Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports

Last month it was reported that Michael Jordan made more in 2014 from selling shoes than he did in his entire NBA career. Air Jordans are arguably the most famous athletic shoes of all-time and the numbers back it up. But not even Michael Jordan himself can truly understand the fascination of the shoes and how they are selling better now than they ever did when he was a player. Here is what Jordan said in an interview with USA Today Sports:

“I can’t explain it and no one can explain it. And if anybody could explain it or duplicate it, they would have done it by now.’’

Just think about it, no one under, say, the age of 24-25 even remembers Jordan as a Bull as he hit ‘The Shot’ over 17 years ago. Yet kids and teens are among the most fervent consumers of his shoes. That fact is what makes Jordan believe that the impact of his shoes will outlive the impact of his NBA career:

“That’s amazing. To me, it’s much bigger than Michael Jordan. It’s going to outlive me in terms of what I did for the game of basketball. It’s going to be something that’s going to last for a while.’’

I think anyone who grew up in the ‘Michael Jordan era’ will be sure to pass down his legacy to their kids and make sure they know he’s more than a logo, a brand, and the Hornets owner. But that’s an interesting statement to make and only time will tell if it’s true.

It’s hard to compare anyone or anything to Michael Jordan, but I suppose a reasonable comparison could be made to John Madden. Madden was a Hall of Fame NFL coach and an NFL broadcaster for 30 years. However, it is his signature Madden video game franchise that most people know him by as it’s the most successful sports video game of all time. Jordan has the most successful athletic shoe line of all time and for many younger fans who never saw him play, but still wear his shoes, that will be what they most remember him by.

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at ross.kelly@cbs.com.