In 1986, the legendry black director Spike Lee released his first independent film titled, She’s Gotta Have It, where he played the character, Mars Blackmon. Fast forward five years later, Lee received an opportunity of a lifetime.
In 1991, Spike reprised his role as Mars Blackmon for Nike’s commercial,” Is It The Shoes?” which he directed and co-starred in alongside Michael Jordan.
Now, amid the success of Jordan’s The Last Dance documentary, Spike, 63, is opening up about the commercial and how it came to be with Good Morning America.
“I was completely surprised when it blew up,” Spike told Good Morning America. “It changed the culture, and I’m just happy I was a part of it.”
In the director’s 1986 film, his character Mars Blackmon, is a Brooklyn native, Jordan shoes wearing, New York Knicks fan. And after its release, Nike’s agency saw the film and got in contact with him.
“Nike called me up outta nowhere and said, ‘we want you to be in a national campaign with Michael Jordan, you play Mars Blackmon, but there’s one catch Michael Jordan has not seen the film and does not know who you are,'” Lee recalled, laughing.
Spike also shared his thoughts on Jordan and the doc.
“Michael Jordan is a mythic figure,” Spike said, “We’re seeing behind the curtain, the camera was with him every single day that last year in Chicago, so this is behind the scenes.”
Spike also added that he loves the play of Lebron James, but sometimes you have to remind people who the GOAT really is, and this film is “making people remember who the GOAT is.”