Nice Kicks: Speaking of passing the torch, you joined Jordan Brand around the same time Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls. Did you look at that as sort of a “passing the torch” moment in regards to the brand?
Ray Allen: Oh, most definitely. When he selected me and the other players that initially formed the Jordan Brand team, he tried to find guys that filled his likeness – guys that were highly competitive and professional. He always wanted players to wear his shoe that could play, first and foremost, and embodied what he stood for.Jordan Brand Team
Nice Kicks: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen from when the Jordan Brand team first started with you, Michael Finley and Eddie Jones, to now with Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade?
Ray Allen: It was a boutique brand at the time, but now it competes with every shoe company and every apparel company out there. It’s grown drastically. A lot of people want to wear Jordan Brand in competition over anything else. The Jumpman logo has transcended basketball, and people wear it in so many different sports. That’s the biggest change. Golf is one of them. Jordan is not really doing golf shoes per say, but Michael having a big play in golf sort of transcends that sport as well.?They’ve made great golfing shoes for me over the years, even in some pretty funky styles and colors. He’s in baseball and football also, and the number of athletes wearing his shoes has grown significantly since when I first joined the roster. I think, right now, I stand as the longest tenured Jordan Brand guy.
Nice Kicks: Which Air Jordan model is most important to you?
Ray Allen: It would have to be the Air Jordan 5 because that is what Michael wore during the times I really watched him growing up. That was when I really studied the way MJ played, and I remember everybody wearing his shoes at that time. He transcended basketball for me, and that’s the shoe I remember him playing in the most.Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan 5
Nice Kicks: What was the first pair of Air Jordans you owned and how many pairs of Jordans do you have now?
Ray Allen: The Air Jordan 13 was the first pair of Jordans I owned. I pretty much have every pair of Air Jordans, and I have so many different colors of every model. I have a lot in my closet that no one has seen, but I’ll keep that under wraps. It’s mostly casual and lifestyle stuff though. I wear some of my Jordans consistently when I get them because they have a short shelf life, but I’ve received quite a bit over the years. I come from a guy who couldn’t afford any to having all of them, and they always keep something interesting on my feet.Air Jordan 13 “He Got Game”