Along the French Riviera in Monaco during the summer of 2019, Blake Griffin and the entire Jordan Brand roster of athletes, designers and execs gathered for their annual extravagant team trip, a longtime bonding tradition led by Michael Jordan.
Some 5,500 miles away from their usual Beaverton, Oregon, product meeting location, Griffin sat down with designers and had a few ideas that he wanted to see come to life on his “player exclusive” sneakers for the upcoming season.
He wanted a shoe inspired by one of his favorite movies.
Jordan color designer Kelsey Amy and the team got to work, creating a Hawaii driver’s license graphic based off the 2007 movie “Superbad” and the character Fogel’s iconic liquor store scene with a fake ID in hand.
Initially designed for the Air Jordan 34, while Griffin was still on the Detroit Pistons, the theme was carried over onto this year’s Air Jordan 35, after Griffin missed most of the 2019-20 season due to injury and was unable to break out the sneakers.
Wow. Blake Griffin has “McLovin” 35s on tonight – with his own Hawaii ID info. pic.twitter.com/ghrgjaSjfR
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) May 13, 2021
Styled in white and blue hues and originally made just for Griffin in his size 16, the tongue’s license details include his birthday, height, weight, hair and eye colors. The toe of each shoe is accented with “Chikka Chikka,” a line from the quirky Fogel character after he gets hold of the “McLovin” license. The address leads to Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.
Of course, the updated ID doesn’t even have a first name, it just says “McGriffin.”
“They’re honestly so fly,” Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who played the Fogel/McLovin character, told ESPN. “My buddy sent them to me last night and I was stoked, but didn’t expect the internet world today to be this into it!”
Now with the Brooklyn Nets, Griffin debuted the shoes Wednesday night along with the team’s gradient fading blue Classic Edition jerseys in a home win against the San Antonio Spurs. He chipped in 13 points in 20 minutes, including a driving dunk.
“Superbad” co-writer and fellow co-star Seth Rogen, “Officer Michaels” in the movie, also caught wind of the themed sneakers.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 13, 2021
“[It’s] super cool and flattering people are still into this movie and character almost 14 years later,” added Mintz-Plasse. “Plus the shoes are SICK. Not just a gimmick.”
Once the sneakers caught fire online, the brand and the original McLovin quickly got in touch.
“I got a pair comin’!” he said.