Michael Jordan in the Air Jordan XI IE Low

Today in Performance Sneaker History: MJ Drops 35 on Knicks in the Jordan XI IE Low

The 1996 NBA Playoffs saw a return to form for the Chicago Bulls after Michael Jordan’s comeback. When it was all said and done, the Bulls took home their fourth NBA Title and began their second three-peat. After a 72-10 regular season record, Chicago was a clear favorite in the Playoffs, but they still had some hurdles to overcome. On May 14, 1996, the Bulls faced the New York Knicks in what would be the fifth and final game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. With a 3-1 series lead, Chicago was led by 35 points from Jordan, who dished another five assists for the big win.

Many fans associate Jordan’s ’96 Playoff run with the Air Jordan XI “Black/Red”, but he also switched it up a few times during the NY series with the Air Jordan XI IE Low. This low-profile model stripped away the patent leather overlays from the original AJXI and replaced it with elephant print nubuck. The translucent outsole and Nike Air cushioning setup remained the same. The Air Jordan XI IE Low has been re-released sporadically throughout the years, but isn’t currently available.

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