When Dennis Rodman dipped from Detroit to become a San Antonio Spur for two seasons, The Worm as we know it was born.
Dying his hair, rocking tattoos and putting in piercings, the rebound hound soon became the sport face of the MTV era, dating Madonna and making headlines beyond SportsCenter.
While Rodman started his Hall of Fame career as a Piston in Reeboks, it was during his transformation in Texas when the Swoosh signed him.
Early on in SA he’d rock the Air Maestro as a member of David Robinson’s navy. However, the Nike Air Darwin was the first Swoosh sneaker truly tied to him.
Averaging 16.8 boards a night in the Air Darwin, Rodman won his fourth straight rebounding title while in San Antonio standing at only 6’7.
Keep in mind that 7-footers like Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon and Alonzo Mourning were all active during this era and in their primes.
The shoe made Rodman somewhat of a marquee face for Nike as the brand looked to maintain footing with future teammate Michael Jordan on a basketball break in favor of basketball.
Known to be worn by him but not sporting his name, the lack of Rodman tagging became an opportunity for humor in his first Nike commercial for the shoe.
Rodman would eventually score his own signature sneaker — the Air Worm — which stood out in Eastbay but never got much love on court.
Because of this, the Nike Air Darwin and its follow-up the Nike Air Shake Ndestrukt, served as the unofficial signature shoes for Rodman during his rebounding reign in SA and Chicago before he got swooped up by Converse.
To the delight of Rodman fanatics, the real is back.
Returning in OG form in the famed colorway worn by The Worm, pairs of the Nike Air Darwin retro release are available now at Finish Line.