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With Michael Jordan’s sudden retirement just before the 1993-94 season, the Air Jordan 9 was the first signature sneaker Jordan never wore during a regular-season game. The sneaker borrowed design cues from the baseball cleats Jordan wore during his brief stint in minor league baseball. Players, such as Mitch Richmond, Kendall Gil, and Penny Hardaway, kept the 9 alive with player exclusives during Jordan’s absence.