Seemingly by default, Jordan Brand began life in 1997 as the number four basketball brand in the world. That was not a bad start for the Nike offshoot – they were mostly buoyed by the success of the Air Jordan XII and XIII and the newly unveiled Jumpman Pro – but Michael Jordan and his burgeoning company had other aspirations. Even though Nike Basketball and Jordan Brand were essentially under the same corporate umbrella (and still are), Jordan Brand was not going to settle for fourth place. Jordan Brand wanted to surpass Nike in not just basketball shoes, but other sports as well.
But in order to do that, Jordan had to reach out to others for help. Much like his early playing days, MJ did not have to rely on anybody else but himself in order to reach his individual goals, and the Air Jordans were in the same vein. But in order to win a championship, Jordan had to give in and buy into the team concept. Similarly, in order for Jordan Brand to have any chance of succeeding on the level they had envisioned, he was going to have rely on a younger generation of athletes – especially after he retired – and have them speak for him.
This list of the 15 Greatest Jordan Brand Athletes will span the entire history of the brand, covering future Hall of Famers, current superstars and even some names time forgot. What this list will not include are celebrities who wear Jordans (that’s another list for another time), athletes who have peripheral arrangements with Jordan Brand but are not officially on the team (think Stephen Jackson) and guys like Jason Kidd, Gary Payon and Kobe Bryant, who have famously worn Jordans – and might have even been a part of the brand for a minute – but are more famously known for their time with Nike. But most importantly, this list will not include Michael Jordan.
Why? Because it would be too easy to include the man behind the brand; including MJ would automatically make him #1 on the list by default. Michael Jordan’s role in Jordan Brand is more of C.E.O. than athlete; he oversees the entire operation. In other words, he finally gets to do what those commercials made us believe he was actually doing all of these years. Makes you wonder if Bryman has a course in their curriculum entitled “When to Retro Air Jordans 101.”
Article source: Kicks on Fire