Michael Jordan Apologized to Tony Wroten for Air Jordan Shoe Mishap

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 21, 2014

Mar 14, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten (8) defends the dribble of Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson (32) during the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Pacers defeated the Sixers 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Malfunctioning Air Jordan sneakers now come with a personal apology from His Airness himself. 

Of course, you will need to be Tony Wroten of the Philadelphia 76ers, and you will have had to have lost the sole of your shoe in an actual NBA game. 


UPDATE: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 4:10 p.m. ET

It seems Michael Jordan did not apologize to Wroten. 

The Sixers player tweeted the following to his fans after the story of the purported apology ran rampant around the Internet: 

Jason Wolf, who delivered the initial report, posted audio of the interview in question, which you can hear at Delaware Online.

As ProBasketballTalk's Brett Pollakoff states, it's extremely difficult to hear a joking tone: "Also, when listening back to what was said, there was zero indication that Wroten may have been joking while making those remarks."

End of Update---


According to The Delaware News Journal's Jason Wolf (h/t ESPN), Michael Jordan was one of many people who saw Wroten's shoe come apart in the Sixers' loss to the Pacers on Friday, March 14. 

CHRIS O'MEARA/Associated Press

That's when he decided to make a phone call to the young shooting guard. According to Wolf's report, Wroten offered, "But things happen. I got an apology from Jordan. Yeah. ... He called my agent."

For the uninitiated, in the fourth quarter of what would end up being Philadelphia's 19th straight loss, Wroten lost the sole of his Nike Air Jordan 10, needing to leave the game to remedy the problem.  

You can see it all unfold (read: fall apart) in the video below: 

Wroten states in his brief mention of the mishap, via Wolf, "It was more embarrassing than anything." However, you would think it's far more startling for Nike to have a shoe come undone like that in such a highly-visible manner. 

Feb. 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Detailed view of the Nike shoes and Air Jordan tattoo on the leg of Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In situations like this, it's best to own up and move on—and to his credit, that's exactly what the man behind the Jumpman logo did. Jordan didn't make the shoe, but he lends his likeness, name and personal brand to the sneaker, so I applaud him for what was a small but admirable gesture.

As Wolf reports, shoes ripping apart in-game is becoming fairly commonplace: "It was the third time in about two weeks an NBA player's Nike shoes fell apart during a game, after Manu Ginobili and Andrew Bogut also experienced issues with their kicks."

In case you're interested, here's Ginobili and his magically exploding shoe: 

For Wroten and the Sixers, a failed shoe is just a sign of the times, because the team—with its 102-94 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday—has now dropped 22 games in a row.

So perhaps trips to the locker room, even to get a new pair of kicks, are a good thing. 

I would like to think the sneaker gods have been sated, and their need for shoe sacrifices have come to an end. Still, players may want to double-check their sneakers when they lace up for the time being. 

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