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Every Jordan Brand Signature Shoe Deal In NBA History: From Eddie Jones And Vin Baker To Zion Williamson And Luka Doncic

Every Jordan Brand Signature Shoe Deal In NBA History: From Eddie Jones And Vin Baker To Zion Williamson And Luka Doncic

The Jumpman logo is one of the most infamous logos in the world of sports. It represents the Air Jordan Brand, the apparel and sneaker brand that Nike started for Michael Jordan. MJ revolutionized the sneaker market for athletes, with his relationship as a Nike athlete catapulting his shoes into the stratosphere of some of the greatest shoes ever made.

Jordan Brand is a subsidiary of Nike, but operates independently, with the athletes that they sign being classified as Jordan athletes and not Nike athletes. Currently, Jordan Brand has 17 players as sponsored athletes. These include the likes of Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, Bam Adebayo, and Russell Westbrook, among others.

While many become sponsored athletes, not everyone gets the honor of having a signature shoe produced for them. Only 8 players signed to the brand have ever received a signature shoe, and we are looking at every single one of them.

A ninth signature shoe through Jayson Tatum has been confirmed by him, but no further details have been revealed. Tatum will become the 9th player to receive a signature shoe from Jordan.

1. Eddie Jones And Vin Baker - 1997

Signature shoes: Jumpman Pro Quick (Jones) and Jumpman Pro Strong (Baker)

After a spin-off Jordan Brand was created by Nike in the late-90s, they had to very carefully pick the stars they choose to endorse. MJ was still an active player. The first line-up of athletes, nicknamed 'Team Jordan' were Ray Allen and Vin Baker of the Milwaukee Bucks, Derek Anderson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Finley of the Dallas Mavericks, and Eddie Jones of the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Baker and Jones would be the first to receive signature shoes released n 1998. Eddie Jones received the Jumpman Pro Quick model to mirror his playing style, while the bruising Vin Baker received the Jumpman Pro Strong model. Other athletes were used to keep 'Jordan' shoes relevant beyond MJ's playing career, but Baker and Jones got their own shoes, with the Pro Quick being later renamed the 'Swift' and the Pro Strong becoming 'Vindicate'.

2. Carmelo Anthony - 2003

Signature shoes: Jordan Melo 1.5

Jordan continued sponsoring athletes in the last few years MJ spent in the league, but nobody outside Baker and Jones got a signature shoe. However, with MJ retiring in 2003, the brand needed to have a generational star get the next shoe and show that Jordan Brand is now backing one of the next young stars of the league. The 2003 Draft offered them plenty of choices.

LeBron James was the person recruited by everyone, including Michael personally, but he chose to sign with Nike. The next big-name star was NCAA Champion Carmelo Anthony, who ultimately did sign with the brand and get his signature shoe in 2004. Melo is still signed with the brand but hasn't received a signature shoe since 2017, with Air Melo M13 being the final signature line produced. 

3. Chris Paul - 2006

Signature shoes: Jordan CP3 

Chris Paul was someone that Michael Jordan personally had his eye on for a long time. Even when CP3 was a high-schooler, he had a reputation amongst pro players for being unbelievably crafty. Considering Paul is from North Carolina, MJ naturally heard of the youngster. Despite that, CP3 decided to sign with Nike when he was drafted in 2005. However, he switched over to Jordan Brand as a sophomore, fresh off winning Rookie of the Year.

CP3 received his first signature shoe in 2008, after proving his worth on the court as an MVP-level point guard. As we know today, Paul is still active on the court and is the starting point guard on a Phoenix Suns team that has the best regular-season record this season. Unlike Melo, CP3 still has his signature line and it's on its 13th iteration. 

4. Dwyane Wade - 2009

Signature shoes: Jordan Fly Wade 

Dwyane Wade was another 2003 draftee to receive his own signature shoe with Jordan Brand. However, the reason it happened so many years after Melo's was because Wade hadn't signed with Jordan. Initially, Wade joined fellow draftmate Chris Bosh and signed with Converse. However, he eventually left them after Nike bought the company and offered Wade a contract with Jordan Brand. He was a Chicago-born shooting guard that idolized and resembled the play of Jordan, so he was a perfect fit. He had also become a champion already.

