words & images // Nick DePaula:
Times are different. These days, Retro Basketball launches have been flowing to retail in more muted tones, less heavy on original team colorways once seen on the NBA hardwood and more suited for today’s understated off-court styles.
As Nike has plans to re-release the Air Max Uptempo 3 yet again, with pairs dropping this week in Europe and soon also headed stateside, what better time to look back on an original size 16 pair of Scottie Pippen’s original player exclusives.
Along with the much-forgotten Air Pure Uptempo and the iconic Air Jordan XII, Pippen also wore this Air Max Uptempo 3 during the second half of the 1997 season, just before switching over to his debut signature shoe, the Air Pippen 1, which featured the same outsole.
Styled in classic Bulls hues of white, red and black, the bejeweled midsole of the ’97 edition of the Uptempo series still stands out most all these years later, sitting atop a full-length visible Air Max unit. Red accents can be found throughout Pip’s pair, along the flowing nubuck collar accent, top two eyelets and “AIR” border stitching.
Check out Scottie Pippen’s size 16 original pair — there’s a very, very faded autograph on each toe — and let us know what other colorways of the Air Max Uptempo 3 you’d like to see release as a Retro.