“Good Pain in the A**” secured Michael Jordan’s connection with the tennis legend, who recently became the highest earner off the court in the sport at a staggering $90 million

Michael Jordan was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 NBA Draft. And barely a year later, the Hall of Famer had his own Nike edition called the “Air Jordan”. The Air Jordan idea was born when Jordan was still considered a rookie in the league. The first issue was published on April 1, 1985 and was designed by Tinker Hatfield, Peter Moore and Bruce Kilgore.

In addition, Nike also collaborated with Roger Federer and launched the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour in 2012. The shoes were designed by the same designer as Air Jordan, Hatfield. In 2014, Nike decided to merge the basketball and tennis worlds. The brand bought together two athletes who are legends in their respective sports. Ahead of the launch of the reboot, the two great players met to talk about the boots and what’s behind them.

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The special collaboration between Michael Jordan and Roger Federer

Two years after the launch of the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour, tennis legend Roger Federer worked with Nike and NBA star Michael Jordan. A year ago, in 2013, Federer expressed that he would like to design a Jordan shoe and wear it on the pitch. In fact, the tennis legend had looked up to the six-time NBA champion since his early years. Jordan said he’s also a fan of Federer and thought it would be a special collaboration.

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“I think the fans will love it. To see the debut of a Jordan shoe on the feet of one of the greatest tennis players of all time is something truly amazing.” said Jordan.

Federer added that since he and Jordan both knew Hatfield, it helped a lot when working together.

“I think it also helped that we both knew Tinker. Because Tinker designed the Vapor, and Tinker designed… what… designed 20 or 23 Jordans?” said Federer

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To which Jordan replied “He’s a pain in the ass. He’s a pain in the ass for me, so I know he’s a pain in the ass for you. But he’s a good pain in the ass.”

Nike released the NikeCourt Zoom Vapor RF x AJ3 ‘Atmos’ on August 27, 2014. Significantly, MJ now has 34 editions of the Michael Jordan brand’s signature sneakers. His Airness has earned over $1 billion from the Jordan brand to date. But the tennis star is not lacking behind either. Federer hasn’t even played a single match this year and still made a whopping $90 million. Federer had allegedly made the income from his extrajudicial ventures.

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He has several deals with high-end brands, but the top two are Uniqlo and On. His annual earnings from Uniqlo alone are estimated at around $30 million. In addition, Federer is also a brand ambassador and partner of the Swiss shoe company. No wonder he was listed in Forbes again as the highest paid tennis player.

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