Jordan Memories: Legend of the Shattered Backboard

In 2015, Nike debuted the ‘Shattered Backboard’ Air Jordan 1, simultaneously spawning one of the most coveted colour combinations in all of Jordan Brand history. The zesty release saw the tried-and-tested ‘Black Toe’ colourway reworked, replacing the OG’s staple blood-red colouring with juicy orange pigmentation, along with a few extra special additions.

Shattered Backboard - 2015

In recent years, we’ve seen Nike officially revisit the ‘Shattered Backboard’ AJ1 on two other occasions: a ‘Chicago’-inspired ‘Away’ release, as well as a rejuvenated ‘Satin’ interpretation of the original made just for the ladies. While the ‘Shattered Backboard’ colourway has become a standout staple of Air Jordan 1 releases, you might be wondering exactly where the colourway comes from and what’s the deal with the name. Ahead of the release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Shattered Backboard 3.0’, we’ve decided to wind back the clock and look at the origins of this legendary colourway.

Made in Italy

We all know that Michael Jordan’s professional career began with the Chicago Bulls in 1984, but the raging Bulls were far from the only team the GOAT would come to represent. While Jordan would come to play for Team USA, the Washington Wizards and even the fictional Tune Squad later in his playing career, one of MJ’s first non-Bulls outings would see him travel to the Italian town of Trieste for a Nike-sponsored exhibition game.

Taking place on August 25, 1985, the match saw Jordan join the Italian Liga A team Stefanel Trieste as they took on league rivals Snaidero Caserta. Fresh off his first year with the Bulls – a season that saw him take out NBA Rookie of the Year honours – Jordan well and truly used the opportunity to prove why he would soon go down in history as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Despite the playful nature of the game, Jordan, clad in Trieste’s signature orange and black, would rack up an impressive 30 points in a display of power and technique. There was, however, one single moment that topped all others and came to define Jordan’s superstar status for years to come: the ‘Shattered Backboard’.

Making History

Driving forward to the ring in a pair of ‘Chicago’ AJ1s, Jordan leapt off the ground just inside the paint and soared high over a hapless defender to slam-dunk the ball with his right hand. As he swung forward off the ring, the toughened glass backboard shattered, raining shards of glass down upon his awe-struck opponents.

The jaw-dropping dunk represents one of the most impressive in all of Jordan’s star-studded career and defined his explosive playing style for years to come. Nike gave this moment its proper recognition in 2015 with the release of the Air Jordan 1 High ‘Shattered Backboard’, which drew inspiration from the iconic orange and black Stefanel Trieste uniforms. Each SBB release has became highly desired for their striking colouring and premium tumbled uppers.

This weekend, the latest instalment in the ‘Shattered Backboard’ saga arrives at Foot District with the release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Shattered Backboard 3.0’. Following on from earlier twists on the classic ‘Black Toe’ and ‘Chicago’ colourways, this newest iteration brings the legendary ‘Bred’ AJ1 into the ‘Shattered Backboard’ fold.

Shattered Backboard - 2019

To go in the draw to purchase this eagerly anticipated release, make sure you enter our online raffle ASAP. Pairs are available in men’s and GS sizes, to suit feet both big and small, so get your entry in and good luck