The Jordan 9 was first released in 1993, around the time Mike left the game of basketball. He surprised the world by joining the minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox. Many fans believed this was it for Jordan’s basketball career, therefore the Jordan and Nike sneaker deal would cease to continue. This kind of speculation seemed to only encourage Tinker Hatfield to continue to design new Jordans as if he never retired. It was his passion that kept the revolution alive. So, when the Jordan 9 came out, MJ never wore these on the court. Even without His Airness’ on-floor endorsement, the sneaker was even more adored and wanted by other athletes affiliated with the Jordan Brand.