Monday December 22nd, 2014

When it comes time for Christmas inspiration, the Jordan Brand line of sneakers doesn’t look to Yuletide traditions for design cues. Instead, the brand reaches into the history of Michael Jordan’s great performances.

For the 2014 Christmas shoe celebration, the brand pulled out a Chicago beat down of the Knicks in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day 1992. The 89-77 win included Jordan scoring 42 points while adding eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. What was he wearing? The Air Jordan VII cardinal colorway. This mostly white shoe with cardinal and a touch of bronze was his staple for the season.

For this Christmas, expect to see the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony reaching for their AJ VII-inspired Christmas look. Using influence from the cardinal color and distinctive AJ VII print, along with turning bronze to gold, three Jordan Brand shoes receive a Christmas makeover.

The brand-new Jordan Melo M11, worn by Carmelo Anthony in Madison Square Garden when the Knicks host the Wizards at 12 p.m. ET, remains mostly white, but takes on that AJ VII cardinal throughout accent points. Of course, hints of gold speckle on the leather upper add a bit of festive touch too, along with that gold Jumpman logo.

When the Warriors travel south to face the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET Griffin will opt for a mainly black Super.Fly 3. The entire upper, though, features the AJ VII print with cardinal accents and a gold Jumpman logo on the rear. The gradient midsole fades in even more cardinal for us all.

While Griffin may have on the black Super.Fly 3, Chris Paul takes his normally understated CP3.VIII into new territory by showing off plenty of cardinal throughout the upper. The AJ VII print gets the full cardinal and gold color treatment in the CP3.VIII throughout the midsole.

Because nothing says Merry Christmas quite like remembering a legend.

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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