25 Jordans That Would Have Been Better Received If MJ Wore Them On Court


With so many Jordans out there that MJ never laced up, we highlight 25 styles that would have reached even greater heights had Michael played in them! And not only did we imagine how much more popular these 25 could have been had Jordan worn them in games, but we also pair them with a specific jersey we think would have matched the best with each pair. Be sure to take a look at them all and let us know in the comments section below which Jordan release you think would be more popular had MJ worn them on court and also a dope jersey to pair with it.


Jordan IX "Charcoal"

Release Year: 1993
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Road 1992-93 – 2003-04

Due to his first retirement, and subsequent foray into baseball, MJ never wore the IX as a Chicago Bull. In fact, the only time he wore the IX in an NBA game, he wore the “Cool Grey” colorway as a Wizard in a preseason game. Perhaps that’s the reason the IX has the strange legacy it does today. As one of the most underrated silhouettes in the Jordan canon, the IX is also the most common silo used for non-hoops PEs, because Tinker Hatfield had to modify the original so MJ could wear it as a baseball cleat. Any colorway of the IX could be on this list, but we selected the “Charcoal” because it’s the first Bulls-themed colorway that MJ never wore on court. That, and it would have looked dope with the red and black of Chicago’s road unis of the time.

Jordan XIII "Flint"

Release Year: 1998
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Road 1997-98 – 2006-07

Though MJ usually wore the ‘blue’ colorways of his shoes in the NBA All Star Games, 1998 was an exception. Rather than lacing up the “Flint” XIII, he opted for what’s now become known as the “Playoff” XIII. We think the “Flint” XIII is an underrated classic Jordan and it would have gone perfectly with the MJ-era Wizards road uniforms.

Jordan IV "Oreo"

Release Year: 1999
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Road 1973-74 – 1984-95

It’s not that the Air Jordan IV “Oreo” is unpopular, but in the discussion of ‘best IV colorways’, it’s often omitted. That may speak to the strong history of the silhouette itself, the plethora of recent retros, or the fact that MJ never laced up this particular colorway because he was retired when it debuted in 1999. Let’s be real, the high-quality materials and dynamic colorway would have looked good with a burlap sack, but they would have been prime if MJ wore them with the 74′-85′ Bulls road jerseys.

Jordan Team 1

Release Year: 1999
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Home 2011-12 – Present

Likely the most popular of all the “Team” Jordan silhouettes, the Jordan Team 1 was never seen in-game on His Airness’ feet, but rather was the go-to shoe of choice for players like Vince Carter and JB athlete Ray Allen in 1999. Though he didn’t make a habit of wearing the “Team” models, we prefer the Team 1 “Grey”, and think it would have been nice with the current Wizards home jerseys.

Jordan XIV "Indiglo"

Release Year: 1999
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Green Alternate 2006-07 – Present

Another Jordan colorway that dropped after MJ played his last game as a Bull, the XIV “Indiglo”. Perhaps because of the attention payed to what’s now known as the “Last Shot” XIV, the “Indiglo” colorway is massively underrated. On top of being one of the best colorways the XIV saw, the silhouette is one of the best sneakers from the Jordan line to actually hoop in. It would’ve been dope to see MJ rocking these with the green/black alternate jerseys the Bulls currently wear.

Jordan XV "Obsidian"

Release Year: 2000
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Home 1997-98 – 2006-07

The XV was, at the time, the last Jordan silhouette designed by the infamous Tinker Hatfield, but unfortunately, in 2000, MJ was still retired. The XV also gets a lot of heat for looking so much different than the Js many sneakerheads are used to seeing…but that’s the reason we like these. We think if MJ would have rocked the “Obsidian” colorway as a Wizard, it would’ve been a great compliment to their Jordan-era home unis.

Jordan III "Mocha"

Release Year: 2001
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Gold Alternate 2006-07 – 2008-09

It’s no secret that we love the “Mocha” colorway of the Air Jordan III around these parts. But if MJ would have worn them during his playing days, it would have likely gone down as one of the top 5 most-popular colorways the silhouette ever saw. Though the non-Bulls colorway was really seen as more of a lifestyle colorway, we think they would have been dope to wear with the alternate jerseys the Wizards wore from 2006-09.

Jordan XI Low 'Varsity Red'

Release Year: 2001
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Home 1985-86 – 1991-92

MJ rarely, if ever, wore low tops in game. But if he did, he should have worn the XI Low ‘Red’. The “Snakeskin” colorway gets so much love that the other colorways released the same year are mere footnotes. The white and red colorway is absolutely bananas, and they would have gone perfectly with the ’86-’92 Bulls home jerseys.

