In celebration of Jordan Brand’s XX8 Days of Flight, I’m honored to share my Jordan VI story.
You may not remember your first pair of sneakers, but I’m positive you remember your first pair of Air Jordans (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, though). While I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself, and I’ll never forget my first pair of Jordans. As the popular saying goes, “I remember like it was yesterday.”
I was in the third grade when I lost my Air Jordan virginity. A very young G-Roc was invited to a classmate’s birthday party, so my mom decided to buy me a new outfit. Although she was a single parent, she wasn’t going to allow her only child to walk in the party half-stepping. Literally! I vividly remember my mom coming home Saturday before the party with a new outfit for me to wear, and a brand spankin’ new pair of shoes. But they weren’t your average pair of tennis shoes. Instead mom dukes turned it up a notch and pulled the trigger on the Air Jordan 6 Black/Infrared colorway. Talk about an upgrade. Man, I recall her walking through the door with a few bags in her hands. At that age I really wasn’t big on my appearance, but you know how mothers are about their kids, they want them to look cute/well-dressed at all times. That being said, she showed me my party outfit, and to be perfectly honest, I can’t even remember the outfit. But what I do remember was her pulling out a pair of new shoes and saying something along the lines of, “The guy at the store told me these Jordans just came out, so I bought them for you.”
Let me take time to point out the fact I hated that I was the short kid with small feet growing up because my Jordans were pre-school size. I wanted my Jordans to have the super cool air bubble (yeah, that’s what I called it back then). Visible air was a big deal to me, but I wasn’t going to allow a missing air bubble to stop me from wearing my first pair of J’s.
As a child I grew up playing baseball. But like everyone else in the world, I knew who Michael Jordan was, and at that age I would have never guessed that he would go on to win his first NBA championship in the Air Jordan VI. That just made my first Air Jordan experience that much more special.
Some of you might be wondering how the party went. Well, I was one of the only boys that showed up to a party full of girls, I was wearing a new outfit and the new Jordans. Do I really need to say anything else? Ha!
Cool story, but I have another Jordan VI story to share.
Fast forward to the year 2000. I’m a senior at Creekside High School, and like most teenagers I’m trying to figure out who the heck I am. Things that are important at this stage of my life: being popular, cool, accepted, respected, and on the radar of all the pretty girls. Oh yeah, and of course excel in all my classes because my mother set very clear standards for her household: failing classes is not an option.
Now keep in mind the year is 2000. Some of the geniuses at Jordan Brand thought it was the perfect time to retro the Air Jordan 6 in black/infrared for the first time. They couldn’t have picked a better time to bring them back. Everyone knows you go out with a bang (or at least you try) your senior year.
August was the month the Air Jordan 6 Retro Black/Infrared released. There were no sneaker websites/blogs back then. Eastbay was your source for what shoes were dropping next, and the early adopters depended on NT to stay in the loop with the latest info. That said, the black/infrared Jordan 6 Retro sold out within seconds here in Atlanta. It was as if everyone had been patiently waiting for them to re-release. Not to mention you can never go wrong with a black/red Air Jordan.
Unfortunately, I was unaware of the release date. I didn’t find out they released until the evening of the release day. I was at my high school’s football jamboree when I noticed a lot of people wearing the black/infrared 6s. My good friend Ivan Andrews finally mentioned that the shoes were released that morning. There was a ridiculous amount of people rockin’ the classic AJ 6 colorway at the game that night. I even recall seeing a few dudes wearing the 6s with Iceberg outfits. Sure, it’s easy to laugh now, but Iceberg used to be “in style” back then. Remember?
As you can imagine, by the time I realized the shoe released, I was several hours too late. I called around the entire city the next day trying to locate my size. No dice!
I ran into a fellow classmate from Chapel Hill Middle School named Rodriquez at the mall. It was a Thursday evening when I bumped into Rodriquez at South Dekalb mall. He was working at Foot Locker at the time. I went to South Dekalb mall that night because I was supposed to be meeting a guy there to buy a set of 20″ Assassins for my ’86 Cutlass. I was also looking for an outfit to wear to school the next day because it was Creekside’s homecoming.
Turns out the guy selling the rims was flexin’, so that transaction never happened. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to pulling up in the senior parking lot sitting on Dubs, while bumpin’ whatever song was hot from No Limit, Cash Money or Big Oomp at the time. UGK’s “Choppin’ Blades” would have been an appropriate song, but the track didn’t release until 2001.
Anyhow, Ivan and I walked around the mall, and that’s when I saw Rodriquez wearing the 6s at Foot Locker. I asked him what size he wore, and he said, “Size 8.” I told him that’s my size, and asked him how much he wanted for them? It took him a minute to respond, and then he revealed he would sell them for $80, but I had to buy him a pair of shoes off the clearance table so he would still have shoes to wear. We agreed on the deal, and I picked out the cheapest pair of kicks on the clearance table, which was a pair of Puma Clyde’s for $19.99.
When it was all said and done, I finally got my hands on the same original colorway of the Air Jordan 6 that my mom bought me when I was a kid. Only difference was now I was grown, or at least I thought I was. I bought them straight off his feet with my hard earned Christian City money. No box. No retro card. No receipt. Just the shoes. And when you do the math, I ended up getting them for $100. Not bad at all.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I still have my 2000 AJ 6 retro. It’s a personal thing.
Sidebar: If you follow @TheShoeGame on Instagram you probably saw the Throwback Thursday photo of me in 12th grade wearing the Infrared 6s. If not, check me out in my Girbaud jean outfit and Jordan 6 glory by clicking here.
Seek, and ye shall find. -Matthew 7:7
Jordan Brand is celebrating XX8 Days Of Flight and today is all about the Air Jordan VI. Tag your photos on Instagram with #XX8DaysOfFlight and you might see yourself on ajxx8.com.