Sneakers
From the ground up

Let’s take it back to 1996, Michael Jordan’s running mate, Scottie Pippen, played in his sixth All-Star game, won his fourth NBA title and his second Olympic gold medal, all while donning the Nike Air More Uptempo the majority of the way. In a new interview with the Swoosh, Pippen in turn dishes on the ever-popular retro hoops sneaker, as well as NBA playoff style.

“I was pretty shocked. I thought it was a little overwhelming,” the former Chicago Bull great said when remembering seeing the Air More Uptempo for the first time. “But I felt like it was something I could handle on the basketball court because I was very confident in the way that I was playing and the way that my career was going. It was something I was willing to step out in.”

In reference to the ’96 playoffs, Pippen was asked if he was influenced by the popularity of the Air Jordan 11.

“I did wear Jordans in some games,” Scottie stated. “But I have always tried to focus on my brand or the shoe that I was wearing to make sure I stood by it and believed in it.”

He then went on to add regarding that particular Bulls team donning black sneakers and black socks, saying “It was a shake-’em-up kind of message. We knew we looked different. It became a tradition for us, and we believed it was part of our good luck charm as well. It was our suit-and-tie kind of outfit, like we’re ready to get down to business now.”

To this day, Pippen and that ’96 Bulls squad remain one of the most influential basketball teams ever assembled, not to mention the ever-in-demand Air More Uptempo he wore that is equally impactful in its own right. For more on the sneaker and the NBA playoffs, follow on over to Nike.

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