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In 2015, Nike’s Jordan Brand debuted a non-OG Air Jordan 1 colorway that took the sneaker world by storm. With just a few minor alterations to an already classic shoe, a new grail was born. On its own, the Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard” wasn’t so different from other Jordan colorways, but a combination of storytelling, popping colors, limited quantities, and quality materials propelled the silhouette into sneaker history as one of the most sought-after Air Jordan 1s of all time.

On August 25, 1985, after his first season with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan participated in an exhibition game in Trieste, Italy between Stefanel Trieste and Juve Caserta. Wearing the black, white, and orange of Trieste and his “Chicago” Air Jordan 1s, Jordan put on a show, pouring in 30 points. But the absolute highlight was a thunderous dunk — a dunk so powerful Jordan shattered the glass backboard.

Thirty years later, Jordan Brand honored that moment with the black, white, and orange “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1. The shoe mimicked the “Black Toe” Jordan 1 colorway, only replacing the red with orange and changing the toe box from white to orange. The insole also featured an image of a shattered backboard.

Thanks to a compelling story and plenty of hype, the $160 “Shattered Backboard” sold out immediately after going on sale on June 27, 2015. Resellers were quick to realize they had a hot commodity on their hands and prices soon escalated up to $500. Four years later, the first “Shattered Backboard” can go for more than $1,000 via resale platforms such as StockX.

According to sources, a store that receives a typical Air Jordan 1 shipment usually gets three to six pairs of each size. With the “Shattered Backboard,” stores lucky enough to get the shoe only received one pair of each size.

All of this meant the Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard 2.0,” aka the “Reverse Shattered Backboard” or “Shattered Backboard Away,” was all but guaranteed to be a hit when it came out on October 8, 2016, also retailing for $160. This version mirrored the Air Jordan 1 “Chicago,” only switching the red parts for orange.

Again, quantities were extremely limited and the quality of the materials seemed better than other Air Jordan 1s. The “Reverse Shattered Backboard” also sold out immediately, with the colorway reselling for approximately $600 on StockX. Oddly, around the time the “Reverse Shattered Backboard” was set for release, pictures appeared online purporting to be of the OG “Chicago” Air Jordan 1 MJ wore in Trieste.

Last year, Jordan Brand stoked the hype again by releasing the women’s “Satin Shattered Backboard.” Even with the upgraded satin materials, this version also retailed for $160, selling out instantly after release on May 5, 2018. Like the previous two, it also resells for several times its original value, going for more than $600 on StockX.

Now, the legend of the “Shattered Backboard” series continues, with Jordan Brand planning to release the “Shattered Backboard 3.0” in October 2019. The newest rendition takes inspiration from the “Bred” Air Jordan 1, replacing the red with orange once again. Given previous events and the new colorway’s apparent high-quality materials, expect this version to sell out quickly.

If you want to know more about Jordans, watch the video below.

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Words by Drew Hammell

New York-based sneaker commentator perpetually stuck in the ’90s.

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