Opportunity Cost – The New Jordan XXIII

I remember when I was a freshman in high school. We were broke as could be. My wardrobe was terrible. I was a transplant from southern California who didn’t fit in AT ALL, and my mom would pick me up from school in a 1977 Nova Cardova that leaked oil onto something hot, so it always stunk….

I remember about February, Dad got a nice tax return — mostly because we hadn’t make anything all year…. and he gave me $150. It was supposed to be for clothes.

My first clothes all school year.

I spent every penny of it on a new pair of Air Jordan XIII’s. $140 plus tax. I still had a busted wardrobe, but I had the newest Jordans in the newest colors, and for at least a week, I was going to get peoples’ attention.

I wish I could go back in time about 10 years and give myself back then a lesson in something called ‘opportunity cost’. Basically, this is just the concept that everything has a dollar price, but it also has a ‘real’ price.

Those Jordans were $150 bucks, but another way to think of it is:

  • They cost 3 pairs of nice jeans (I used to wear Mecca)
  • They cost 7 nice shirts.
  • They cost two outfits.
  • They cost 10 CDs…

…you get the idea.

What has me thinking about this is that the Air Jordan XXIII (23) is coming out later this month, supposedly.

Starting price: $230.

I wonder what it would be like to stand there at the cash register in Foot Locker for a couple of days, and try to talk kids out of buying them.

“Hey man. This is my friend Abir. He lives in Bangladesh. Do you know that instead of buying those shoes, you could meet all of his physical and spiritual needs for EIGHT MONTHS?”

I still have those Jordans I bought. They’re sitting in my closet and look brand new.

It’s hard to match with black and red…


  1. You could can the opportunity cost argument and tell the kid that those shoes could’ve been made by an eight year old that won’t make $230 in his lifetime. I’m not saying my approach is better. I’m just giving you options.

    I’ve never owned a pair of Jordans. I think I would rather own a pair from ten to fifteen years ago than the ones they put out today. At one point they were actually basketball shoes. Now, they are shiny status symbols that no one in their right mind would wear on a basketball court where they could get scuffed up.

  2. Zach, I stumbled on to your blog when I was looking for a picture of Van Gogh. I was enjoying the read until I came to this painful story of you and your Air Jordans. Too many times as Christains we look at our lives with guilt when in reality we need to realize that Jesus is there and we are part of his perfect plan. Don’t think of your going without good clothes was because of a wayward lust for things of this world/the Air Jordans. Think in terms of sacrificing for a year for your buddy Abir in Bangladesh. Hit this link and I believe you’ll see what I’m talking about.


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