Jordan event at the Dunlevy Milbank Center, Harlem

Jordan brand newcomer Zion Williamson took to the courts at the Dunlevy Milbank Center in Harlem to unveil the Air Jordan 34; his first for the brand since signing a reported 7-year $75 million deal back in late July. The New Orleans Pelican’s rookie and 1st overall pick Zion was introduced to the court by fellow Jordan brand athletes. Asia Durr and Kia Nurse of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Where he figuratively brought down the house while showing off his debut product for the Jumpman. By slamming down several impressive dunks. Including a left-handed windmill and a between-the-legs manoeuvre for the expectant and excited crowd. That included Pee Wee Kirkland and Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin.

Air Jordan 34’s Jordan Eclipse Plate

The pre-show to Zion’s appearance consisted of “Baby Dunk” games. Where teen ballplayers showed off their considerable skill throwing down dunks for the crowd’s delight in a slightly reduced height bucket. Their appearance only intensified the atmosphere once Zion entered the court. While throughout all the action some of the proprietary features of the new Air Jordan 34 silhouette were put on a show for all to see. Notably, the shoe introduces what the brand calls the “Jordan Eclipse Plate.” A new technology that is meant to help provide “optimal explosion off the foot.” While the model also featured Zoom Air units at the forefoot and heel. A herringbone traction outsole and a midfoot reinforcer.

“The Eclipse Plate takes the inherent values of the propulsion Flight Plate, a technology that is well-loved by Jordan athletes, and helps reduce the overall stiffness and strips down the weight,”

Jordan Brand designer Tate Kuerbis

The next GOAT for the Jumpman?

Kuerbis was also the creative mind behind Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan 18. Which is noteworthy as the last edition released during his career before he retired. With the brand perhaps engaging some subtle symmetry. By allowing Tate Kuerbis to sign off the GOATs career and welcome in Zion. Who is highly regarded as having the potential to be one day mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan. The event in Harlem spoke to the court purists, something the brand want to highlight with this new design. “One of the things I love about this shoe is that it doesn’t remind you of any Jordan from the past,” said Kuerbis. “But it does remind you of the purest form of a basketball shoe.”

The Air Jordan 34 is slated to release September 25. Only time will tell how successful Zion Williamson is going to be both on and off of the court. I just want to know whether or not Nike is holding Zion to the £844 million he cost them when he blew out his Nike PG 2.5s playing for Duke…I haven’t done the maths, but I’m guessing that’s quite a few pairs of Air Jordan 34s!

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