In episode five of the blockbuster 10-part documentary series, ‘The Last Dance,’ we see Jordan nearly turn down Nike as his sponsor, potentially missing out on a billion-dollar opportunity.
The conception of the Air Jordan line of sneakers is also documented, and in what the basketball star thought would be his final ever appearance at Madison Square Garden, Jordan laces up a pair of his first signature sneakers: the Air Jordan 1 ‘Chicago,’ a shoe that was 13-years old at that point in 1998.
It’s a trainer that has been coveted by sneakerheads ever since the ex-Chicago Bulls star wore them in his rookie year — and it’s only been re-released a handful of times, most recently in 2015.
And while prices on the resale market for this sneaker have always been buoyant, they have shot up since ‘The Last Dance’s’ first episode aired.
In the two weeks since the series first aired on April 19, 60 pairs of the model were sold at an average price of $1,241.
“I purchased my pair of Chicago’s back in December 2018,” he tells CNN Sport. “Even back then they weren’t cheap but I found a pair in the States that came in ‘cheaper’ than what I could get them for on this side of the pond. That said, they still set me back just under £500 ($623).”
For Barber and many other sneakerheads, the Air Jordan 1 holds special significance, not just for its design but its cultural importance.
“That sneaker started a revolution, it sparked a fire that even 35 years later still burns bright. The Jordan 1 is symbolic, but also it’s a good identifier for who you are,” said Barber.
“People see you in that sneaker and they know instantly that you’re into your kicks. You’ll see people check out your sneakers and they’ll give you a little nod of the head of appreciation.”
It isn’t just the 1s which are growing in value; the price of many other Air Jordans has risen since the show’s premiere.
Much like the stock market, the sneaker market is a reflection of real-world events.
When Kobe Bryant died in late January, the former LA Lakers star’s line of sneakers rocketed in value.
Some ‘Kobes,’ that had previously been worth a few hundred dollars suddenly were being sold for thousands of dollars.
The cultural significance of the Air Jordan 1 shouldn’t be underestimaed.
Some 35 years on from the shoe’s release, it is still making waves.