A pair of sneakers worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan during his last NBA Finals in 1998 with the Chicago Bulls sold on Tuesday (April 11) for a record $2.2 million, the company announced. Sotheby’s auction. A record.
These are the ” most expensive sneakers ever sold “says Sotheby’s in a statemente. At this price, Michael Jordan confirms his status as the king of auctions for collectible sportswear, beating his own record for sneakers: $1.5 million in 2021.
The former Bulls superstar also owns the most expensive jersey – $10.1 million in September 2022 – with the sale of one he also wore when he last won the NBA in 1998. For these sneakers, a single offer, at 1.8 million dollars, had been submitted shortly after the start of the sale, which had been taking place on the internet since April 3. With fees and commissions, the total price reaches 2 238 000 dollars, nearly a million more than the previous record for shoes worn in games.
Worn in Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals
These black and red Air Jordan XIII, signed by the player, are emblematic of the last final won by the Chicago franchise with Michael Jordan, in 1998, against the Utah Jazz. The star had worn them during the second game, on the floor of Salt Lake City. In a stadium acquired from the Jazz, the Bulls won 93-88, thanks to 37 points from Jordan.
Sotheby’s had placed the estimate higher, between 2 and 4 million dollars. According to the auction house, Michael Jordan had offered the pair after the meeting to a lucky ballboy, but the latter was no longer the owner at the time of the sale. Sotheby’s did not immediately release any information about the seller or the buyer.
The sale coincided with the film’s US theatrical release. Air by Ben Affleck, on the story of the partnership initiated in 1984 between Nike and Michael Jordan, then a young potential just out of university, thanks to the flair of Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon. Nearly 40 years later, the association is an empire that recorded $5.1 billion in revenue last year from the Jordan Brand alone.
For Brahm Wachter, who heads the streetwear and modern collectibles department at Sotheby’s, the player’s success at auction is linked to the fact that ” many people, when they think of Michael Jordan playing in the 80s and 90s, have a unique nostalgia for that period “.
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