36 years after it was banned by the NBA, Michael Jordan's black and red Nike Air Ship is finally releasing to the public. The infamous "Banned" sneakers are releasing at Italian retailer Back-Door Bottega in August. The store has posted cryptic videos to social media alluding to the release, and has a breakdown of the Air Ship retro on its website here.
Credible sneaker leaker account @_PO2345 on Twitter also said on Friday an Air Ship retro in the iconic black and red colorway would be revealed soon. The account mentioned that the shoe has been updated with Nike's React cushioning, which is seen in the imagery below.
Jordan laced up the Air Ship during the start of the 1984-85 NBA season, which violated the league's uniform policy. This resulted in the league issuing Jordan a $5,000 fine each time he wore the sneakers. This specific style never made it to the retail, but one of MJ's personal pairs did surface in April. The release of the "Black/Red" Nike Air Ship Pro comes as a surprise given that a product of this historical magnitude would typically be announced through Jordan Brand's official channels.
Back-Door Bottega confirmed that in order to participate in the in-store raffle, fans will need to find one of the 150 stickers hidden throughout the iconic landmarks of Bologna, Italy, and scan its QR code from Aug. 1 to Aug. 6.
"All I can say, speaking as a collector and big fan of Michael Jordan, is that I am really proud and excited for the choice of the Jordan Brand to give me and my store Back-Door Bottega the exclusive premiere of this masterpiece," said Marco Evangelisti, founder of Back-Door Bottega, on the store's landing page for the release.