Chris Tucker talks about bringing character to life in new movie about creation of Air Jordans

ATLANTA — People will line up to get the newest pair of Air Jordans. But how did Nike and Michael Jordan team up to begin with?

A new movie is all about that and hits theaters on Wednesday. Channel 2′s Karyn’s Greer sat down with one of the stars and got an inside look at the movie “Air.”

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon team up again, delivering perhaps their best film since “Good Will Hunting,” with an all-star cast to tell the amazing story of Nike betting it all on the rookie phenom Michael Jordan.

Viola Davis joins Damon and Affleck to tell the unbelievable story. Decatur’s own Chris Tucker plays the man who helped seal the deal -- Nike executive Howard White.

“My character wasn’t in the original script. Ben Affleck went down to talk to Michael Jordan and asked him what did he want in this movie. He said you gotta have Viola Davis as my momma and you’ve gotta have Howard White in this movie, because he was Nike’s bridge to Michael,” Tucker said. “I knew Howard White, so I had all the insight and information I could talk to him about. He had me talking to people about when he was 5 years old riding on bikes in the street with, playing basketball with, high school coaches, teachers. I talked to each and everyone for at least an hour.”


“How many pairs of Air Jordans have you purchased over the years?” Greer asked Tucker.

“I can remember my first one cause I tried to keep them forever, tried to keep them clean forever. I had the shoe polish to polish them up, because they were expensive. I had to save up to buy them. Now, I wasn’t a sneakerhead, now I am, because I remember what year it was I bought them, what I was doing, what grade I was in. I was 13 years old,” Tucker said.

Tucker told Greer there are a couple of things he wants people to get from this film. One is to listen to your mother. The other…

“A masterclass for a business. Especially nowadays, everybody is trying to be a brand, making their brand on social media and stuff. How hard work pays off. Cause even Michael Jordan said the shoe probably wouldn’t be as great as it was if he wasn’t out working every year winning – and losing – cause he didn’t win until the 90s. Those defeats made him greater,” Tucker said.


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