words // Nick DePaula
images & video // KicksVision
Signature shoes will often feature details and cues specific to their namesake player, but it’s the memories and moments created on court in those very sneakers that can create a lasting impression, a lasting legacy.
In the case of Michael Jordan’s “Flu Game” — a ’97 Finals Game 5 showcase of mid-range jumpers, dynamic footwork and an unbreakable will to win — the legend can long live on, and help to uplift yet another Retro launch of the Air Jordan XIIs that Mike had laced up that Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
“He missed shootaround that morning, so already we sort’ve knew he was going to come out and play, but we didn’t realize how sick he really was,” Scottie Pippen reflected and told me a few years ago. “He gutted it out. It wasn’t a 50- or 60-point game, but just his presence out there spoke a lot to us.”
There’s a Retro release on deck for this Saturday, and while they might just appear to be a simple black and varsity red colorway of the twelfth Air Jordan model, they’ve always represented much more.
The stomach virus and “flu like symptoms” that he battled through noticeably affected Jordan at every stop in play, yet he finished with 38 points, and inched the Bulls one game closer to a 5th NBA championship during his reign atop the 90’s.
Back in true re-issue form for the first time since 2004, along with an OG-style box, the “Flu Game” Air Jordan 12 Retro drops this Saturday, May 28th at Jordan accounts nationwide, and is priced at $190. Enjoy a nostalgic look back at Michael’s on-court heroics from Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, as well as detailed photography of one of this year’s most anticipated retroes.