1Cent Tuesdays: The Sneaker Agreement Between Jordan & Penny

Footwear-Flashback copy

Did you know? Did you know?

Have you ever wondered why Michael Jordan wore a black pair of Nike Air Flight 1s and Penny wore PE Air Jordans? This is Sneaker Dave back again on 1Cent Tuesday with another Penny story, hope you enjoy!


One of the greatest remaining mysteries is exactly why Michael Jordan decided to change shoes during the 1995 NBA playoff series against Penny Hardaway and the Orlando Magic. MJ couldn’t wear the Air Jordan 11 due to its uniform color code policy? Perhaps. But prior to that event, Penny & MJ agreed to switch shoes, a promise that Penny till this day says he still can’t believe. Its the only time MJ ever wore a different pair of hoop shoes on court outside of his own since his Nike deal in the 80s.

Penny on the other hand was one of the 1st NBA players at the time to wear some of the early player exclusive Air Jordans. The word on the street back then was you had to directly ask Michael for that blessing. In today’s league it’s the norm to wear PE’s, but back then it was a badge of respect & honor. It was evident that Penny Hardaway and Michael Jordan shared a mutual respect for each other on the court and with their footwear.

1995 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Game 3: Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls tumblr_m7ecy3BaKl1qa47iwo1_500 air-jordan-ix-penny-hardaway-autographed-game-worn-pe-00

  • 80$werv

    dope story

  • omar najeeb

    Man if that aj 9 released with the #1 on the heel, muthaphukas would go insane.

  • Hmmmmmm….

  • Executive aka The Wrong One

    @omar, u mean people 18 and below. OGs we get a lil excited, lol.

  • Executive aka The Wrong One

    The nba was the truth back then now it’s just a bunch of divas.

  • omar najeeb

    ^^ Uh huh. U right. There…& there too. Lol

  • Biga173rd

    Great Story and @Executive aka The Wrong One. Word I agree too many soft actors they all look like World Cup players acting mad fake to get a call. But yea man I miss the old NBA days too true warriors. You imagine the players of today trying to post up and guard players or try to get a rebound from players like Rodman,Barkley,Shaq and Oakley they would cry every 2 sec to get a call from the Ref.

  • gurf

    Man, great article. I had no idea about this until today. Thanks for kicking that knowledge.

  • Sneakerologist411

    Yeah the concord XI was band for the playoffs not enough black so Mj put on a pair of flight 1s for game 3 of the 95 playoffs cut the 1 tab off and dropped 40 that night on penny and the magic but that wasn’t the only time he wore a nike shoe outside of his own back in the 87-88 season he wore a pair of white, red and black nike alpha force’s against the Knicks.

  • omar najeeb

    Uh huh. I knew about mj rockin the alphas. I didn’t know he actually cut that tab off the back, though.

  • Executive aka The Wrong One

    @Biga173rd, that would be a joy to watch. A bunch of 90’s monsters vs a bunch of 7foot sissies.

  • Sneakerologist411

    Yeah @ Omar najeeb he still was a competitor lol he wasn’t going to have penny’s number on the shoe while he was playing against him look at the pics you’ll see penny in his with the 1 tab and jordan without lol but penny had the last laugh in the series smh. Still haunts me (a major bulls fan)

  • chubby

    But ’95 playoffs was Jordan 10’s… I need the real story on why he switched. Gambling? Hmmm…., cause the 11 dropped 95-96 season.

  • raz rachamim

    nike basketball shoes should only be sold to people with knowledge on that perticular shoe being sold… but with google everyone has knowledge.

  • omar najeeb

    Lol^ . @ raz…that’d be a tough “weeding-out” process.

  • BJ24

    Story doesn’t really add up, not saying there is not any truth to it but, Penny work the 9 PE’s like a few others after Mike retired. Once mike was back and felt he wasnt playing like OG Mike he ditched the number 45 and the 10’s and rocked 23 with the XIs, NBA fined for both and he needed all black kicks so he rocked the flight ones until Nike got the Space Jams to him. Mike has also rocked Alpha force’s and a few other Nikes in NBA games. Still interesting story for the sneaker world.

  • sneakerphile42

    Nike shoes should only be sold to people with knowledge of a shoe? Completely ridiculous.

  • pdiddy

    These are actually on display at imageny in queens

  • SoleBrotha#1

    Penny was a beast. Too bad he was plagued by injuries later in his career. He kept playing for a long time tho. Just not at the same level. He’s still dope on 2K14 tho!

    …I don’t get why they have the 98 Lakers and not a Championship squad on the game? WTF!