Pro Basketball Player Blames Missed Slam Dunks on Retro Air Jordans

A professional basketball player from the Philippine Basketball Association is blaming his failed attempts at slam dunks on the retro Air Jordan sneakers he was wearing Saturday.

As the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel fell 91-94 to the Phoenix Fuel Masters Saturday, Ginebra standout Chris Ellis had an especially difficult time. Ellis, who has been nicknamed “Air Force Ellis” for his high-flying aerial plays, missed not one but two slam dunks during the loss.

After the game, Ellis told Sports Interactive Network Philippines that it was his retro Air Jordan 13 sneakers that caused him to miss the dunks.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but that was the first time I was wearing those shoes,” Ellis told the network. “You know how they make [Air] Jordans now — they’re not made for playing, they’re just casuals, so I had one of those.”

Chris Ellis
Chris Ellis of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the Air Jordan 13.

It’s well-known that function is an afterthought in many of today’s retro releases, which emphasize classic looks and aren’t equipped with the level of performance features of today’s best court-ready kicks. Despite this, many collegiate and professional players still choose to wear retro sneakers.

Sneaker specifics aside, Ellis could have been experiencing issues with traction, which can be impacted by other factors, such as the cleanliness of a court surface.

“I’m still trying to find shoes right now. I’m just switching shoes throughout and just trying to find something that’s comfortable. It’s kind of hard, man,” Ellis said. “I’m actually going to go look for some shoes right now. Shoes make a big difference, definitely.”

Air Jordan 13
The Air Jordan 13 “Gym Red” worn by Philippine Basketball Association star Chris Ellis.

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