Monday, December 22, 2008

NWSF Bullet: The Real Jordan Legacy

When someone speaks of "Jordan's" legacy, he usually mentions NBA championship rings and slam dunks.

But in this case, I'm not talking about the legacy of Michael Jordan, the basketball player but the legacy of the overpriced sneakers that bear his name.

Tomorrow marks the release of Air Jordan XX3. According to news stories people have been camping out for days in frigid temperatures just to pay $230 for a pair of sneakers, in the midst of a recession.

"Tonight on Channel 23 News we have a report that 200 people were laid off when the local shoe manufacturing plant shut down. And in our next segment, we are going to interview Bob, who is spending the night in this tent next to a homeless man, waiting to be the first in line to get the new Jordans..."

While some people are viewing the release of "Jordan XX3" as a cause for celebration, we must never forget that the tale of Air Jordans is one written in blood.

During the 80's and 90's, you would often see headlines about some poor kid who was killed because he rather had taken a bullet to the head than part with his beloved Jordans.

Even today, kids are being robbed over a sneaker that hasn't even come out yet.

Should the basketball great be held responsible for the children who were robbed or killed just to own a pair of shoes with his jersey number on them?

To some extent, yes. It is a shame that our children have to find a sense of self worth in a pair of shoes but that is the grim reality that we face.

Paying $230 for a pair of sneakers that it cost well under $23 dollars to make in 2008, during a recession doesn't make sense. However, paying $100 for sneakers 20 years ago didn't make sense either.

Could Michael Jordan have promoted a less expensive shoe?

He had the power to do so.

Maybe, a less expensive shoe would have saved at least one kid who literally died to be like Mike.