The Air Max Jet Flight is probably hands down my favorite basketball shoe of all-time. It was a shoe that was ahead of it’s time and could definitely keep up in today’s game. I really wish they would update and re-release this model with some updates of course.
I remember back around the 2002-2003 season was when I first saw these kicks on television. The Dallas Mavericks were playing against the Indiana Pacers, defending their 14-0 start. I stopped watching basketball since Jordan had retired a few years back and wasn’t a big Dallas Mavericks fan since they weren’t all that good. It was a sparky 6’3 guard that got my attention, rocking the aforementioned shoe.
Steve Nash controlled the tempo of the game and on his feet were the Air Max Jet Flight. It’s like the shoes and him were one. He was a blur going across the scree and the shoes seemed to give him that speed. I was mesmerized by his style of play and his sneakers.
Around that time the internet wasn’t accessible for me, but every time he played, I checked his feet. It wasn’t until I got into high school that I had the ability to check what they were. I learned the name of the shoe and started looking around for where to buy them. At the time I had access to the Eastbay catalog, but never noticed that I was passing them up. When I went back through to look at them and try to order, it was too late. I desperately wanted to rock them when I played basketball for my high school team.
As Nash left the Mavs, I still wanted to keep an eye out for what he was wearing. He made any shoe look good. He rocked some Nike Zoom Drive, Nike Uptempo Stutter Step, Uptempo Motion, Nike Air Flight Banger, Nike Air Zoom BB, Cradle Dunk, just to name a few. He even got his own signature Zoom MVP kick. I religiously followed Nash’s game and the shoes that he wore. Even went far lengths to buy what he was wearing in hopes that they would make me better, but still wanted a pair of Air Max Jet Flight.
It wasn’t until college and working at Finish Line were I met a good friend who still had a pair from high school. I immediately told him I would buy they from him, which I did and while they were still in decent shape, I took them to the court. I was able to get a few runs in them until they started to break down.
The lace loop-hole started coming apart, and the Air Max bubble had popped a bit. Eventually the shoes started crumbling and breaking down due to playing on the court outside. The shoes had been inside for so long that when they finally hit the outside oxygen, they started to breakdown. It was a short lived experience, but I definitely could see why they were an awesome shoe.
While it was a short lived experience, the shoe lived up to the hype. I felt like Nash, running up and down the court. I felt like a blur, like I was the fastest thing out there. I knew people would look at my kicks and ask what are those? In a good way. I hope they do retro them though especially since a lot of old basketball shoes are coming back. Maybe we’ll be getting word of them soon and when they do, I’ll be there to cop several pairs.