by Brandon Richard

It could have been Michael Jordan's final All-Star Game. When His Airness took the court in Salt Lake City in 1993, no one could have imagined how the next several months of his life would play out. He finished the season leading the Bulls to a championship three-peat, but a sudden retirement following the death of his father caught the basketball world by surprise. However, his performance on this day foreshadowed his eventual return and the second phase of the Bulls' dynasty.

With teammate Scottie Pippen by his side, Jordan and the East took on a Western team led by Karl Malone and John Stockton in their house. Sound familiar? The eventual rivals were the best players on the court, dueling in one of the more competitive games in NBA All-Star history. Jordan finished with a game-high 30 points, but Malone had 28 points along with Stockton's 15 assists to help the West edge the East 135-132 in overtime. The Jazz teammates shared MVP honors.

The '93 All-Star Game also marked the first and only on-court appearance of the 'Aqua' Air Jordan 8. The alternate colorway aligned with the All-Star logo and, ironically, the scheme later donned by the Jazz. Released earlier in the year, the shoe went on to become widely regarded as the model's best colorway and remains a favorite among sneaker enthusiasts today.

Michael Jordan wearing the 'Aqua' Air Jordan 8 in the 1993 NBA All Star Game
via NBAE