There’s an indelible image of Michael Jordan laying on the floor in the Chicago Bulls locker room minutes after winning his fourth NBA championship in 1996. His left arm is hugging the ball tight, his NBA Champions hat lay collapsed on its side, his exhausted tear-soaked face is hidden from the camera’s lens. He had just vanquished the Seattle Supersonics in six games, completing the long three-year journey from basketball icon to minor league outfielder and back again. During that time he lost his father, James Jordan, his hero and confidant. It was James who encouraged him to chase his childhood dream of playing baseball, to conquer something new all over again. Then on Father’s Day, of all days, after years of emotional strife and relentless work, Jordan’s reclamation was complete.

There was nothing left to do in the wake of winning his first championship since his father’s passing but to lay there in tears, clutching the ball, rejoicing—or maybe, finally exhaling—at the completion of another arduous journey. It was a magical moment in a career full of them, and as we know, each moment is accompanied by a legendary sneaker. 63 points in the Boston Garden? There’s the “Chicago” Jordan I. Flying from the free-throw line in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest? Takeoff courtesy of the white and cement Jordan III. Cementing the 72-10 Bulls as one of the the greatest teams in NBA history? Look no further than the black and red Jordan XI.

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