The Jay Graves Report

Jordan’s Became an Exclusive Brand Because Mike Put in Work Not Hype! “Gucci”

Air-Jordan 1 was a regular shoe when it came out bruh! Boyz weren't runnin' to the store in droves to get it.

Everybody and their baby’s momma’s momma Mr. Jackson, is goin’ crazy about the ridiculous price of the newly unveiled Big Baller Brand ZO2 shoe. LaVar Ball has lost his freakin’ mind even suggestin’ that a boy pay him $495 for a shoe of a dun that hasn’t played a lick of NBA basketball. Not to mention that he’s tellin’ boyz that if you wear a size 14 or larger it’s goin’ to cost you an additional $200. And don’t let me forget that if you pay for them now they won’t ship until November with no refunds. Let me get that foolishness out of the way first.

But what’s really blowin’ my mind are the amount of people ridin’ with this cat tryin’ to compare the Jordan Brand to this foolishness sayin’ that people aren’t wearin’ Jordan’s because of Mike’s ability to play the game. They’re wearin’ them because it’s a status symbol. Sure, it’s the Gucci or Louis Vuitton of sneakers now but it hasn’t always been that way. The only reason Mike had a shoe in the first place was because he was MJ!!! The MJ that was an NCAA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, the College Player of the Year and the NBA’s Rookie of the Year! He was the freakin’ man ALREADY!! Not because his daddy was throwin’ hype in the wind before he had even done anything bruh.

Here’s the argument cats 45 years old and under are tryin’ to make. How do I know? Because I’ve been arguin’ with them for the past 24 hours. Duns older than 45 were old enough to remember the dynamics of what surrounded the Jordan launch!!

Let’s keep it real or all the way 100, whichever comes 1st! First of all, don’t try to use the argument that boyz are buyin’ Jordan’s because of the exclusivity of them and the fact that they are a brand like Gucci or Louis Vuitton. It wasn’t until the early 1990’s that the Jordan Brand became the shoe to wear and that was because by then the brand was established by Jordan’s success as a player.

The freakin’ shoe came out my freshman year of college in 1985 and it didn’t cost but $65! With inflation that’s like $136 today!! LaVar is tryin’ to sting boyz for 4 times that much and his son hasn’t even been drafted yet. So how in the world can you justify hittin’ a boy up for $500 for a shoe and this dun hasn’t accomplished jack squad?

Mike didn’t get a shoe deal until after he’d balled out his first year and even with all of that boyz still weren’t runnin’ to the store buy the Jordan shoe like that. Not in 1985, ’86, ’87, ’88 or ’89!!! How do I know? Because I was in college and everybody was wearin’ Adidas, Filas, Reeboks and Air Nike!! Not Jordan! I can only remember one cat on campus rockin’ a pair of Jordans my sophomore year at Purdue. One!! What was everybody wearin’? Adidas and these new shoes called Filas and Reeboks.

To keep it all the way 100 Adidas was killin’ the game because Run DMC had just signed a deal with them and they had a record out  in ’86 called “My Adidas!” There were a few kids wearin’ the new Jordan’s but it wasn’t a fashion statement because DMC had boyz goin’ crazy with the Adidas joggin’ suits and Bailey’s wide brim gangsta hats and LL Cool J had boyz rockin’ the Kangol. What type of shoes was he wearin’ in the I’m Bad video? Air Nike!! Not the Jordan’s!!!

I pledged Phi Beta Sigma in 1988 and guess what the name of my line was? The Five Men of A.D.I.D.A.S! Why? Because that’s what boyz were wearin’! Nobody was wearin’ Jordan’s like that because the Bulls were HORRIBLE at the time. Yes the shoe sold but it had yet to become this cultural phenomenon.

Mike had to establish the brand by ballin’ out of control first. It wasn’t until Mike started winnin’ titles in 1991 that the Jordan Brand became the “must have” shoe in the hood bruh! How do I know? Because I’m old enough to have seen the transition from the other sneakers to Jordan. I was a grown man before Jordan’s became the “IT” shoe! Grown as in college degree grown. Why? Because Michael Jordan endorsed his own shoe with his ability to play the game at the highest level and win!! But not until then.

So let me get back to my 40 year olds!! What year were you graduatin’ from high school? That would be 1994 right? Jordan was the freakin’ man by then because he’d just won 3 straight NBA titles!!! Because of his endorsement of the shoes from 1991-94 they had become the MUST HAVE shoe!!!

Now it’s the Gucci or Louis Vuitton of sneakers. Duns are wearin’ them because it’s the shoe to wear but it only became the shoe to wear because Mike put in the work to get it to that point.

Think about it playa, if you’re 40 years old you were 9 when the Jordan first came out! You had no idea what was really goin’ on! You don’t remember when there was no such thing as a shoe game. Shoes didn’t come out every month or every three months. They came out when you saw them in the store in 1985. There was no announcement as to when and what shoe was comin’ out. You just went to the store and bought what was on the self.

The Jordan was on the shelf next to the Adidas, Filas, Reebok and the Air Nike. You chose either one of them and kept it movin’ and more often than not you picked up the Adidas, Filas or the Reeboks because they had just hit the market too.

So for duns to act like people are goin’ to run out and buy the Big Baller Brand without the dun puttin’ in an ounce of work is asinine. I’ve got teenage children and they are clownin’ the Big Baller Brand right now. Nobody’s runnin’ out to give that cat $500. Why? Because they can buy two pair of Jordan’s for that price. And Lonzo Ball has to at least endorse his own shoe by ballin’ out BEFORE everybody else endorses it. He’s got to compete with the established brands without and an ounce of backin’ by the major shoe apparel companies. Good Luck with that bruh.

How do you think he’s goin’ to just bum rush an established industry where boyz have put in decades of work to build their brands without the capital to do it. Ain’t gone happen playa.

Jordan isn’t owned by Mike!! Jordan is owned by Nike!! They’ve got all of the bread and you can’t compete with that. They’ve got all of the marketin’ and promotional dollars to stay in control. And until Lonzo becomes something worth watchin’, the shoe isn’t goin’ to take off. And as long as his old man keeps insultin’ folks he’s not goin’ to get the followin’ that he needs to grow the brand.

Did you see what he tweeted the other day? That dun said, “If you can’t afford the ZO2’s, you’re not a Big Baller!” You can’t get folks to ride with you by insultin’ them playboy. He’s outta control.  Stop me when I start lyin’!

Make sure to check out the “Real Playa Podcast” on this very topic!!

Playas Thesaurus: 

1) Spit: verb – to say

2) Ms. Jackson: noun – rap song by OutKast

The G is excluded from the endings of all words because the G is near and dear to my heart because I’m from “The G” which is Gary, Indiana. So I only use the G when I’m talkin’ about “The G!”

The caption under the photo isn’t real but its real talk!