By: Ian Wixted
This is what most believe to be Tinker Hatfield and MJ’s path to greatness! The Air Jordan 3 is one of the most popular silhouettes that Tinker designed, and was the first silhouette he designed for a third-year player named Michael Jordan. Once this duo linked up, from then it was on like Kirk and Spock!
Tinker knew he had a challenge when he was tapped to take over the Air Jordan line at Nike. Michael Jordan was beginning to show his greatness, and Tinker wanted to create a silhouette that would match the GOAT’s dominance on the court. The Air Jordan 3 was the first ever basketball sneaker to debut as a mid-top because Tinker thought it would allow Jordan more flexibility while still providing the stability he needed.
The Air Jordan 3 was the first AJ silhouette to sport the now-famous Jumpman logo on the tongue. Being a Tinker Hatfield creation, it was also the first basketball sneaker to have Tinker’s signature visible Nike Air unit. For inspiration of the Air Jordan 3, Tinker looked towards luxury handbags to keep the high fashion blend that started with the Air Jordan 2. Sticking with a high fashion look, Tinker created a pattern that has become synonymous with Jordan, the Elephant Print.
While wearing the Air Jordan 3 during the 1987-88 NBA season, Michael Jordan had a career defining season. He went on to win the regular season MVP, the All-Star Game MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Scoring Champion, Steals Champion and the Dunk Contest Champion.
To many, the Air Jordan 3 is the greatest Air Jordan of all-time, perhaps the greatest sneaker of all-time. This is all in thanks to Nike for allowing an architect to design sneakers. Tinker Hatfield started the line of greatness with the Air Jordan 3 and made the Jumpman logo the beast it has become today. If you’re a fan of the Air Jordan 3 and let’s be honest, who isn’t, rumor has it that these will make their glorious return sometime this year!