This Unreleased Air Jordan 7 Was Inspired by Ken Griffey Jr.

Former Jordan Brand NRG team member and current sneaker “free agent” Frank Cooke will occasionally take to his Instagram to tease some unreleased projects from his days at the Jumpman, and one of his recent reveals was a very special Air Jordan 7 inspired by Ken Griffey Jr. A longtime Nike athlete and MLB Hall of Famer who’s regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Griffey Jr. had his own “Swingman” line with sneakers like the Air Griffey Max 1 — a shoe that provided the color inspiration for this Air Jordan 7. Besides the shoe’s mix of dark teal and black, it also nods to the Air Griffey Max 1 with large red Swooshes on the lateral forefoot and the heel tab. As a finishing touch, the Swingman and the Jumpman are brought together for a hybrid logo on the insole.

Cooke notes that the inspiration for the unreleased model came from the Foot Locker Slam Fest, an event that ran from the late ’80s to the mid ’90s and featured professional athletes from outside the NBA competing in a slam dunk contest. Griffey Jr. competed in the Slam Fest in both 1990 and 1992, falling NFL to Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter in 1990 and Tim Brown in 1992. “I know collaborations weren’t a thing back then, but I think it would have been a different outcome had [Griffey Jr.] worn these Air Jordan 7s during his dunk,” Cooke said in the caption of his Instagram post.

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Don’t hold your breath waiting for these Air Jordan 7s to release, as they’re a sample that never made it to production. However, you can enjoy a look at them above.

For more from the world of footwear, be sure to check out Sole Mates, a weekly Hypebeast series that spotlights notable individuals in the world of street culture and the connection they have to their favorite shoes.
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