Basketball was always more than just a game to Michael Jordan. It was joy. It was pain. It was everything. At times, it was a place of refuge from life’s trials.
In each contract Michael signed, a “Love of the Game” clause was present. This clause gave him the right to play whenever, wherever and against whomever he pleased — something Michael considered non-negotiable, even as other athletes were regularly contractually prohibited from extracurricular activities that could lead to injury. Naturally, Michael exercised this privilege often. During early trips to Oregon to meet and collaborate with Nike, he would find the nearest park, seek out pickup games and “call next.” It didn’t matter if it was Game 7 or a casual run; when Michael played, he played to win.
The Air Jordan XXXI ‘Fine Print’ is inspired by the ink and paper of the contract and a rendering of Michael’s signature — as it would have appeared on those contracts — is evident on the shoe’s sole.