ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan fans went to a concert Friday night and a press release broke out.
DJ Khaled and former Wolverines hoops star Jalen Rose emceed a 90-minute show at Crisler Center which culminated in the debut of the basketball program’s new Jordan brand uniforms.
The jerseys -- modeled by Michigan’s players and unveiled by dropping a massive maize banner emblazoned with the words “Forged for greatness” -- drew comparisons to the simple, tightly trimmed uniforms worn by Rose’s teams in the early 1990s. The current team even wore black socks while showing off the new look as a nod to their Fab Five forebears.
Unveiled: Jordan Michigan basketball uniforms pic.twitter.com/QZa6YZQ1Vi— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 30, 2016
Just Unveiled: Jordan shoes for Michigan basketball players pic.twitter.com/lPT7qNjwXL— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 30, 2016
They were the only things that could aptly be described as simple or traditional during the night.
Inspired by a similar uniform rollout executed by the Michigan football program two months earlier, Friday’s unveiling was forged for social media -- for the fans, the players and even the esteemed guests. The crowd at Crisler might well have set a record for the most snapchats snapped in the state of Michigan before the night was over.
“I only posted one, believe it or not,” junior forward Duncan Robinson said. “The other guys on our team, career bests there. That’s for certain.”
DJ Khaled -- perhaps the entertainer furthest down the path in our ongoing evolution from human beings to living, breathing hashtags -- proved to be a perfect personality to lead the pageantry. Between the disjointed clips of popular songs he played and the self-aggrandizing slogans he screamed into a microphone, he found the time pull out his own phone several times to post videos. Those lucky enough to be screaming in the background achieved social media immortality. For 10 seconds, at least.
At one point, Khaled came down from the stage to attempt a 3-point shot. He missed, and the few thousand folks in attendance waited patiently as he lined up another one. And another one. And another one. After 12 misses, he told the crowd to never give up, then buried a shot and walked defiantly away to a raucous round of applause.
Trivia games, 3-point shooting contests and an impromptu dance battle between the men’s and women’s teams followed. Smartphones captured every moment.
Rose introduced both squads before sitting down for a talk-show-format discussion with head coaches John Beilein and Kim Barnes Arico. Beilein -- entering his 10th season as Michigan men's coach -- later said he might have been one of the first college players to wear a pair of Nikes back in the early 1970s, but he didn’t remember quite the same build up to lacing them up back then.
Before the extravaganza began, Rose and fellow Fab Fiver Jimmy King posed for photos with fans in the stadium concourse. They stood next to a glass display case filled with jerseys, sneakers and photos from their days at Michigan.
Rose doubled back for one more thing as the fans around them disbursed. He pressed his cell phone up to the glass and snapped a photo of a photo of himself wearing the No. 5 jersey -- a time-traveling selfie of sorts befitting of the evening.
A couple hundred feet away, 30 small platforms displayed every Air Jordan sneaker from the past 30 years remade in maize and blue. Behind them, an old picture of legendary football coach Bo Schembechler looked over them with a familiar scowl on his face. Everyone else in Crisler Center on Friday night, though, seemed to be smiling.