This article dates back to Matt Halfhill’s trip to Spain during the summer of 2008.
While I have enjoyed my time in Barcelona at Bread and Butter and at the grand opening of the new Opium store, there was one primary reason for my travels – to visit the arena that Michael Jordan and the Dream Team played in. Not only was it in my vision to make the trek to this place where the greatest basketball team of all time played, but to wear the “Olympic” Air Jordan 7 and bring the shoe back to the space where it achieved its significance to me.
The place where the US dominated the world, now known as the Palau Municipal d’Esports de Badalona, is quite tattered from first glance. While driving by, one might see the graffiti covering its exterior, hear the sirens of passing policía, or smell the urine that soaks the pillars of the structure, but what gives this place (or disgrace) its importance and its significance is what took place here sixteen years ago.
I nearly circled the entire structure when I happened upon an open door thanks to preparations for an upcoming concert. I found my way through the halls of the building to the floor of the arena. Words cannot describe looking up to the rafters picturing what it looked like to see the Stars and Stripes hanging from above. I was able to take just enough photos of my “Olympic” and “Miro” Jordan 7s on the scorers desk where once sat dozens of reporters broadcasting the Dream Team’s epic road to Gold in several dozen languages. The party ended when the head nods and “holas” were no longer enough and I was ordered to leave.
On the dirty steps of the arena I took more shots of the shoes just before I left. No way could I stop photographing – even after being asked to “vamos” by the police. Nothing gets in the way of me and a good sneaker story…