Michael Jordan wearing the No. 23 made it popular for athletes in all sports to rock today. But 23 wasn’t the only number to appear on the NBA icon’s uniform throughout his career, and on this day, 27 years ago, His Airness was forced to wear the No. 12.
Prior to suiting up on Valentine’s Day in 1990 at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Fla., for the Chicago Bulls road game against the Orlando Magic, Jordan’s game jersey went missing. With no backup jersey packed and the team’s leader needing a top to wear during the game, the legendary baller came out wearing the No. 12 with no name across the back.
While there has been much discussion about the number he was wearing and how his jersey went missing, what often goes unnoticed are the sneakers Jordan wore during the Eastern Conference matchup.
The Chicago star hit the court in the Air Jordan 5 in a color referred to today as “Fire Red 3M,” a predominantly white shoe with black and red accents and a 3-M hit on the tongue.
Jordan and the Bulls fell to the Magic on Valentine’s Day in 1990 in overtime, 135-129. The Hall of Fame guard scored 49 points in the loss on 21-of-43 shooting.