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Ball Don't Lie

Air Jordan fans destroy property, trample shoppers in search of new shoes

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Michael Jordan (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan fans and a whole lot of utter and absolute morons descended upon malls across America early Friday morning to push each other over and destroy property in order to buy some basketball shoes.

The re-release of the Air Jordan 11 can hardly be called a "re-release," because Nike and Jordan Brand attempted (and succeeded) to dish up some needless hype and intrigue by only releasing 100 pairs of the shoes to certain stores. Twenty-five years into this game, both companies knew that the limited supply would result in long lines and potential chaos as shoppers attempted to grab a pair, but Nike and Jordan Brand haven't always been on the cutting edge when it comes to caring about anything more than the bottom line, have they?

Why care, when you can drive people to this, as reported by ABC:

Police had to smash the windows of a car to get two toddlers out after a woman had left them there to go buy the shoes. She was taken into custody when she returned, according to the AP.

The Indianapolis Star was at one particularly ugly scene:

"The door broke and was hanging by a hinge and people were squeezing in anyway," Asia Coates said "People were falling down."

She said one woman was knocked down, got back up and was the second person to buy the shoes.

Andre Mitchell, 28, Indianapolis, said he stepped over downed shoppers. "It wasn't personal, it was business," Mitchell explained.

No, it's not business. You're just a moron.

The shoes in question are the patent leather-trimmed Jordan-endorsed sneakers that MJ wore during the Chicago Bulls' 1995-96 championship run. Those particular shoes are idealized by most because that run included Chicago's record-setting 72-win season, and they're idealized by this writer because that was the season that helped me determine, for sure, what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Fifteen years later, that campaign is the reason I write about basketball for a living.

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So take it from this absolute basketball junkie, anyone that was falling over themselves or anyone else to secure a pair of $180 shoes just because of their stature or because they can be flipped and re-sold for a higher amount is an absolute, unmitigated, moron. Stepping over downed shoppers, as the Star reported Andre Mitchell doing, isn't about something that's "personal." It's ugly and borderline criminal.

And it's doubtful that Michael Jordan, some 20-plus years after reports surfaced of fans of his shoes killing over them, has learned anything in all the years. The NSFW scene depicted here (with the description "This is what Michael Jordan does to us.") is apparently of no interest to him, considering that these are the sorts of reactions that happen every single time he releases or re-releases a pair of shoes in limited supply just to drum up "exclusivity."

It's hard to find anyone coming out of this looking good. Even those that succeeded in buying the kicks without harming anyone or anything -- because they'll be sporting patent leather shoes like some 1950s-era uncle.

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