It’s Gotta Be The Shoes!

by Kenny Eller on January 4, 2011

I know the feeling a woman has when a new bag comes out.  I know the feeling when she walks in the department store “just to look” and must have that dress.

I know the feeling a man has when that new car he’s been reading about for months comes out.   I know the feeling when he walks into the Apple store “just to look” and must have that iPad.

I know the feeling a boy has when a certain pair of “special” basketball shoes are released.   I know how he feels as he approaches the shoe store, heart rate increasing, just hoping that they still have his size.

I know all of this because I was that boy.

Air Jordans

I got my first pair of Air Jordans in 1991.   I was 13 years old.

I was in the infantile stages of my basketball life, but those shoes made me feel like a pro!

In those days, I had two real opportunities each year to capture a pair of my very own Jordans.   Those being before the school year began and Christmas time.  Jordans were then and still are today, expensive athletic shoes.   I’m almost positive that the first +$100 pair of shoes my parents ever bought, were those Air Jordans in ’91.

From then until I was capable of buying my own, J’s were #1 on my wish list each and every year.

The Air Jordan craze was in full effect and I was a happy and thankful participant!

Mars, Mike and Nike (“It’s Gotta Be The Shoes!”)

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Nike released a superb marketing campaign in 1988.   The spots were directed by Spike Lee, who also starred in the commercials as Mars Blackmon.   Mars was a Jordan fan and a guy just trying to figure out why Michael Jordan was so good.   In the initial television spot, following a series of questions on what made Mike the best, Mars surmised, “It’s gotta be the shoes!”

It was brilliant!

“It’s Gotta Be the Shoes,”captured every dreamer in America and beyond.   Anyone wanting to be anything in the game of basketball wanted those shoes.  People who didn’t even play ball wanted those shoes.

Thought provoking for sure.  Maybe it was the shoes.  Could it be the shoes?  Could Air Jordans make me a better player?   I wanna be like Mike.  I want Air Jordans too!

Whenever I put on a pair of Jordans then, I would always feel I was capable of doing something I wouldn’t be able to do in another “normal” pair of shoes.  Maybe my fadeaway was a bit better.   Perhaps I got a little bit higher on my jump shot or when I grabbed a rebound.

Air Jordans helped me to dream!

The Value of a Dream (Why Jordans MAY Be Underpriced)

What is the price tag for a breath of hope into a child’s wildest dream?   How much should one charge if they can drive someone to dream greater and bigger than they would do on their own?

Jordans are pricey, but in the big scheme of things really a great value.

A great value when you consider that motivational speakers charge thousands of dollars to adults to do the same.   A great value when people everywhere charge for “how to get rich” or “how to do something better” books, instructional videos, and on and on and on.

Everyone is selling something and all capitalizing on the same thing…a person’s want to be more.

So if +$100 pair of shoes can do that.  If they can make someone young or old think they can jump higher or play better, as they did for me as a youth.  If they can help someone to imagine life’s possibilities, I say that’s a good deal.  After all, if you can’t envision it, you can’t achieve it.

Still Kicking The J’s

Twenty years later, I’m still sporting Jordans.  While I know they don’t make me jump higher or help me make more shots, they do still help me to dream.

me vs. MJ…the journey and the dream are still very much alive!

Thanks for following along!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

dani January 4, 2011 at 8:21 am

Love this! I know that feeling a little too well myself! Haha :) Great post! So…. which are your fav J’s??


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

Haha, that’s funny :-). Thanks for the comment!

As fas as my favorite pair…ummm…I like them alllllll!!!! 😉


Charissa Eller January 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

I think my jordan’s make me play better:-)


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I’m sure they do! :-)


Karol Gajda January 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

LA Gear Pumps all the way. :)

I always wanted a pair of Jordan’s growing up, but when I was young my Parents wouldn’t buy them and when I could afford them myself I didn’t play basketball enough. That said, Air Jordan III is where it was at. :)

Interesting point regarding the shoes/dream selling and the motivational speaker/dream selling.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm

LA Gear Pumps…man, bringing back the sneaker wars days. :-) I remember when new balance was trying to get in the basketball shoe game. Didn’t go so well. :-)

I had real thoughts about shipping you a pair of 3’s today, but was afraid it would ruin your flow when it comes to packing. I still think the next time you decide to play, it should be in a pair of Jordans. Seriously.

As far as the Jordan III’s go, I just wore out a pair of the retros of that style. Pimpin shoes no doubt!

It is a interesting point isn’t! 😀 Thanks!


dani January 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Air Jordan XI!!!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Oh man, I loved the XIs too!!! Another of my favorites! Like I said, I have too many to just name one! Great memories in the XIs though…great memories!


Nate January 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm

As a recovered Jordan sneaker addict, I totally understand what you mean! I went into Foot Locker the other day with a friend and it was actually kind of hard to be there haha. The 13’s were there teasing me. The $160 price tag scared me a bit though. Great post man!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Haha, it’s tough isn’t it! I try to stay away from the shoe stores! See what the girls don’t realize is, us guys were into fashion way before they were, haha! Keep that on the DL though! 😉

Yeah, the tag is high no doubt, but man, nothing like slipping on a pair of Jordans and lighting some fools up! Haha! 😀

Thanks for the support Nate!


Bob Eller January 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

I had the Pump’s, the J’s, the Grant Hill Fila’s (haha) and more, but my favorites of all-time were the Pippen Foamposites. They recently rereleased them. Check out the 10′ Pippen Foamposites in Cough Drop. Woah!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

Yeah, I remember those shoes…but weren’t they actually the Penny’s…as in Anfernee Hardaway???

People forget how gifted Penny was as a player. The guy had a huge deal with Nike, tons of commercials, lil Penny, etc.


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