Thanks to his status as one of Jordan Brand's first signees and a six-team tenure in the league, former NBA veteran Quentin Richardson's stash of Air Jordan PEs is among the most impressive. And to hear him tell it, his prolific run with the brand didn't begin with the boardroom negotiations one might expect from a high-profile shoe deal.
Catching up with HoopsHype, Q Rich broke down how his relationship with Michael Jordan and the brand materialized. According to the 13-year NBA vet, he visited one of MJ's UC-Santa Barbara camps with Darius Miles in 2000, shortly after being drafted by the Clippers.
Richardson says they arrived with few expectations, planning only to get in a few workouts and pick-up games. But when MJ saw the pair were wearing the free gear And1 had been seeding them, he personally stepped in.
"He was sort of talking junk about it like, 'Why do you guys have this trash on?!' We were sitting there laughing and we told him, 'We want to be Nike guys, but this is what we’re being sent! Our agent is working on our deals,'" Richardson said.
Jordan's response was short and sweet. "Don’t even worry about it. Y'all are going to be with me," he told Miles and Richardson. The deal took off quickly from there, and the next day, their agent was in talks with Nike.
Q Rich says that by the following week, both of the young Clippers had shipments of Air Jordan sneakers waiting at their doorsteps. "I’m from Chicago and I grew up watching MJ, so to be handpicked by him and get every single shoe?! That was the illest thing ever," he said.