Wade received his signature shoe, the Jordan Fly Wade in 2011 and it ran for just two seasons. The reason for the line's third iteration never making it to market was because Wade defected to a Chinese brand 'Li Ning', where he earned an equity stake. Like Jordan built his own empire and brand, Wade dreamt of doing the same and would leave the brand without his third shoe ever being available for mass consumption. 

5. Russell Westbrook - 2013

Signature shoes: Jordan Why Not Zer0.1

Jordan Brand has very carefully chosen the athletes that receive signature shoe lines, with the brevity of the list shown here. However, some players are perfect fits for the brand, and not giving them a signature shoe would be a misstep. That is where Russell Westbrook comes into the picture. Jordan signed Westbrook in 2013, not long after his Oklahoma City Thunder made it to the NBA Finals with him as the starting PG. Westbrook's playstyle and relentless motor drew comparisons with MJ, so the partnership was natural.

However, it took a while for Westbrook to get his own signature shoe. Only after Westbrook won MVP and started breaking triple-double records did he receive a signature shoe, the 'Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 in 2018. Before they even gave him the shoe, they announced it with a 10-year contract that also committed to creating clothing and off-court shoes. The agreement will run into 2025-26, with Russ locked in as one of the primary modern faces of the brand.  

6. Zion Williamson - 2019

Signature shoes: Jordan Zion 1

The sport needs to keep evolving, so when Zion Williamson was coming into the NBA in 2019, a bidding war took place with all major shoe companies vying for his signature. Ultimately, Zion picked Jordan for a sum of over $75 million. Naturally, they weren't going to stall on providing a signature shoe for him, announcing those plans almost instantly. Despite having an injury-riddled rookie season, Zion blossomed into an All-Star as a sophomore, which led to the debut of the Jordan Zion 1. 

Zion sat out the entirety of the 2021-22 season, meaning his signature shoes haven't received much time in front of the millions that tune in to watch him play. Despite that, there are plans for a Jordan Zion 2 to be released in 2022, but there is no confirmation on when it will be announced. Considering the investment Jordan put into Zion, they will be looking to reap the results of having first dibs on a player whose commercial impact was supposed to replicate that of LeBron James. 

7. Luka Doncic - 2019

Signature shoes: Jordan Luka 1

Luka Doncic came into the NBA as an international sensation and was in possession of a shoe contract with Nike that had existed for a few years. Doncic is the first non-American player to have been given the signature shoe treatment by Jordan, with his shoes being the latest new signature line coming out of the brand. Jordan couldn't sign Luka in 2018 as he was still under contract with Nike. Despite LeBron James trying to get Luka to stay with Nike and help him unveil his 'Team LeBron' subsidiary, Doncic went into business with Jordan, who have announced his signature shoe after two years of anticipation.

Doncic provides internationally what Zion can provide in America, so these two young pillars are tremendous assets for Jordan Brand. Doncic's first shoe is expected to release in 2022, but only pictures of the same have been shared so far. With Doncic continually excelling on the court, MJ may have found the next generational star in basketball under his umbrella. 

Jordan Brand: Future Looks Bright

Jordan Brand has shown incredible hesitancy while giving players signature shoe lines. At first, it was to ensure that the brand as a whole stays relevant off the name of the still-active Michael Jordan. However, their focus on signing the next generation of stars while they are still young has been paying off. Carmelo has been with the brand for his entire career, even though his shoe line was discontinued in 2017. 

Dwyane Wade leaving the brand after they marketed him heavily and have him a shoe line made them hesitant to give more deals out unless it was someone like Russell Westbrook, who signed a 10-year contract. Williamson and Doncic have looked like generational stars, so trying to build for the future with them will also be important for the brand.

With their current lineup of stars and the three active players drafted since 2016 having signature shoes along with the actual Air Jordan shoes and the brands' partnerships across the world in other sports, the growth is looking positive. The iconic 'Jumpman' logo will continue dominating the NBA court adorning the best players of this generation.