Jumpman Pro Quick

Release Year: 2001
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Road 2010-11

Another banger from the Jordan “Team” vault, the Jumpman Pro Quick never saw gametime on MJ’s feet, but was a staple of the legendary journeyman and JB athlete, Eddie Jones. If MJ did wear these in a game, they would have looked great with the 2010-11 Wizards road unis.

Jordan XIII "Wheat"

Release Year: 2004
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Road 1997-98 – 2006-07

Another Kicks Deals favorite, the Air Jordan XIII “Wheat” may not have dropped in MJ’s playing days, but these bangers are nearly forgotten about these days. Debuting the year after MJ retired, for the third and final time, the “Wheat” XIII would have been a fantastic compliment to the MJ-era Wizards road jerseys.

Jordan XII "French Blue"

Release Year: 2004
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Home 1997-98 – 2006-07

The Air Jordan XII, and the “French Blue” colorway in particular, were generally well-received in it’s time. But, because this was a new colorway back in 2004, and MJ retired for good in 2003, it never reached it’s full potential. If Jordan would have worn these with the MJ-era Wizards home uniforms, they could have been one of the most-coveted XIIs ever…just look at the “True Blue” III (which he also wore while playing for the Wizards).

Jordan XX "Quickstrike"

Release Year: 2005
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Black Alternate 1999-00 – 2000-01

As many know, Tinker Hatfield designed each signature Jordan silhouette from II-XV, but with MJ retired in 2003, he moved on to other projects. That changed in 2005 when he returned to lend his hand to the creation of the Air Jordan XX, the 20th silhouette in the line, and the 20th anniversary of Jordan Brand. So the shoe had the design heritage, the hype, and the top-notch hoops tech, it just didn’t have His Airness to rock them in games. We think these “Quickstrike” XXs would have been a smash hit had MJ laced (and strapped, in this case) them up while wearing the black 2000-01 Bulls alternates.

Jordan XXI 'Red'

Release Year: 2006
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Home 1992-93 – 2003-04

In 2006, MJ wasn’t around to debut the latest and greatest from Jordan Brand, but there were plenty of capable JB-sponsored athletes around to help with that. The most important part was picking the appropriate time to debut them. A perfect example of this was when Ray Allen laced up a then-previously unseen color of the (up-to-that-point) underwhelming XXI. “Ray Ray” broke out the red suede version of the XXI in the 2006 All Star Game, and subsequently broke a few necks in the process. We think these would have gone great with the white/red Bulls home unis from the 90s.

Jordan XXII

Release Year: 2007
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Road 1985-86 – 1991-92

Post-retirement Jordans never get any love, and the XX2 is a perfect example of that. Some of the colorways released on the XX2 leave a lot to be desired, but the debut white/black-red colorway? Clean. If MJ rocked these with the red Bulls road unis, Jordan-heads would surely be singing a different tune.

Jordan XXIII "Stealth"

Release Year: 2008
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Black Pinstripe Alternate 1995-96 – 1996-97

With all the Jordan-related mythology behind the number 23, in 2008, sneakerheads were eagerly awaiting the debut of the 23rd signature in the Jordan line. When they did eventually debut, the public response was largely indifferent. However, in retrospect, the “Stealth” version of the XX3 is a solid launch colorway and had MJ rocked them wearing the pinstripe black Bulls unis of the mid-90s, rather than in promo shots wearing a pinstripe business suit, perhaps we’d be telling a different story.

Jordan XVII "CDP"

Release Year: 2008
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Gold Alternate 2006-07 – 2008-09

It’s interesting how underrated the XVII is, even though it’s one of the last J’s His Airness ever laced up in-game. Throughout his time with the Wizards, MJ wore several colorways of the XVII, including the XVII+, but this “CDP” colorway didn’t drop until well after he’d walked away from the game. But, this dope colorway would’ve gone very well with the alternate jerseys the Wizards wore from 2006-09.

Jumpman Pro

Release Year: 2008
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Home White 1996-97

Let’s be real, the whole Jordan Brand “Team” lineup could have used an endorsement, in the form of product placement from the man himself. But, these Jumpman Pro’s from 2008 really standout. Part new design, part Air Jordan XII “Rising Sun”, this white/black-red Jumpman Pro would have made an impact had MJ worn them in a high-profile venue, like the All Star Game, particularly the 1997 game, where players wore their team jerseys/colors.

