When you think of the 1996 Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan is probably the first player to come to mind. That's fine, but remember, Jordan couldn't have done it without Scottie Pippen. As legend in his own right, the year marked Pippen's sixth All-Star appearance, fourth NBA championship, second Olympic gold medal and an one iconic sneaker—the Nike Air More Uptempo.
The Nike Air More Uptempo features a bold design, even by today's standards. When asked about the very first time he got to see the sneaker Pippen said, "I was pretty shocked. I thought it was a little overwhelming. But I felt like it was something I could handle on the basketball court because I was very confident in the way that I was playing and the way that my career was going. It was something I was willing to step out in."
While the silhouette has already gotten a lot of attention this year with numerous releases, the Swoosh is gearing up for even more this summer. The upcoming releases are timely as the Air Jordan 11 really never left and Dennis Rodman's Air Shake NDestrukts have also been releasing recently. When comparing his sneakers to his teammates' sneakers, Pippen still places the Air More Uptempo at the top of the list. "I think mine stood out a little more just because of what it said. It was kind of the graffiti basketball shoe — making a statement in real big letters. So it stood on its own."
At the time, Pippen hit the court ever night in a brand new pair of Uptempos, mainly because they were in such high demand. "People would ask for them and charities wanted them," he said. "But a lot of times I would have kids on the street ask me for them, either going in the arena or leaving. So I always had a little clique of kids on the west side that I would take care of."
Despite not saving any of his original Air More Uptempos for himself, the sneaker remains a basketball icon. Check out the full interview here and stay posted to Sole Collector upcoming release dates as new colorways drop over the summer.