Sotheby’s auctioned off a pair of sneakers worn by NBA star Michael Jordan sold for $2.2m, setting a record price for pre-worn sports footwear at auction.
The basketball GOAT wore the “Bred” Air Jordan 13s during Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals on the way to his sixth and last NBA championship title. Only a super fan would know how iconic these shoes are. The online sale cements Jordan’s position as the most valuable athlete at auctions for sportswear memorabilia.
Michael Jordan’s Last Dance Sneakers
It broke his record of $1.5m for sneakers, set in September 2021. Last year, one of his jerseys sold for $10.1m, the most ever paid at auction for any game-worm collectables.
“Today’s record-breaking result further proves that the demand for Michael Jordan sports memorabilia continues to outperform and transcend all expectations,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement.
Jordan wore the sneakers for the second half of the Chicago Bull’s 93-88 victory over the Utah Jazz on 5 June 1998. Jordan scored a game-high 37 points as his Bulls side tied the series 1-1. The Finals featured in the hit 2020 ESPN/Netflix documentary The Last Dance, about Jordan’s final season with the Chicago side.
Wachter said nostalgia for a different era was driving the popularity of Jordan memorabilia.
“We have clients in all different areas, from real estate to finance to private equity. So many people are interested in this emerging market,” he told AFP. The price was just above Sotheby’s low pre-sale estimate of $2m but well below the predicted high of $4m.
$2.2m At Sotheby’s Auction
The auction house said Jordan had autographed the shoes and given them to a ball-boy after the game. However, Sotheby’s did not specify whether that recipient was the seller. Nor did it identify the buyer of the size 13 shoe.
The sneakers are known as “Bred” for their black and red colour, which Jordan wore throughout his trophy-laden career. Jordan, now 60, spent most of his playing career with the Bulls, with whom he won all six of his titles, but came out of retirement in 2001 to play two seasons with the Washington Wizards.
The sale coincided with the release of the movie Air this month, about Nike’s pursuit of Jordan.
The $10.1m sale of Jordan’s jersey from Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals in September 2022 beat a record held by Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” Argentina jersey.
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