Jordan XVIII "CDP"

Release Year: 2008
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Road 1992-93 – 2003-04

The true “Last Shot” Jordans, the XVIII were the kicks MJ was actually wearing in his final NBA game, not the XIVs. The XVIII, despite it’s historical significance, was not a popular shoe and, while we can speculate as to why that is, one thing that stands out is the lack of a “traditional Jordan colorway”….meaning black/red. Because MJ was with the Wizards when the XVIII dropped, we got mostly blue/white colorways, of which Mike wore plenty of times. We had to wait until 2008 to get them, but the “CDP” XVIII finally showed up in that familiar black/red colorway. If MJ would have taken the court in these, say in the red mid-90s Bulls road unis, we’re sure they would be remembered in a much more favorable light.

Jordan VI "DMP"

Release Year: 2009
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Road 1973-74 – 1984-85

Yes, the DMP VI was well received when it dropped (**understatement of the year), and may well be one of the most popular Jordan colorways to-date. However, if MJ had actually worn them as a Bull, we might be looking at the reigning champ. “Championship” or “Celebration” colorways weren’t really a thing when MJ was around. But if he laced these bangers up after winning his first championship in 1991, when the VI debuted, these might just be the G.O.A.T. They would have looked particularly awesome with the red 1985 road jerseys.

Jordan V "Raging Bull" Pack

Release Year: 2009
Jersey We’d Recommend: Black/3M – Bulls Home White :: Red Suede – Bulls Black Alternate

You could put many post-retirement colorways of the V on this list (“Sport Royal” and “Wolf Grey” come to mind), but 2009’s “Raging Bull” Pack is an instance where we could really see MJ wearing both these colorways back in his days as a Bull. The black/3M colorway would have really stood out if worn with the home white Bulls unis of the mid-90s, whereas the stand-out red suede Vs would have looked amazing in contrast with the black alternate unis from the early 90s.

Jordan Spiz'ike "Fresh Since 1985" Black

Release Year: 2010
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Road 1992-93 – 2003-04

Truly, any Spizike could make this list. But, our favorite for most-likely-to-drive-sneakerheads-wild-after-MJ-wore-them, are 2010’s black “Fresh Since 1985″ Spiz’ike. Part high top, part black/red IV, this Spiz’ike colorway has been unmatched to-date. If MJ rocked these while wearing the road red Bulls colors of the mid 90s, the hype for the silhouette would have been through the roof.

Jumpman Pro Strong

Release Year: 2010
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Home 1973-74 – 1984-85

Even though the Jordan Pro Strong model was actually meant for big men and those who require some more ankle support, getting the MJ game-wearing endorsement would have pushed these “Team” Js into another stratosphere. Already one of the more popular “Team” sneakers in the JB lineup, the Pro Strong would have looked nice if rocked with those white home Bulls jerseys from ’85.

Jordan 2011 "Year of the Rabbit"

Release Year: 2011
Jersey We’d Recommend: All-Star Game East 1987

One of the more underrated silhouettes in the Jordan universe could have benefited greatly from MJ’s product placement. Not only is the shoe aesthetically awesome, but it’s technical features, including the dynamic insole system, make it one of the best Jordans to hoop in. We’re particularly fond of the “Year of the Rabbit” colorway, which would have been perfect paired with the throwback 1987 East All Star jersey.

Jordan 2012 'Wolf Grey'

Release Year: 2012
Jersey We’d Recommend: Wizards Road 1997-98 – 2006-07

The ‘Wolf Grey’ Jordan 2012 was an awesome shoe, despite how many of them trickled their way down to outlets across the country. If MJ would have laced these beauties up, in the blue home Wizards jersey, we’d likely be talking about how dope they were, and how quickly they sold out.

Jordan XX8

Release Year: 2013
Jersey We’d Recommend: Bulls Green Alternate 2006-07 – Present

The most recent Jordan on this list has no shortage of great NBA players rocking them in game. But the fact that, in many places, you could walk straight into your local brick-and-mortar and cop these without issue, is a testament to the lack of hype behind them. The on-foot MJ endorsement could have certainly changed that, though. Imagine him wearing these with the current green/black alternate Bulls unis…instant hype.


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  • nikefreak23

    Jordan Brand athlete Vince Carter?? What the fuck are you guys smoking?? VC was never a JB guy

    • Observer

      “…like Vince Carter and JB athlete Ray Allen”

      How does that say Vince Carter was a JB Athlete, try reading.

  • jath

    The French Blue XII were actually supposed to be a Wizards colorway.. there are samples floating around with gold/wheat instead of red accents. But when the Wiz kicked MJ to the curb, the colorway was quickly edited.

  • Time2ballup

    Great list!

  • Kevin M

    I personally love Spiz’ikes, the purists will knock me for that one but they’re missing out, they’re comfortable and come in some great color ways that can be picked up relatively cheap!


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