Sneakerhead culture is real. Just ask Spike Lee,as he sported custom gold Jordans while nabbing the Academy Award for BlackKklansman this past weekend. All over the world sneaker fans remember that red and black shoe that not only re-defined the sneaker game, skateboard culture, b-ball, but is forever synonymous with the former Chicago Bulls legend - Michael Jordan.
Unbanned: The Legend ofAJ1 goes beyond the shoe's namesake and breaks down the rules that resulted in the most popular sneaker in the world literally being banned by the NBA. Proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's all very reminiscent of the backlash toward former NFL star Colin Kaepernickfor taking a knee to protest inequality toward people of color and the senseless shootings of a multitude of unarmed black men and women.
Streaming exclusively on HULU since February 14th, Lionsgate and HULU hosted a screening in Los Angeles at The Grove with a carpet that included RJ Mitte, Olympic Volleyball Player Lindsey Berg, Ben Lyons, Rapper Glenda "Gizzie" Proby, Draya Micheleand DirectorDexton Deboree.
This first time filmmaker nabbed interviews with such culture defining titans as Spike Lee, Anthony Anderson, Lena Waithe, Carmelo Anthony, Check D, Quincy Jonesand Michael Jordanhimself. What's fascinating and sticks out to me is the fact that the NBA denies banning Jordan's signature shoe, yet fined him 5K each time he wore them. Jordan got the last laugh though, because NIKEpicked up the tab. At the end of the day, even the NBA couldn't slow down the trajectory of a shoe that most literally lost their lives over.
I also forgot how amazing of an athlete Michael Jordanwas. When footage was shown of those famous jump shots of Jordan literally gliding through the air like a gazelle doing a split jump, you realize swiftly why everyone wanted a pair of those AJ1's. If you had a pair on your feet, maybe you could fly too!!!
Unbanned: The Legend ofAJ1 illustrates a shoe that had a destiny of its own through a tale of hope that allows one find courage and inspiration all around you. That is the true legacy and impact of the AJ1 on music, fashion and entertainment.