The Air Jordan 5 made its debut in 1990 and released in four colorways. For the third year in a row, Tinker Hatfield led the charge in the design effort for the Air Jordan line. Drawing inspiration from a World War II fighter plane, the Air Jordan 5 carried over few design aspects of the Air Jordan 4, primarily the side netting that provided extra ventilation. But with a higher cut, lace locks, a 3M reflective tongue, and a translucent outsole the Jordan 5 was an entirely new design that started a new decade off right for Nike and Michael Jordan.
For the Chicago Bulls, 1990 not only started a new decade but a new era for the franchise. They let go of head coach Doug Collins before the start of the 89-90 season and hired his assistant Phil Jackson to replace him. Jackson made an instant impact in Chicago as they won eight more games than they had the previous season finishing second in the Central Division. However, for the second consecutive season, the Detroit Pistons defeated Chicago in a seven-game matchup during the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jordan was once again the driving force behind their on-court success. He finished the regular season averaging nearly 34 ppg, good enough to lead the league for the fourth season in a row. MJ also dominated the defensive side of the ball, averaging a league-leading 2.8 steals per game. For his efforts, Mike would be both First Team All NBA and All-Defense, and was selected as an NBA All-Star for the sixth year in a row. And on March 28, 1990, while wearing the white/black/red Air Jordan 5, Michael would drop a career-high 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nike again got off the court help from a variety of people on the marketing front for the Air Jordan 5. Spike Lee returned, resurrecting Mars Blackmon once again for a series of print ads and commercials for the Air Jordan 5. They could be seen on tv shows like MacGyver and Coach. But perhaps the most important person besides His Airness to wear the Air Jordan 5 was a young rapper who had set his sights towards an acting career. NBC had signed on Will Smith for a new television show called ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ which revolved around Smith’s troubled upbringing in Philadelphia, and his sudden move to LA. During the show’s first season the title actor predominantly wore the Air Jordan 5 and in 2013 Jordan Brand celebrated this with a Bel-Air-themed pack of Jordans.