Release Date: Jul 24, 2020
If you’ve seen “The Last Dance” you are well aware of the battle that took place between Michael Jordan and Gary Payton in the 1996 NBA Finals. And though Jordan laughed at the idea of Payton’s defense “taking a toll” on him, he did pay respect to his former peer by releasing an Air Jordan 12 colorway based on Payton’s “Away” Player Exclusive (P.E.) that he wore while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2003-2004 season.
This “University Gold” Air Jordan 12 features a black tumbled leather upper with University Gold paneling on the lateral side of each shoe. The outsole is comprised entirely of rubber and features a carbon fiber shank plate, which was first introduced by Jordan Brand on their Air Jordan 11.
While the “University Gold” Air Jordan 12 stays pretty true to the Gary Payton P.E., there are some details that Jordan Brand left off of the official release. For instance, on the pair that Payton wore during the 2003-2004 season, his nickname “The Glove” was embroidered in gold on the heel of the left shoe. Additionally, his number, 20, was embroidered in purple and gold on the heel of the right shoe.
This is not Jordan Brand’s first venture into the world of P.E.-inspired sneakers. Earlier this year the brand released the Air Jordan 3 “UNC,” which drew inspiration from the iconic University of North Carolina player exclusive sneakers given out to student athletes at the university. Jordan Brand also has plans to release a University of Oregon P.E.-inspired Air Jordan 5 this coming September.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully copped the Air Jordan 12 “University Gold,” now let’s talk about styling.
I recommend styling the sneaker with our Jordan Jumpman crewneck t-shirt in white. It features Michael Jordan in flight, accompanied by various retro Jordan logos. Pair that with The Smugglers Moon Stretch Crinkle Jeans, which feature light distressing and offer a slight taper at the hem, which will accentuate the shape of the Air Jordan 12 “University Gold” by providing a nice stack.
If you want to dress up the sneakers, I would recommend pairing them with the Levi’s Distressed Trucker Jacket. The light wash and minor distressing of the jacket can be complimented by a plain black v-neck tee. To complete the outfit, I suggest wearing The MJ23 Engineered Nylon Pants in light grey. The pants offer lightweight breathability and feature elastic drawstrings to help reinforce the jogger look.