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.

***

“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

‘Untucked’ — Danny Pudi’s doc on 1977 Marquette

I love 30 for 30s and ‘Untucked’ is the latest must-see in the ESPN series. The 15 minute short is directed by Community actor Danny Pudi and focuses on the groundbreaking untucked jerseys of the 1977 Marquette basketball team that went on to upset its way to the national title under Coach Al McGuire. Pudi, or Abed as we all know him, is a 2001 Marquette alum and talked to the likes of Doc Rivers (another Marquette alum), Scoop Jackson, and the team’s star player Bo Ellis — dare I say, the Kanye West of 1970s basketball.

The Kanye West?! As the documentary reveals, Bo Ellis was a fashion major and Coach McGuire allowed him to design what became the next flashy trademark of Marquette’s stylish attire: the untucked jerseys. The jerseys were ahead of its time, and were outlawed shortly thereafter for a behind-the-scenes reason that rivals thought the stylish appeal gave Marquette an unfair advantage in recruiting. Plus, they brought Marquette some good fortune! They upset North Carolina in the finals in Coach McGuire’s last game. That’s just as ‘G’ as the star player designing the jerseys. Watch and enjoy this fascinating look at 70s basketball and 70s design and fashion below!

http://embed.contagiousmedia.com/embed/sub/watch-the-video-n2fs2n-viw?uri=watch-the-video-n2fs2n-viw&cb=1394918772

A couple subtle presentation notes that warrant mentioning: the sketches as overlays were such a nice touch to emphasize Marquette’s progressive jersey designs. You’ll notice it throughout, but what you may not notice… Danny Pudi’s nod to friend, Community better-half, and rapper Childish Gambino by using the beat for “All The Shine” in the first set of interviews after the intro. Here’s what I envisioned upon picking that up…

troy-barnes-slap

Nike Chicago BHM Panel Discussion Recap

The power of one can inspire millions.

– Diane Latiker (Founder, Kids Off The Block)

At the top of the month, I had the privilege to join Nike Chicago for a private event to kick off Black History Month. It was a panel discussion centered upon sharing past experiences and talking about creating change and uplifting our youth. It’s no secret that Chicago faces many problems of America’s urban cities and the event was a great way to use the inspiration and energy of leaders past toward working together for a brighter future.

The quote above, by founder of Kids Off The Block’s Diane Latiker, is a perfect summation of that. Her positivity was echoed by former SLAM editor-in-chief and current ESPN Chicago columnist Scoop Jackson about the sport that brings many of our youth together: basketball. Scoop even said he “always uses basketball as a metaphor of life”, describing his observations of Chicago as a basketball city that appreciates the game a lot more. I recall him describing how basketball is a hands-on way of learning how to develop friendships, a business mentality, and various social situations, especially in Chicago where everybody plays basketball even if they don’t know how to play basketball. It was really great insight into our culture from someone who has seen it and followed it closely for years.

Joining Diane and Scoop in the discussion was our blogging colleague Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive and Na-Tae’ Thompson, co-founder of True Star Magazine The discussion was the main part of the event that also showcased and gifted the attendees with a pair of shoes from Nike’s new BHM sneaker line that has an emphasis on sport royalty. New colorways of the latest LeBrons, Melos, and KDs are now available, and more info and photos in addition to those above in the gallery can be seen here.

All in all, it was a great event to showcase the new line to compliment an uplifting, and timely discussion. Hopefully there will be more to come for the community sooner than later! Thanks to the staff at Nike Chicago.