When defenders blinked, they missed Michael Jordan flying right past them. In the same way, if sneakerheads blinked in the past six months, they may have missed the Air Jordan XXX.
That is because the sneaker world is on to the Air Jordan XXXI. On Wednesday night in Las Vegas, the Jordan Brand introduced the 31st model in the Air Jordan line. The sneakers will be released globally Sept. 3.
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) July 21, 2016
This all comes in the same year as the Air Jordan XXX premiere, which debuted in Chicago in January. Those shoes became available to the public in February.
Among the Air Jordan XXXI's notable features–the Air Jordan wings and Nike swoosh are featured together for the first time, flywire technology is present and the zoom air unit goes full length–perhaps the most noticeable is the word "BANNED" written across the bottom. This is a nod to Jordan's rookie season, when he wore red and black sneakers, causing him to receive a "stern letter from league officials and generating a $5,000 fine each time the player wore the shoes on court."
Of course, Jordan would go on to wear red and black the rest of his career, and the idea of such a rule against those colors is ludicrous today.
Russell Westbrook was also present during the Jordan XXXI debut.
Air Jordan livestreamed the unveiling on its website and Westbrook took part in the conversation.
Although not official, Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler became the first to wear the Air Jordan XXXI in public, donning the shoes for the Nike/Jordan Brand Team USA picture and subsequent Olympic practices.
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) July 18, 2016
— Nate McCain (@NateMac11) July 18, 2016
— SneakerFiles.com (@sneakerfiles) July 21, 2016
Here's a peak at some colorways:
I think people are going to be excited about the Jordan XXXI. The colorways they have coming up are nice. pic.twitter.com/le9B7xrmae
— Jacques Slade (@kustoo) July 21, 2016
This 31st edition to the Jordan Brand collection comes 32 years after the debut of the Air Jordan I in 1984.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.