There haven’t been fond memories or reminders of Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan in Salt Lake City since he defeated the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. This explains the negative response to the sale of Jumpman merchandise in the team store. In 1997, head coach Jerry Sloan led Karl Malone and John Stockton to the NBA Finals, but they lost to Jordan’s Bulls in six games. The following year, they experienced an equally unfortunate loss.
Memories of Jordan’s 1998 series-clinching shot and his famous flu game linger painfully in the minds of Jazz fans, especially in the wake of the recently released “The Last Dance” documentary series. That explains the distance between them when they see their team name underneath Jordan’s iconic Jumpman logo.
The Jazz unveiled a new jersey that’s causing widespread confusion among fans. The jersey features Michael Jordan’s Jumpman logo on the front, right above the team’s name, giving the impression that Jordan is dunking on the team’s logo.
Understandably, the jersey release rekindled painful memories of Utah’s two NBA Finals losses to Jordan’s Bulls in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen confirmed days after the jersey was released that the team had stopped selling the jersey due to fan reaction.
Also read: When Michael Jordan lured his Chicago Bulls teammates into making easy bets and bribed him to win
Michael Jordan’s unwavering preference for Jordan shoes also extends to his daughter
Michael Jordan sternly insisted that his daughter Jasmine Jordan only wear Jordan shoes. Unlike other kids who dreamed of owning a pair of Jordan sneakers, Jasmine had different preferences, but her father insisted that she represent his brand.
In an interview with The Undefeated, Jasmine spoke of her father’s fierce determination not to give in to competition. She humorously said that as a child she had a soft spot for Skechers, especially those with lights or wheels.
She would beg her father to let her wear them; he would acquiesce one day, but the next day the shoes would mysteriously disappear into the trash. She said this happens regardless of the type of shoe or who buys it. If it’s under his roof and on his feet, it will end up in the trash.
Her father’s insistence wasn’t just about branding, it was also about safety. There have been cases of children being murdered over sneakers and tracksuits, often the first choice of drug dealers. Michael Jordan was aware of these dangers and wanted to protect his daughter.
Also read: ‘He was like a little brother’: Michael Jordan threatened to leave Bulls if they traded Scottie Pippen after 1996 NBA Finals win