Vintage Gear: Nike Air Jordan “Pickup Game, No Media” T-Shirt

May 8th, 2015 by / 0

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Air Jordan meets streetball in today’s Vintage Gear installment. With the rise of young NBA stars like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing throughout the late 1980s and into the early ’90s, the sport of basketball grew exponentially around the world, inspiring more and more people playing hoops on pretty much any available court. This was when streetball, spurred in large part by the athletic-gear-as-fashion trend, became a cultural phenomenon. And Nike was right there in the middle of the moment with products tuned in to match the often vibrant, anything-goes attitude of the era.

This particular tee from around 1992-93 captures that nexus with a street art sensibility, interpreting how the line between basketball heroes – Jordan, in this case – and the streetball game for the everyday person had blurred. That anyone could play the game Jordan played, all you needed was a basketball and a hoop. Maybe some fly sneakers, too. The shirt even references the love of the game roots for Jordan on the reverse:

Pickup game with my friends, no media!

Truly a gem of a t-shirt from a bygone era. Pickup ball is still played but increasingly on indoor courts, and even then people aren’t really opting in droves to play in their latest and greatest Nike and Air Jordan kicks like they did 25 years ago. (By the way, if you want some fascinating insight on the nadir of modern streetball, check out this ESPN feature from 2014.) Certainly a far cry from a time when streetball was so hot that legendary Air Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield built the Nike Air Raid, as the heel of the shoe states, “for outdoor use only.”

Source: thepriceisright326 via eBay

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Filed under: Air Jordans

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