Little Richard as a genie in an Air Jordan ad.

Famed musician Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman) passed away at 87 Saturday, sparking quite a few notable tributes. One of those came from director Spike Lee, who posted a 1991 Air Jordan commercial he directed featuring himself (in character as Mars Blackmon from  She’s Gotta Have It) rubbing Aladdin’s lamp, and Little Richard appearing as a genie who turns Blackmon into Michael Jordan:

This isn’t anywhere as weird as the strangest commercials Jordan appeared in, and it actually works pretty well. And Little Richard is a great figure to incorporate there as the genie. This is a fun look back at some of the early Air Jordan advertising (which fits with what people have been watching in The Last Dance), and it’s a neat tribute from Lee. Little Richard obviously did a whole lot of more important things than sell Nike products, winning fame for both his songwriting and his performance style, but from a sports side, it’s interesting to see a look back at a time when he was working with Lee and Jordan on Air Jordan ads.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.