If you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s and had even a passing interest in basketball, you know the name Mars Blackmon.
Mars was created and portrayed by Spike Lee for one of his movies, but he became more famous as a Nike pitchman pushing Air Jordans on basketball fans all over the world. In addition to having a knack for repeating certain questions or phrases three times (“Do you know? Do you know?) he was also known to attribute Michael Jordan’s greatness on the basketball floor to the shoes Nike paid Jordan millions of dollars to wear.
While his fixation with Air Jordans ultimately proved to be a wildly successful marketing campaign, Mars seemingly missed the boat on what made Jordan great. Claiming that it’s gotta be the shoes” sold a lot of shoes, but this tongue-in-cheek caricature ignored the heart, skill, talent, determination and hard work that made Jordan the basketball player he was.