by Brandon Richard
There's All-Star Games, and then there's the 1996 All-Star Game. Twenty-four of the 90s biggest NBA stars converged on San Antonio's Alamodome for a showcase of the game's best. The lights were bright, the uniforms were outrageous and the competition was intense, setting the scene for a game for the ages.
The story within the story was Michael Jordan being officially reestablished as the star of stars. Missing the previous two All-Star games as he chased his baseball dreams, Jordan returned to center stage and reminded us of just why he was labeled the greatest. His Airness had 20 points and 4 rebounds en route to MVP honors and a 129-118 victory for the Eastern Conference.
Back to the style, the '96 uniforms are arguably the most beloved in All-Star history. The teal-heavy designs, inspired by San Antonio fiestas, were highlighted by large chili pepper logos on the jerseys and shorts. And even with such a loud system of dress, the game's sneakers were equally as eye-catching. Perhaps none more than Jordan's 'Columbia' Air Jordan 11.
Reebok’s Shaqnosis and Kamikaze II. FILA’s Grant Hill 2. Nike’s Air Penny 1, Flight ’95 and Air Max Uptempo. With arguably the greatest collection we’ve ever seen on-court at once, Jordan stole the show as usual with his white patent beauties. The shoes were a perfect contrast to the Eastern Conference uniform, while the frosty outsole was close enough to the teal hue for a matching effect. In just 22 minutes, Jordan created memories that stick with us nearly two decades later.
Tomorrow, the 'Columbia' 11 makes its long-awaited return to retail — this time dubbed 'Legend Blue.' A lot of the stories we'll hear will be about police dust-ups and unruly crowds, but the sneakers are a true piece of history. Before you line up, enjoy a look back at Michael Jordan wearing his pair in the 1996 All-Star Game.