Michael Jordan’s 11 Best Games in the Air Jordan 11

Originally published December 22, 2009

In the spring of 1995, Michael Jordan returned from baseball wearing new shoes and a new number. While Jordan would start the comeback in the Air Jordan 10 and donning the number 45, he eventually would change numbers and change sneakers. As a final result, he went back to the famous 23 and the infamous Air Jordan 11.

The Air Jordan 11s would be best known as Jordan’s wheels for the famed 95-96 season that saw the Bulls go 72-10 en route to their 4th championship. The classic shoe was produced in several classic colorways, each of which MJ made history.

MJ made history in the Jordan 11s during the Bull’s Championship run, but took them with him in retro form to have a great game toward his last run in DC.

Air Jordan 11 Black/Varsity Royal aka “Space Jam”

Air Jordan 11 Black/Varsity Royal-White aka “Space Jam”

The Black/Varsity Royal colorway is best known for its role in Space Jam, but before they hit the big screen Mike unleashed them during the 95 Conference Semis against the Orlando Magic. It’s hard to believe that Money broke out both the Concords and the Space Jams in the same series, especially for the fact that no one had seen either before. Aside from the Conference Semis and his run with the Tune Squad, the Space Jams were not worn again on court by MJ and were not released with the other original colorways.

Date: 5/16/1995
Victim: Orlando Magic
Stats: 39 points / 4 rebounds / 2 assists

Back in basketball and back in the playoffs, Jordan and the Bulls faced the young and loaded Orlando Magic. The series saw the debut of the Space Jams and also the first playoff series lost after the first 3-Peat. Jordan battled against Penny Hardaway, finishing with 39 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists in the losing effort.

Air Jordan 11 Medium Grey/White-Cool Grey

Air Jordan 11 Medium Grey/White-Cool Grey aka “Cool Grey”

The Cool Grey 11s were an instant classic and arguably the most popular retro Jordan 11 colorway of all time. On one choice night in MJ’s home away from home Madison Square Garden, Jordan sported the cool colorway in what would be his final farewell tour.

Date: 3/9/2003
Victim: New York Knicks
Stats: 39 points / 8 rebounds / 1 assist

40 years young and cool as a fan, Jordan gave an inspiring performance for his last game in Madison Square Garden. MJ went off for 39 points and 8 boards against the rival Knicks.

Air Jordan 11 Black/True Red-White aka “Playoff” aka “Bred”

Air Jordan 11 Black/True Red-White aka “Playoff” aka “Bred”

MJ broke out the black and red 11s in the 96 Playoffs. Black-based colorways became a theme for Jordan in his postseason runs for the remainder of the second three-peat. Chicago-inspired mid tops dressed in patent leather were matched with full-grain leather low tops.

Date: 5/27/1996
Victim: Orlando Magic
Stats: 45 points / 5 rebounds / 3 assists

Remember when the Orlando Magic beat the Bulls in the 95 Conference Semis So did MJ. Jordan proved last year’s performance was merely an illusion sweeping the Magic in the four-game series. He stole the show netting 45 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists making it one of his best games wearing the Playoff 11s.

Date: 5/11/1996
Victim: New York Knicks
Stats: 46 points / 4 rebounds

Madison Square Garden has seen its fair share of heavyweight bouts, but Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semis was a clash for the ages. Jordan bobbed and weaved to a 46-point, 4-rebound performance. While the Bulls took the Knicks to the distance at home, they ultimately fell short when the final bell rang as they lost in OT.

Air Jordan 11 White/Columbia-Black

Air Jordan 11 White/Columbia-Black

Drawing inspiration from his days at Chapel Hill, the Air Jordan 11 came out in Tar Heel blue just in time for the All-Star Game. Fans in San Antonio got to see the Black Cat in his prime donning the Columbia 11s for the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

Date: 2/11/1996
Victim: NBA West All-Stars
Stats: 20 points / 4 rebounds / 1 assist

San Antonio fans remembered the Columbia’s and forgot about the Alamo as Jordan led the East squad to a 129-118 win over the West. A 20-point night helped MJ win his second All-Star Game MVP award.

Air Jordan 11 White/Black-Dark Concord

Air Jordan 11 White/Black-Dark Concord aka “Concord”

Jordan debuted the Concords in the second round of the 1995 Playoffs. In an era where the internet was just taking off and blogs and online forums were words yet to be coined, the playoff game on May 7, 1995, was the first time the world had ever seen the 11s. Jordan played most of the following season in the shoes and is remembered by many as one of the best shoes Michael Jordan wore in the NBA.

Date: 5/10/1995
Victim: Orlando Magic
Stats: 38 points / 7 rebounds / 3 assists

Down 0-1 to the up-and-coming Orlando Magic, Jordan shocked the world yet again switching his jersey number from 45 back to 23. The result? A win that saw ‘Money’ go off for 38 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds.

Date: 11/13/1995
Victim: Charlotte Hornets
Stats: 42 points / 7 rebounds / 6 assists

MJ started off the famed 95-96 season in typical MJ fashion against conference rival Charlotte Hornets. Jordan stung the Hornets for 42 points, 7 boards, and 6 dimes. 23 was back and meant business, taking the first step of the 72-10 season in crispy Concord XIs.

Date: 12/13/1995
Victim: Orlando Magic
Stats: 36 points / 6 rebounds / 2 assists

After an early exit from the 95 Playoffs, the Bulls had to wait until December to get redemption against the Orlando Magic. This time around, Penny Hardaway had his own shoe and Finals experience. Jordan proved he was still the man and that the Bulls were still the team to beat as he poured in 36 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in a Bulls win.

Date: 1/13/1996
Victim: Philadelphia 76ers
Stats: 48 points / 10 rebounds / 2 assists

Air apparent Jerry Stackhouse faced off with the one they compared him to early on in his rookie year. The 96 Bulls put up big numbers on the young Sixers downing them 120-93. His Airness showed he was well in his prime dropping 48 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Date: 2/16/1996
Victim: Minnesota Timberwolves
Stats: 35 points / 7 rebounds / 4 assists

It was 1996 and there was a lot of talk around the league about a high school star looking to take the league by storm. Clad in his own Columbia XI’s, a young Kevin Garnett led the T-Wolves against the raging Bulls. While KG took Jordan and the Bulls to the brink, Da Kid was outdone by Jordan as he led the Bulls to a 103-100 victory with 35 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Date: 3/7/1996
Victim: Detroit Pistons
Stats: 53 points / 11 rebounds / 6 steals

With Grant Hill coming off an impressive rookie campaign, the Detroit Pistons were hoping to return to their Bad Boys days. Unfortunately for Detroit, Jordan still ruled over them dropping a season-high 53 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and ripping them 6 times. Former Piston Dennis Rodman helped out worming his way to 13 rebounds and classic wingman Scottie Pippen dished out 11 assists.

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