Kicks On Court Classic // The NBA in 1999

As we close the decade, Kicks On Court has been on ten all 2019.

But what did the league look like 20 years ago?

18 Jan 1999: Michael Jodans talks to the press at his retirement press conference at the United Center in Chicago, Illinios. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
Michael Jordan talks to the press at his retirement press conference at the United Center in Chicago, Illinios (photo by Jonathan Daniel /Allsport via Getty Images)

In 1999, the game was in a strange place. Michael Jordan was officially retired – for the second time – and the league was ending a lockout. Despite the departure of the game’s biggest star and a stagnant start to what was supposed to be the 98-99 season, fresh faces and fresh feet would add excitement all year.

From Air Force 1s returning to the hardwood to Jordan Brand finding its future, peep this special edition of Kicks On Court Classic below and be sure to follow @kicksoncourt on IG.

Mike Bibby in the Air Jordan XV

+ The first pure point guard on Jordan Brand – DA was a combo guard – Mike Bibby took his famous feet to the NBA, rocking GRs, PEs and team takes from MJ and Co.

+ Bibby proved one of the first players to hit the NBA hardwood in the Air Jordan XV as Money had just retired in ’98

Vince Carter in the PUMA Cell VI Mid (photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

+ Coming off a Rookie of the Year campaign and preceding his infamous Dunk Contest, VC was PUMA’s guy in 1999

+ As we now know, that did not last

Gary Payton in his Nike Zoom GP PE (photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport)

+ The Glove may have been unlaced by red-hot rookie Jason Williams in the ’99, but he still had swag with his buckled-up Nike Zoom GP

+ Peep the PE detailing on this pair

Allen Iverson in the Reebok Answer II (photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

+ Who would carry the torch in the NBA with MJ retired?

+ Philly had The Answer

Kobe Bryant in the adidas KB8 III (photo by Tom Hauck /Allsport)

+ Before becoming a Nike Boy, Kobe was the face and feet of adidas with his signature KB8 line

+ The KB8 III featured EQT cushioning and inspired the Yeezy 500

Jason Williams in the Nike Air Holistic Uptempo (photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport)

+ In 1999, Jason Williams hit the hardwood for the Sacramento Kings

+ SportsCenter, YouTube and the playground were never the same

Penny Hardaway in the Jumpman Team J (photo by Donald Miralle/Allsport)

+ Leaving Orlando to join Jason Kidd as one-half of Backcourt 2000, Penny would shelve his signature series in the Fall of 1999 to play in everything from Flight Camp kicks to Team Jordans

+ During his stay in Phoenix, Penny also rotated retro Jordans and Barkleys years before it was the norm

Kevin Garnett in the Nike Air KG & Scottie Pippen in the Nike Air Pippen III (photo by Dave Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

+ With Mike off the hardwood and in the boardroom Nike needed other signature athletes to carry the torch

+ Filling the void were two superstars with ties to Chicago – Kevin Garnett and Scottie Pippen

Derek Anderson in the Air Jordan 4 Black/Red (photo by Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport)

+ We’re gonna guess the Air Jordan 4 Black/Red isn’t a popular sneaker in Cleveland…

+ Nevertheless, Derek Anderson hooped in the ’99 retro

Larry Hughes in the AND1 Finger Roll (photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

+ Silky smooth, Saint Louis product Larry Hughes became the face and feet of AND1 when Marbury started rocking Nikes

+ Fun fact? Larry Hughes is Jayson Tatum’s godfather

Rasheed Wallace in the Nike Air Force 1 High (photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

+ Chances are the brand in Portland’s backyard wanted the Carolina stud to face the Force Camp in modern fashion

+ Not on Sheed’s agenda

Baron Davis in the Nike Air Force 1 High (photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

+ Roscoe wasn’t the only one balling in AF1s as B Diddy brought them out in Charlotte

+ Shoutout to @goodbirger who spotted the Cali legend getting buckets in Dunks

Eddie Robinson in the Reebok Question Low White/Powder Blue (photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

+ AI’s influence was real from jump

+ Not only were players young and old getting cornrows, Reebok was keeping the Question alive at retail beyond his rookie season

Rasheed Wallace in the Nike Air Trainer SC (photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

+ Sheed knows Trainers but knows no need to match

+ Peep the ankle tape — he probably rocked these in practice that day, too

Eddie Jones in the Air Jordan XV and Mitch Richmond in the Air Jordan 14 (photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

+ No Michael Jordan but plenty of Jordan Brand, the league’s leading two-guards kept the Air Jordan line alive when Mike was no longer killing all competitors on a night-to-night basis

+ Shortened season and all, 1999 still had plenty of heat

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