By Drew Hammell
Ask any sneakerhead what they think about Mike Bibby, and the responses will be pretty similar: “Bibby was the man! He rocked Foamposites at Arizona. He had the best PE’s in the NBA.” Though Bibby never won a chip in the League, he is one of the most revered players by basketball and sneaker fans alike. So why is the love so strong for a guy that never won an MVP, never won a scoring title, and never got a ring? It’s worth diving into the legend of Mike Bibby a little bit – a legend that is still growing and started a new chapter last month.
On May 27th, 2018, Mike Bibby posted his very first picture on Instagram. To hype it up a bit, he followed up the post with a selfie video on his Twitter handle (currently at 3,7987 followers) a day later. His IG account name is straightforward enough: @mike_bibby_10 (unfortunately, @mikebibby and @mikebibby10 were already taken). Bibby soon received the highly sought after verified “blue check” from IG so you know it’s real. Plus @jumpman23 started following him, so you know it’s even real-er.
As of today, Bibby has posted 14 pictures, and has over 74,000 followers on Instagram in little over a month’s time. The reason for this success is simple: Mike Bibby has one of the greatest collections of sneakers in the world. And he has the sneaker universe drooling.
Though Bibby is very very late to the IG game, he has kept a website going over the years (www.mikebibby.com). The site definitely has an early 2000 feel to it – in fact, it looks like it hasn’t had a makeover since 2005. There’s a bio page, a store (“exclusive, authentic, Mike Bibby autographed items coming soon”), photos from his playing days, and even a page with all his tattoos. What everyone has really been thirsting for, however, are more pictures of the shoes he owns and wore as a player. They don’t have to be in chronological order, and they don’t have to be perfectly staged with great lighting. We just want to see his shoes and how many he actually owns.
Since his high school and college days in Arizona, Bibby was always rocking heat. From Nike Air Way Ups in high school, to the Foamposites in college, to all the Jordan PEs as a pro, Bibby’s repertoire and sneaker range is up there with MJ himself. A lot of that obviously has to do with the fact that Bibby became a Jordan Team member right out of the gate in ’98 his first year in the League with the Grizzlies. That year, he was rocking Air Jordan 14s and some other Jordan Team models.
As his 14-year career went on, no matter what team he played for (and he played for 6 NBA franchises, to be exact), he was always wearing heat. A lot of times, he was wearing an Air Jordan model that was made just for him. He even had his own logo on his shoes with the letters “TD”, which referred to a group of friends he has always been close with (Team Dime).
At this point in his life, Mike Bibby is only 40 years old. He is currently playing in the Big3 basketball tournament and is captain of the Ghost Ballers – a team he also played for last year (he primarily rocked the Air Jordan 30 when playing last season). He is also the head coach of the Shadow Mountain High School basketball team in Arizona (they’ve won 3 straight state titles). Bibby is hoping to jump to the college coaching level soon – a jump that other former players like Chris Mullen, Patrick Ewing, and Penny Hardaway have made the past few years.
The life of a professional athlete is a strange one. They spend the first quarter or third of their existence focusing primarily on one sport and trying to excel at it in every possible way. Then they get old, their body breaks down, and it’s time to begin a new chapter – generally around the age of 30-35. For Bibby, the future could be very bright as a college head coach. The next generation would benefit from his years of experience as one of the best point guards in the League, and the sneaker world would benefit as well if Bibby keeps up his Instagram account by showing pics of all his greatest footwear (fingers crossed).
Follow Drew on Instagram.