Michael Jordan talks 32 South State

Earlier this week, Michael Jordan was in town and as part of his trip back to the Chi, he revealed with Jordan Brand the upcoming plans for a flagship Jordan store in the heart of downtown — 32 South State.

He also spent some time talking with the great Scoop Jackson about the store, brand, and business and it’s a pretty revealing look into his consumer-first mindset. Obviously, that’s also pretty amazing to read, especially with the many nods of appreciation for Chicago.

Just look at a couple of the quotables below, read the full piece here, and check out the accompanying ESPN article that breaks down some of the crazy numbers and facts from Jordan’s first deal with Nike.

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“There are two ways you can look at it. We don’t really know how big this can get. We know we have to lay the footwork and let the consumer, let the city, let the community dictate how we go about things. This is no different than the Jordan Brand itself. No one knew how big the Jordan Brand was going to get!”

“We want the consumer — and the city of Chicago and the community — to understand the equity that is put into this. This is something that they created, earned and have been a part of for so many years. So as they see the growth, I want them to feel pride about it too. I want them to understand that, “Hey, we all want to have it, we’re all the originals, we’re Chicago, we get all of the different types of creativity that’s [going to] happen in this building.” It’s going to be unparalleled to any other building because of me playing here in Chicago and me starting here in Chicago.”

– Michael Jordan

Read the full article here

Hebru Brantley x Jordan collab coming soon

Teased earlier today on his Instagram (below), Hebru Brantley hints at his next A-list collab and it’s with none other than the Jumpman.

This coincides with Michael Jordan’s visit to Chicago today (he was testifying in a lawsuit against Dominick’s) where he linked up with his brand on their Snapchat. I hit view and was amazed at some of the behind the scenes they showed… MJ signing what looks like a slab of a basketball court, imprinting his hands, and showing off an architecture style blueprint. Plus, an illustration of many iconic Jordan moments. Be sure to check that out.

UPDATE: Turns out the snaps were the announcement of the Jordan flagship store coming to 32 S. State St. — Station 23. Love the presentation. Can’t wait to visit.

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Stay Tuned!

A photo posted by Hebru Brantley (@hebrubrantley) on

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MJ on LeBron in 1-on-1: “No question.”

First off, ❤ Photoshop.

Second, Michael Jordan says in the video that he knows ESPN was going to run with it, but he still answered the question in classic MJ fashion. (And yes, they’re running with it.)

Who would win a game of 1-on-1: MJ in his prime or LeBron James?

That answer, plus a lot more, is in 6 minutes of must-see video below as MJ answered a variety of good questions from his campers last week — I believe the same camp where he and Jimmy Butler competed in a shooting contest.

Candid MJ is great. He says the all-time Bulls “would’ve killed” the All-Time Lakers and that Shaq is just talking. He also respects Kobe, “I still love him like a brother,” and has another humorous line on top of that (that I won’t spoil.)

The only downside to the interview: MJ is asked who his favorite band or artist is and comes up with… Robin Thicke?! I wish someone asked him about the Drake line on top of WHAT ARE THOOOSEEE?!

Anyway, enough talk. I’ll let MJ take it from here…

BONUS: In my Twitter feed, I caught another candid MJ interview… from 1992. With Playboy. (SFW) If you’re here watching this above, do yourself a favor and click this. Just as engaging and entertaining.

UNRELATED: The Drew League Finals took place tonight with James Harden leading LAUNFD over DeMar DeRozan & Nick Young’s M.H.P. squad. The play-by-play sounds pretty awesome. Look for the video here tomorrow or possibly later tonight.

Nike Air Jordan 1 High “Chicago”

This Saturday’s big Air Jordan release is none other than the Retro I — the “Chicago” colorway. What makes these special is that these retro versions will not have the famous Jumpman logo that the same retros of last year had, and these will have the Nike Air logo on the tongue — small details that angered sneakerheads before. So these “Chicago” versions of the 1s are the same ones that Jordan wore 30 years ago and also called “ugly” for the record on Letterman, as covered last week. *shrugs* As a Chicagoan til Chicago ends, I’ll be refreshing my computer Saturday morning.

