Jordan Brand is going into the archives again to bring back a shoe that MJ debuted at the All-Star game 25 years ago — the Air Jordan 13 “Playoffs, which will release on Saturday for a retail price of $210.
The Air Jordan 13 is notable for several reasons. Firstly, after many years of subtly distancing the annual Air Jordan further and further from the Nike main line, the Air Jordan 13 is the first release as part of Jordan Brand, or as it was known then Brand Jordan. Jordan Brand began with a series of clothing, accessories, team shoes and even sponsoring college basketball teams like St. John’s, Cincinnati and Cal. The Air Jordan 13 commercial even played a bit into this transition.
The Air Jordan 13 was also featured prominently in the Spike Lee movie, “He Got Game,” starring future Jordan Brand athlete Ray Allen and the incomparable Denzel Washington. MJ’s former commercial co-star Lee gives the shoe a star-making turn as Washington’s character looks to pick up a pair of the newest Air Jordans.
Finally, the 13s were the final pair Jordan wore for a full season as a Bull (although he famously broke out the 14s to close out the Bulls’ sixth and final title). The Air Jordan 13 had several colorways throughout the season, including the White/Black colorway (now known as the He Got Games), the White/Red and the Black/Red. There was even a UNC-inspired colorway as well with the Flint Greys.
The pair releasing on Saturday, however, made its debut at the 1998 All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, one of MJ’s favorite places to play. The shoe was inspired by Tinker Hatfield observing Jordan and noting that he moved like a predatory cat. It was another case of Hatfield being right on the money, as he has famously said that MJ asked him how he knew that his friends called him the “Black Cat.” The shoe is famed for its “cat eye” hologram on the back portion of the upper and the outsole resembling a paw. To that end, the SNKRS app notes that “dimpled Black side panels in premium leather bring all the high-fashion feels, while the green cat’s eye emblem and panther paw-inspired outsole honor MJ’s ‘Black Cat’ alter ego.” The midsole features white “pods,” and the outsole is red with white, grey and black accents as well as a Jumpman in a yellow holographic circle.
SNKRS notes that the shoe comes in original specs, which means that Zoom Air and a carbon-fiber spring plate should be present in this release.
The “Playoffs” last released in 2011 and have an average sale price of $426 on StockX, which represents and 88% price premium and carries 9% volatility. The 2023 release has begun appearing on the platform, with an average sale price of $243. That average sale price, coupled with the fact Nike did a shock drop a couple of weeks ago, seems to indicate that stock should be readily available and this may not be a shoe that will set the resale market on fire. But if you’re an MJ fan like me, these are a classic no matter the value.
To that end, I remember seeing these 13s on MJ’s feet in the 1998 All-Star Game and immediately being transfixed. That only intensified once I got my copy of SLAM magazine and went back to the Kicks section and got a better look at these beauties before MJ started wearing them with more regularity in the postseason. I know I’ll be looking to pick up a pair and best of luck if you’re looking to pick up a pair too!
Also, happy birthday to the GOAT, who turned 60 on February 17!
Air Jordan 13 “Playoffs” Release Details
|Air Jordan 13 Playoffs
To see more of this month’s releases, check out our release date calendar.