Longtime NBA agent David Falk sent a simple, two-word fax on March 18, 1995. The fax would signal the return of his biggest client and the world’s most prolific athlete to the game of basketball. With just two simple words–“I’m Back”–the rest of the league was effectively put on notice. Michael Jordan was officially returning; what else needed to be said?

By March of 1995, after an ill-fated attempt at baseball stardom as a member of the Birmingham Barons, Jordan was starting to get the itch. He would begin to lurk around the Bulls’ practice facility—a hulking specter if there ever was one—and soon after his announcement, he was back on the court doing what he did best. After a disappointing playoff defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic in 1995, Michael re-dedicated himself to the game and embarked on what would be the greatest basketball season ever. The Chicago Bulls completed the 1995-96 regular season with a colossal 72-10 record and breezed through the playoffs en route to Jordan’s fourth championship. He would secure another MVP award in the process. If his 1995 fax was a mere declaration, the following season’s championship coronation provided a necessary exclamation point.

Jordan amassed all these accomplishments that year with the aid of his newest signature sneaker, the XI. It has since become–arguably–the most popular shoe in the Jordan catalog. Its place in sneaker lore has been lauded over the past two decades, and it remains such a pillar of the Jordan line that the brand is releasing another retro version on December 14. There was even a surprise drop via the Nike SNKRS app earlier this month. The Jordan XI is “back” once again, and that’s where this week’s list begins.

Never forget: No online retailer has the same breadth and depth of selection as Grailed. From OG Jordans to Sean Wotherspoon’s colorful corduroy Air Max 1s (and everything in between), in no particular order, these are our picks for the Rarest Sneakers on Grailed This Week.

Follow Stephen on Twitter here.

Tags: sneakers, rarest-sneakers, jordan-3, air-force-1, concepts, nike-tailwind, supreme, sean-wotherspoon, sb-dunk, nike-sb, nike-dunk, air-max-97, air-max-1, jordan-11, jordan-brand, nike