As an added nice touch, the Chicagos will be unlaced, an homage to how they were first presented to MJ himself in this iconic photo.

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#TBT Letterman Hip Hop Performances

Last night, I got home late after playin‘ basketball, then watched some basketball (thanks, Inside the NBA), then realized it’s David Letterman‘s last show!

I know there’s a great portion of the country that’s been swept up in Letterman’s much-deserved farewell tour over the last 6 weeks. I don’t fall into that category, not that I’m not a fan of Dave. I enjoy his show whenever I catch a cool celebrity or musician on there but after watching his finale show last night, I realized: Wow, he’s been such a staple for late night television, has paved the way and created new templates, and has had the biggest stars in show biz, music, and entertainment next to him on the desk at one point or another. It’s simply astounding.

After Dave signed off the air, I went down the #ThanksDave wormhole to see some cool, in the moment tributes from the likes of Seth Rogen (the coolest letter by Dave here), Jessica Alba (so cute), Big Boi, and Ben Schwartz to name a few… then landed on Complex’s Top 25 Hip Hop Performances on Letterman listicle.

My nostalgic side appreciated the next 45 minutes or so as I combed through their list and YouTube to relive or watch for the first time some of my favorites. I figured you may enjoy some of my picks, with their list having even more throwback gems. It’s only right it’s #TBT too so without further ado…

Kanye West “All Falls Down” f/ Syleena Johnson, Miri Ben Ari, and (oh yeah) John Legend (Feb. 2004)

Teased in the lead photo above, it’s College Dropout Kanye West performing one of his all-time best songs “All Falls Down” with the utmost, precise delivery and bringing the song to a new level and audience on the heels of his debut album release. If the performance wasn’t a sign to come (and oh yeah, that’s JOHN LEGEND on the piano), then Kanye posing it out at the end is definitely a sign of things to come. Ha!

One of the best things about all of these videos is Letterman’s boisterous reactions to the performances as he goes to greet the artists. Never not fun.

Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and Domo Genesis “Rusty” (April 2013)

The most current of the performances here and the one Complex led off with that reeled me in too. I had a moment of… was this the performance where Tyler took a selfie with Letterman? (Yup!) Still fantastic.

Lupe Fiasco “Daydreamin” f/ Jill Scott (Nov. 2006)

I remember this one vividly because in 2006 I was a college freshman still trying to make new friends at the University of Minnesota and one of my lead topics of conversation was: have you heard of this rapper Lupe Fiasco?!

Lupe on Letterman?! This felt big-time for me as a fan so you know I was tellin’ new friends and old friends back home alike to tune in or watch the video below. Plus, it was one of the first few experiences seeing a Lupe performance and it’s his presence, energy, and overall coolness like that below that contributed to me becoming the big fan I am of Lupe’s still today. Jill Scott at the end too, whoo!

OutKast “Roses” (May, 2004)

I don’t remember watching this one live and it was before the blogs so I didn’t post it either. During my run last night, I watched this “Roses” performance for the first time live and loved how they re-created the classic 50’s style music video. All the way down to “Caroline”, Fonzworth Bentley and the acted-out brawl at the end. Best part wasn’t even by Dre or Big Boi, it was Dave: “Is everyone alright over there?”

Kanye West “Love Lockdown” (Nov. 2008)

The 808s days brought Kanye back to Letterman where he performed “Love Lockdown”. I didn’t like the song too much at the time, but always loved the live performances of it. Kanye outdid himself on Letterman by really being one of the only artists to transform the stage into his own, which he’s since done on SNL, tour, wherever to go outside the box. For this one: 2 stories of tribal drummers.

Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness” f/ RATATAT (Sept., 2009)

Kid Cudi’s all-out Letterman debut came just prior to the release of his first album, Man on the Moon: End of Day. A la Lupe above, this was also a big moment for me as I pushed Kid Cudi to casual fans who hadn’t yet heard of him or only knew “Day N Nite”. Reliving this one, I have an even greater appreciation for this string section, that especially shined at the end.

