Air Jordan V: Setting The Stage For A Championship Run
Both Michael and the Bulls were well on their way to peak performance in the 89/90 season, and even though they didn’t win the championship, there was a lot of spectacular gameplay.
The AJ5s were again designed by Tinker Hatfield who at this stage had a very long-standing relationship with Nike and Jordan.
While they don’t look hugely different from the previous version, they did feature a lot of new design elements from the ground up.
There were some reports of the soles becoming slippery once they collected dust, but it’s questionable how serious the problem was when you consider that MJ wore these a lot.
Jordan’s aggressive offensive and defensive play were becoming even more noticed, and he simply didn’t give players a second chance. Many commentators compared it to fighter pilots in a dogfight, which is actually a very good description.
This is where apparently Tinker Hatfield got some of the inspiration from for the jagged tooth design on the sides of the soles.
Researching WWII fighter planes, he stumbled upon images of a Mustang fighter plane which had similar prints on the sides.
The Jumpman logo also became a lot more prominent on the top of the tongue where it appeared printed on a reflective background.
The sneakers were also a little bit higher than the 4s to provide some additional ankle support. This was becoming a lot more popular on basketball shoes, mainly to prevent injuries.
MJs 1989/90 Season Highlights
This was the first season under Phil Jackson, and it definitely looked like the team was bonding more. Jordan was still dominating both offence and defence with 33.6 points, 5.1 defensive rebounds and 2.77 steals per game.
What really stood out in his stats were the 3-pointers. In the previous season, his average was 27.6%, while in 89/90 he increased that to 37.6%.
Not only was he an unbelievable threat at closer distances, but defensive players could no longer ignore what he was doing from further away. He really was becoming an all-round machine.
The team didn’t succeed in the Eastern Conference Finals, but it was becoming very clear that they weren’t far away from a championship.
AJ 5s In Hip-Hop Culture
Most of you will be familiar with the comedian and actor Chris Rock. He’s famous for a lot of movies like Grown Ups, The Longest Yard and as a voice-over in the Madagascar animations.
Before the days of comedy DVDs, a lot of comedians released CDs, and on the cover of his 1991 comedy album called Born Suspect, you can see him wearing a pair of AJVs.
Where they also featured a lot is in the TV series The Fresh Prince of Belair with Will Smith. There are many scenes where he’s wearing a pair of 5s in season 1 and 2.
Over the years they have been several retro-releases in many different colours as well. The most recent ones were in 2018, so there’s still a good chance you’ll be able to get your hands on a pair.