By Ben Golliver
The most iconic Air Jordans in Nike's decades-long lineup have reportedly led to violence for the second time in as many years.
Click2Houston.com reported Friday that a Texas man is in critical condition after being shot in an alleged armed robbery that targeted his Air Jordan Retro 11 sneakers.
A robbery victim was shot and lost control of a car, crashing into a northwest Harris County home Friday. The crooks were after his new Air Jordan shoes.
Investigators said two men had just returned from a shopping mall with new Air Jordan Retro 11 Breds when they were approached by two men in a green car who demanded the sneakers.
One of the victims jumped out of the car and escaped to safety. The other victim got behind the steering wheel and drove off, but the suspects fired at his vehicle, hitting him in the head, officials said. The victim then crashed his car into the side of the house on Plumwood and severed a gas line. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
KHOU.com also reported the incident, noting the victim suffered "life-threatening" injuries.
So many shots were fired that bullet casings littered the street.
“It’s completely idiotic. I don’t understand the rationale of it,” said Robert Miller, a neighbor. “This kid bought his tennis shoes; you could do the same thing, instead of taking a life, or attempting to take a life behind a pair of tennis shoes. It’s just senseless nonsense violence.”
The New York Daily News also reported Thursday that police had to use pepper spray to subdue potential customers at an Alabama mall.
Also known as the "Playoffs" or the "Breds," the black and red version of the eleventh Air Jordan were worn by the legendary Bulls guard during Chicago's 72-win 1995-96 championship season. Nike released a limited quantity of the sneakers, known for their unique patent-leather design, in select retailers and online on Friday. The shoes retailed for $185. Other color versions have been released in 2009, 2010 and in 2011, when Nike released the "Concords" version of the Air Jordan, sparking numerous violent incidents across the country. Nike's website calls the XIs the "most beloved Jordans ever."
CNN.com reported some of the violence associated with the 2011 release.
In Richmond, California, police investigated a gunshot fired outside a mall where the latest version of shoes named after Jordan went on sale for about $180 a pair Friday morning, police told CNN affiliate KGO. A 24-year-old Richmond man was taken into custody in connection with the gunfire, said police Lt. Lori Curran.
At a suburban Seattle mall Friday, police used pepper spray to bring order to an unruly crowd of 2,000 shoppers seeking the new shoe, said Mike Murphy of the Tukwila, Washington, Police Department.
Other arrests were made in multiple states last year and Nike released a statement at the time, telling ABC News that the company was "extremely concerned" to hear about the violence. Top photo via Nike.com