Michael Jordan, 23 years old, interview with Letterman (May, 1986)

I know, I know, not a performance. But in my YouTubing, I found this classic that I didn’t know existed because I wasn’t even born yet. Shortly after MJ’s 63 point game in the Boston Garden, after the Bulls were eliminated in the 1986 Playoffs, and at the genesis of Jordan’s takeover as a global icon and endorser. MJ even genuinely calls his Jordan I ugly (I think). Hah! Just a crazy throwback in the midst of all these crazy throwbacks.

Lupe Fiasco “Superstar” f/ Matthew Santos (Jan, 2008)

Lupe on Letterman again incited some of the same feelings above, this time with Matthew Santos getting the look alongside Lupe on “Superstar”. “American Terrorist” was one of my favorite tracks on Food & Liquor so to see Santos on the big stage for Lupe’s biggest hit at the time (and 1 of his 3 biggest to date) was a big deal too. Unfortunately, the Letterman greetings are cut off, but not before Lupe got in “No New World Order” at the very end.

Keri Hilson f/ Kanye West “Knock You Down” (May, 2009)

This one I was surprised to see. For one, I forgot just how big the “Knock You Down” single was (Keri Hilson was always a guilty pleasure artist of mine, too). And secondly, Kanye West making the guest appearance (and getting a little handsy at the end.) I just dug that Kanye co-signed Keri on another level with his appearance here and the performance overall was a great one. Also great: Dave’s greeting to Kanye.

Eminem & Jay Z “Renegade” (June, 2010)

Gotta end on this. I remember it being a truly big hip hop moment. It was the talk of the blogs, the talk of friends, the talk of everyone as Eminem and Jay Z performed for the first time together before their mini-Stadium tour soon after in 2010. It was cool that they performed “Renegade” since it’s long been the conclusion that Eminem killed Jay Z on his own song (true, true) and it’s really one of Eminem’s best overall efforts in his career. Oh, and it was cool that they were performing on the freaking rooftop! That made it feel even larger to me. I could keep going, but again, Complex has even more classic performances, shouts to them.

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However, I couldn’t let this get away without a few highlights from the finale. My favorite was the star-studded Top 10 Things I’ve Always Wanted to say to Dave. Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Bill Murray win it for me, but they’re all so, so good.

This is how Letterman signed off… a glorious photo montage that drives home what I said at the top about how I realized just how extraordinary a run he had. You’ll enjoy a lot of these photos, no matter who you are.

And finally, I’ll end on this… ICYMI, Norm MacDonald’s standup last Friday night was equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. He genuinely breaks down and tells Dave he loves him at the very end and I couldn’t help but feel his emotions through the moment as well. Great, great stuff. Norm easily in my top 5 of favorite comedians.

Alas, hope you enjoyed the last half hour or so with all of these videos, and many more throughout the years thanks to David Letterman. #ThanksDave!

Hare Jordan Collection

Gotta show some dap to the Jumpman’s newest collection that, if you’re perhaps a casual sneakerhead like myself, you’re seeing for the first time.

The timing is perfect as the “Hare” Jordan Retro 7 drops tomorrow Saturday May 16th and will be one of the most anticipated Jordan sneaker releases of 2015. The gallery above not only shows the official, detailed images but I also pulled out some of my favorites of the extensive #HareJordan collection. Oh yeah, apparel and nostalgia galore.

Few more things:

– How do you get one of those Bugs Wings posters? Need that in my future penthouse suite.

– My first pickup from the collection actually arrived today. Had to grab somethin’ new for tank season and this is instantly one of my favorite recent purchases.

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Find me wearing this in Vegas in 2 weeks…

– How great is the new 30 second remake with Bugs? A: GREAT.

Gatorade “We Love Sweat”

Not all sweat is created equal…

And with Michael Jordan saying it, I believe it. Ok, idolization aside, Gatorade does spin sweat pretty well here. You’ll see why after this MJ-narrated new spot “We Love Sweat” above. Serena Williams and Usain Bolt are among the athletes shown, but some throwback footage of MJ practicing would have been a nice touch here too. (The shot of all those tennis balls on the other side of the court though was the best.)

From a branding perspective too, I love that “Keep Sweating.” mantra at the end. Hey, we can all relate to that — athletics or not, right? #HardWork