RELATEDThe 10 Best Performances in the Air Jordan XI
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The 10 Best Performances in the Air Jordan I

Michael Beasley Phoenix Suns Air Jordan VII

No. 10 - Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns

Stats: 21 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks
Game: 11/7/2012 vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Just because he has had an up and down NBA career does not preclude Michael Beasley from channeling his inner MJ, as he did on this night against the woeful Charlotte Bobcats. The Suns’ forward played one of the best games of his career, narrowly missing out on a triple-double thanks to his Air Jordan VIIs. The 6’ 9” forward used the reduced ankle collar from his sneaker’s huarache-inspired design to range away from the basket, drawing defenders out to spots on the floor where Beasley could easily exploit them with either his solid jump shot or quick first step to the hoop.

Michael Jordan Dream Team Air Jodan VII

No. 9 - Michael Jordan, Team USA

Stats: 22 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Game: 8/8/1992 vs. Croatia

Jordan punctuated the Dream Team’s run of dominance with a team-high 22 points as USA easily defeated Croatia for the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. It’s difficult to stand out when playing on a team with 11 future Hall of Famers, but thanks to his Air Jordan VIIs, MJ was able to just that. The Croatian defenders simply couldn’t handle the star guard’s athleticism, which was on full display thanks to the reduced, lightweight construction of his sneakers. Jordan’s incredible first step was made even faster due to the huarache-inspired minimalist design, allowing him to get the majority of his points right at the basket.

Ray Allen Milwaukee Bucks Air Jordan VII

No. 8 - Ray Allen, Milwaukee Bucks

Stats: 31 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steals
Game: 11/22/2002 vs. Golden State Warriors

Early on in his career, Ray Allen was much more than a dead-eye shooter; he was explosive with the ball in his hands and could blow by his defenders with ease. The Air Jordan VII PE he wore was a perfect complement to his style, especially because of the way in which the neoprene inner booty locked the future Hall of Famer’s foot into the shoe. This feature freed Allen to stop on a dime and pull up for his signature three-pointer (of which he buried six of seven attempts on this night against the hapless Warriors) or drive to the basket for a higher percentage shot.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 7 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 33 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
Game: 6/14/1992 vs. Portland Trailblazers

It speaks volumes about MJ’s dominance when a championship and finals MVP-clinching game is this far down on the list, but such was the incredible streak of brilliant play he unleashed during the 1992 NBA Finals in his Air Jordan VIIs. Closing out the series at home in Chicago, Jordan used the lightweight, reduced design of the upper to repeatedly create space for himself despite routinely facing double and triple teams. His tenacity on the defensive end helped seal the Bulls’ second consecutive title, as he harassed Trailblazers star Clyde Drexler into a woeful 8-of-24 shooting night.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 6 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 50 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
Game: 3/4/1992 vs. Denver Nuggets

The 1991-92 regular season was a showcase for Jordan’s amazing talent, and he absolutely torched the Nuggets from the start of this game thanks to his Air Jordan VIIs. The secure fit of the inner booty allowed MJ to quickly plant and get out in transition, and from the outset he set about destroying Denver’s fragile defense with a barrage of quickly-taken midrange jumpers. As the Nuggets tired in the second half, Jordan stayed fresh thanks to his lightweight sneakers and began to take the ball to the rim time and again, racking up numerous easy baskets throughout the latter stages of the game.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 5 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 51 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Game: 3/19/1992 vs. Washington Bullets

Playing their fourth consecutive game on the road, the Bulls had every excuse to roll over on this night in Washington. Fortunately for them, though, they had the greatest competitor in the history of sports on their side in Michael Jordan, and he was simply not going to allow his team to lose. Sinking jump shots from all over the court thanks to his Air Jordan VIIs and the minimalist upper that allowed him to elevate throughout the night, Jordan destroyed the Bullets on an incredibly efficient 19-of-30 shooting from the floor. In the fourth quarter alone, His Airness remained fresh and poured in 20 of his game-high 51 points, completing a comeback from a 12 point halftime deficit and giving his team a well-earned victory.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 4 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 56 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks
Game: 4/29/1992 vs. Miami Heat

Jordan showed the Heat how to close out a playoff series in Game 3 of their first round clash, heading to Miami and absolutely punishing his opponent, completing the Bulls’ sweep. Jordan repeatedly slashed to the hoop thanks to his Air Jordan VIIs, whose huarache-influenced reduced ankle collar and neoprene inner booty allowed MJ to change direction quickly and explosively while at the same time keeping him grounded. He terrorized Heat center Rony Seikaly, who simply had no answer when Jordan got to the rim for one of his many dunks. The result? A lot of fouls, so many in fact that MJ attempted 18 free throws on the night.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 3 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 64 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals
Game: 1/16/1993 vs. Orlando Magic

After winning the title the previous season, the Bulls had a target on their backs as they went for their first “threepeat” in 1992-93. Jordan was not intimidated by Magic rookie sensation Shaquille O’Neal, assaulting the basket with the durable leather upper of his Air Jordan VIIs en route to a staggering 64 points. It didn’t seem to bother Jordan in the slightest that the wrist on his right (shooting) hand was injured; he was able to elevate over defenders and hit numerous midrange jumpers anyway thanks to the lightweight construction of his sneakers. It was for naught, unfortunately, as a key turnover in overtime by Bulls’ forward Horace Grant ended up costing them the game.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 2 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 57 points, 2 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
Game: 12/23/1992 vs. Washington Bullets

There must have been something about the Bullets, because after torching them the year before MJ responded with an even better performance in 1992-93. He had it going on from deep in this game, hitting six of eight three point attempts due in part to the snug fit of the neoprene inner booty of his Air Jordan VIIs. Because his feet were locked into his shoes, MJ could spot up at a moment’s notice, and this quickness made him virtually unguardable no matter who the Bullets threw at him. His 60% shooting percentage combined with 10 assists proved that no matter what he was doing on the court, Jordan had no equal on this night.

Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Air Jordan VII

No. 1 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Stats: 39 points (6-of-10 3Ps), 3 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals
Game: 6/3/1992 vs. Portland Trailblazers

While he may not have scored as many points as in some of his previous efforts, Jordan played one of the best games of his life in the first half of this game alone. After burying his final 3-pointer of the second quarter, MJ mugged for his famous “shrug” in his Air Jordan VIIs. The lightweight, huarache-inspired minimalist construction of the leather upper helped him elevate for his NBA Finals-record six made treys in the first half, allowing the Bulls to build a huge lead and ultimately run away with a 33-point victory. Jordan barely played in the second half, sparing himself further wear and tear and, combined with the features of his VIIs, keeping him fresh for what would turn out to be a six-game battle.

RELATEDThe 10 Best Performances in the Air Jordan XI
RELATED: The 10 Best Performances in the Air Jordan I