Player: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway
Original Release: 1996
Designer: Eric Avar
Release Type: general release
Weight: 14.7 ounces
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Summer 1996, Atlanta: Following in the footsteps of the 1992 Dream Team is no easy feat. Fortunately, the ‘96 team would feature Penny Hardaway, a player who drew comparisons to Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
And for good reason, as the 6’7” combo guard finished the ‘95-‘96 season averaging 21.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 2 steals before losing to MJ’s 72-10 Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Dream Team III
Penny would continue his well rounded play as a member of the ‘96 Dream Team III, averaging 9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals. His play helped team USA go 8-0 en route to their second straight Olympic gold medal, and third straight gold overall. Two years earlier, Dream Team II won gold during the FIBA World Cup. Penny also traded his jersey number 1 for number 6, as international rules only permitted players to wear numbers 4-15 at the time.
After the ‘92 and ‘94 teams, there was no question that Penny and his teammates had big shoes to fill. Fortunately Nike provided him with the answer: his own PE of the Air Zoom Flight 96 in the white/navy/gold colorway.
Nike had given several players new shoes to wear, meaning that players like Penny, Charles Barkley and Gary Payton could all be seen wearing different shoes than during the NBA season.
In his sneaker chronology, the Zoom Flight 96 fell between the Air Max Penny (Penny 1) and the Penny 2. The Zoom Flight 96 didn’t carry Penny’s name or logo but the Olympic colorway featured his number 6 on the heel, arguably counting as a PE rather than an official signature shoe.
In 2016, the Zoom Flight 96 Penny PE finally retroed for the first time, in time for its 20th anniversary.
- Lightweight Durabuck upper with reinforcement stitching
- Extra heavy duty TPU reinforcement
- Full length Phylon midsole
- Forefoot Tensile Air cushioning
- Encapsulated large volume heel Air-Sole unit
- Exposed mid foot TPU stability plate
- 1996 OG: $119.99 (about $209 in 2021)
- 2016 Retro: $130 (about $148 in 2021)
- Adjusted for inflation, the retros are cheaper than the OGs.
TAKEDOWN: Nike Air Flight Mid (1996)
- Many, including Jason Kidd, Mitch Richmond and John Stockton
- Combination lightweight Durabuck and full grain leather upper
- Super skin reinforced rand
- Lightweight Phylon midsole
- TPU shank plate
- Large volume encapsulated heel Air-Sole unit
- Weight: 13.9 ounces
- 1996 OG: $77.99 (about $136 in 2021)
- Retro: N/A