ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Playing for the famed Fab Five, known for their baggy shorts, black socks, and swagger, Jimmy King knows a thing or two about setting a fashion trend at Michigan.
With U-M unveiling its Nike and Michael Jordan’s famed “Jumpman” line on Monday at midnight, King hopes to see a little bit of his U-M’s hoop past mixed with today’s modern look, as Michigan basketball enters its new era.
“I like tradition but I also like fashion forward,” King said in front of M-Den moments before U-M's Nike launch. “So I like to see what the next generation is going to look like. Everybody got to have their own identity.”
King, who called U-M’s deal with Nike-Jordan a “big deal,” wore Nike during his tenure at Michigan from 1991-1995, helping the Wolverines reach the Final Four national championship game in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
During King’s junior season, 1994, at the time U-M signed the biggest apparel deal ever with Nike, for $7 million over seven years, a deal that would last 13 years till U-M signed its deal with Adidas in 2007.
“I loved it,” King said when he first of when Michigan signed its deal with Nike again. “I was like ‘We back on. We back on again.’”
On Monday, however, U-M ushered in its new era of Nike and Jordan alike, and King sees it as advantage for Michigan – especially in recruiting.
“It’s even important as far as recruiting,” King said. “Kids do look at what teams wear. Nike is one of the best and most comfortable gear and shoes that’s ever made. So with them coming back to Michigan, we’re going to be styling for one, and most importantly they are going to be comfortable.”