The AIr Jordan 1 was conceptualized when Nike decided to offer Jordan an endorsement contract in 1984. Initially MJ had some skepticism towards Nike due to the fact that he had never heard of Nike nor did he know much about them. With the insistence by his parents, MJ decided to attend a Nike meeting and hear what Nike had to offer. As so many say...."and the rest is history!" Nike was persuasive and closed with a 5 year deal worth $2.5 million and his own line of basketball shoes. The Nike Air Jordan I was constructed in 1985; and when first presented to MJ with the Black\Red colorway, he wasn't too impressed saying "I can't wear that shoe!! Those are the Devils' colors!
From the beginning, Nike had visions of turning the standard mostly-white themed basketball shoe upside down on its head. Designed by Peter Moore, the sneaker featured a Nike swoosh on the mid-panel and a freshly minted Wing Logo on the upper ankle. The silhouette of the shoe was designed similar to other popular basketball models at that time, such as the Air Force 1, Terminator, and the Dunk. The Air Jordan I also showcased a Nike Air Unit for added heel cushioning, a padded foam ankle collar for improved protection and support, as well as a toe overlay for a snug fit. In 1985, The Air Jordan I retailed for $65--at the time the most expensive basketball shoe on the market. The Air Jordan I also came with 2 sets of laces to match each color theme.
Besides being the first Air Jordan model produced, the Air Jordan I also has somewhat of an infamous past. Because of the Black\Red colorway, the NBA was none too pleased with the look of the shoe. So much so that the NBA banned the Air Jordan 1 from being worn, and actually fined MJ every time he wore the shoe for $5,000! The NBA hoped the fine would deter MJ from wearing the shoe. However, Nike realized that this enhanced the shoes popularity with the fans . The so-called ban, coupled with MJ's successful rookie campaign; which resulted in an All Star appearance, Rookie of The Year honors, and leading the Bulls to the playoffs, only brought attention to MJ and his shoes. Nike, realizing the promising future of MJ and his brand, had no problem paying the fines. MJ wore the Air Jordan I in one of his greatest performances, dropping 63 points against the Larry Bird-led Celtics.