A long time ago, Michael Jordan was asked to endorse Harvey Gantt, a black Democratic Senate in North Carolina. Strangely, Jordan refused to do so, but he also didn't endorse the incumbent Jesse Helms. Athletes are generally not the most trusted source for political stances (see: Rashard Medenhall), but Jordan would have been a coup for any party. His pristine image is the stuff of legend and anybody would love to have him front and center giving a thumbs up. But Jordan didn't want to take part in it.
The reasoning? "Republicans buy shoes too," Jordan said.
So even though 2K Sports has "won" the basketball simulation war with EA Sports - what with NBA Elite '11 being cancelled and taking a year off and all - Jordan hasn't forgotten about the other side. Over the past few weeks to help promote NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, the upcoming downloadable title coming to Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network, Jordan Brand has been posting Facebook photos of their stable of NBA'ers, including Dwyane Wade, Gerald Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Ray Allen, all wearing the Air Jordan 2011. His Airness himself isn't in NBA Jam (and has never been on any proper Jam roster) due to his involvement in NBA 2K12, but that doesn't mean his product can't be in other games.
The (probable) reasoning? EA Sports fans buy shoes, too.
As Forbes so eloquently put it today, "The Business of Michael Jordan is Booming." Despite being in the midst of a contentious lockout that threatens to shorten or even end the 2011-12 NBA season before it even starts, it does not suck to be the man many consider the Greatest Of All Time (or G.O.A.T. if you're down with the lingo). As owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan has a huge stake in what happens in the negotiations over the next few weeks between his side and the players, but it is by no means his only source of income. Case in point: Jordan Brand, his sneaker label that Nike funds and promotes, generated over $1 billion in revenue last year. He gets a pretty sizeable cut of that. Ka-freaking-ching.
NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is scheduled to drop on Xbox Live Arcade on October 5th and on Playstation Network the day before for $15 (1200 Microsoft Points). And be sure to check out the Nike Examiner if you're into the sneaker game.