Jordan Brand is in the midst of XX8 Days of Flight — a campaign to get people hyped for the release of the 28th edition of the world’s most famous shoe that’s already featured some great writing and some wicked new colorways of every edition. Today is Day 12, so here are some things I remember about the Air Jordan XII.

The Flu Game is the signature game during the Jordan 12 era. It was awesome when I watched it at home as a kid and it remains awesome watching it today. 38 points in 44 minutes, 15 in the fourth, a tie-breaking three with 25 seconds left and one iconic photograph. It also inspired the greatest thing Josh Smith has ever said. “Can’t eat sushi in Utah, brother — landlocked” remains hilarious.

Sometime when you’re sick, throw it on. You’ll instantly feel motivated to do anything besides feel like the world’s biggest waste of organic material.

Back when Eastbay catalogs were the jam, I used to spend literally an hour on the phone talking with my friend Marc Johnson about all the various sections. We would go through the thing page-by-page, discussing what shoes we liked, the random And1 shirts and all that nonsense. Our greatest disagreement regarding anything that ever appeared in the catalog was about the Jordan XII, which came in a colorway called “Obsidian-White.”

Nowadays, I think we can all agree that these are blue and white shoes. But back in the day, I was convinced they were black and white because obsidian is black. I looked it up in the giant dictionary we had in the closet and everything. The shoes are navy blue, no diggity doubt about it. But also, obsidian is definitely black. It says so on Wikipedia and everything. So even though I was wrong back then, I’m still kind of right.

I 100 percent botched getting the Air Jordan XI when I was in 7th grade because I loved Grant Hill a little too much. The next year, however, was a different story. When the XII was released, I told my mom immediately that those were going to be my eighth grade basketball shoes. She got ‘em for me for Christmas, I played about 60 minutes of A-team basketball in them during the season, then I wore them with some Keith Van Horn-inspired tall socks to host our middle school’s talent contest as part of a classic odd couple bit with Tom Dean. It killed.

This shoe was so popular in the Kerby household that I’m pretty sure you can still find a white-red pair of child-sized XIIs in my mom’s garage that my sister wore with her red Toni Kukoc No. 7 jersey that she got for her seventh birthday. As far as I remember, these were the only basketball shoes and basketball jersey that she has ever owned. Go Bulls.

The Jordan XII is the first shoe I remember other players around the league wearing. (I’m sure it happened before, but this time just sticks out in my mind.) I know Ron Harper and Luc Longley wore them, and I’m pretty sure Bill Wennington did occasionally too, and that was just a weird thing to understand as a kid. This guy is so famous that other professional guys can’t get their own shoes and have to wear his? Wow.

For my money, the best shoe-uniform combination of this NBA season has been whenever Gerald Wallace wears the Playoff XIIs with the Nets’ black road unis. It’s just a perfect look. I feel like Jay-Z sees it and thinks, “This is exactly why I paid someone to design these jerseys and then take all the credit.”

Comments (14)

  1. I bought these just hours after taking the SATs with a fever, 12 hours after the Bulls lost their opener to the Boston Celtics.

    Perfect English score, bitches.

  2. You had a great Flu Game…now check out my “Poo Game”

    Word to Matty O.

  3. trey what are your all time favorite jordans? i too am a soleman. i personally like the VIII’s

  4. VIII’? That’s bold.

    • What’s bold about picking the VIIIs? I know many people who swear on the 8s. Its still one of MJ’s classic models

      • When people played basketball in Jordans, they did not like playing in *these* Jordans. Unless you like heavy ass shoes with no ventilation.

  5. air jordan vii’s? cool.

  6. Great post! I would love more sneaker-related articles from you guys. And I would love more posts about the XX8 Days of Flight, too. Gonna go put my on XII Playoffs now.

  7. I refuse to comment on “His Airness”. I am not worthy. i wont even wear Jordans when i play, i don’t want them to get dirty. I will play in my Kobe’s though, his shoes just never do it for me. Lebrons shoes are always ugly, I don’t have one pair.

  8. FILA Grant Hill IIs are retroing in March, can’t wait

  9. The Jordan line is a constant reminder that MJ always had the #1 signature shoe. They were always pushing the boundaries of design and performance, and everything had that intangible “cool.” Now any time someone gets picked up by JB, especially from Nike, I’m like “whelp, there goes all the sweet colorways and designs.” It should be the opposite, like I should be chomping at the bit waiting for Griffin’s inevitable signature shoe. Instead, I’m just trying to find an affordable, legit pair of the galaxy hyperdunks.


  10. Check this out, the OG XII that I found on eBay!! Super awesome.

  11. Awesome post, Trey! Jordans were always the coolest. This is why even today, almost two decades later, players still play with 11s and 12s. Nuff said!

    For me the last really iconic shoes were the Kobe Top Ten Kicks from the time he won the dunk contest. They were my all time fav shoes to play in after I got a pair as a kid. I was so so happy when Eastbay rolled out that exact pair a few years ago. This year they even had them in the original colorway: Just awesome :) Can’t wait for the moment that they sell Jordans for 69$ hah… Not gonna happen though probably.

    Don’t you just hate it when today the only innovative thing that signature shoes can present are flourescent colors and weird snake/camouflage/zebra textures?!? Jordans were beautifull with just a glossy stripe (XI), a huge black square (XII)…. Today’s designers don’t seem to know the KISS method – Keep It Simple Stupid. But this is because they have no real strong idea to show. So lit’s just hide that with glow in the dark colors. Weak, totally weak.

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