley Show (Air Jordan IX)
Any time you have Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan together in a commercial you have an instant classic. That’s without mentioning a Humpty Hump cameo!
Hare Jordan (Air Jordan VII)
I think we can all agree that this wasn’t the last time Bugs Bunny and MJ would collaborate.
Let Your Game Speak (Air Jordan XXI)
An elegant yet simple reminder that one man inspired an entire generation of young fans.
Johnny Kilroy (Air Jordan IX)
Michael Jordan wearing various wigs and mustaches to fake his own retirement? Brilliant advertising. Steve Martin claims that someone doesn’t want us to see the “popcorn tape.” I think everyone wants to see Johnny Kilroy drop 79 in one quarter against the Charlotte Hornets.
Maybe It’s My Fault (Air Jordan XX3)
This is one of Jordan’s most powerful Nike commercials. It gives me the chills every time I see it and it should serve as memento of the true impact of his legacy.