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With buzz surrounding Michael Jordan and his signature kicks, Nike looked to corporate architect-turned-footwear-designer Tinker Hatfield to head up the creation of the Air Jordan III.
Hatfield's design of the Air Jordan III was unique in several aspects: - The Air Jordan "wings" logo was no longer present - it was replaced by the newly introduced Jumpman logo on the tongue
The cut of the shoe was a mid, which had never been seen in the basketball shoe world before. The midsole was crafted with highly sculpted polyurethane, which introduced a fresh look. The visible Air unit was introduced to the Air Jordan line, allowing players to literally "walk on air."
Possibly the most distinct aspect of the Air Jordan III was the upgrade in materials. The upper was constructed of rich full-grain tumbled leather and was built to feel broken in - Jordan could wear a brand new pair every game without worrying about stiffness in the shoes.
Hatfield also chose to combine the tumbled leather with faux elephant skin. The elephant print was featured on the toe cap and heel of the kicks. (It also showed up on the bottom of the shoe box.)
The Air Jordan III continued the progression of the footwear industry. Its materials, technology and fresh design - with the assistance of a revolutionary Air Jordan commercial - took the basketball world by storm. Nike linked up with writer/actor/director Spike Lee for a spot starring Michael Jordan and Spike's character Mars Blackmon. MJ and Mars collaborated on several more Air Jordan commercials in the coming years.
Michael averaged 35 points per game on his way to being voted to his fourth straight All-Star game where he won the MVP award and second straight Slam Dunk title. He was also voted the Defensive Player of the Year, won the league scoring title and took home the league MVP trophy - all while wearing the Air Jordan III.
The AJ III is one of the most popular, in-demand Air Jordans in the series and continues to sell out every re-release.