While everyone watching The Last Dance got a behind-the-scenes look at history being made with the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, one Michael Jordan fan now owns a piece of that history with the purchase of a pair of Jordan’s game-worn shoes from his rookie season. And the amount of the world-record winning bid is absolutely staggering.
Michael Jordan memorabilia explodes in popularity in last two months
While Michael Jordan pieces of memorabilia have long been considered prized possessions in the collectibles community, the airing of The Last Dance 10-part documentary has seen a proliferation of Jordan-specific artifacts becoming available online on the auction block.
Earlier this month, Goldin Auctions, a sports-specific auction company announced it was offering a 1996-97 Michael Jordan game-worn Chicago Bulls jersey. According to Goldin, the jersey is the only one up for sale that includes an authenticity letter from the Chicago Bulls.
The jersey also includes a photo from the April 13, 1997 game against the Detroit Pistons, in which the Bulls last 108-91, and Jordan scored 18 points. Last month, a Michael Jordan Dream Team jersey from the Barcelona Olympics sold for $216,000, according to Robert Edward Auctions. The auction opened on April 7 with a starting bid of $25,000.
Jordan cards pull in top dollar
While Michael Jordan jerseys fetch a pretty penny, Jordan cards are highly sought after in the collectibles community and the rarest ones can bring in large dollar amounts.
In 2018, one Michael Jordan card sold for $94,630, and included game-used memorabilia, an on-card autograph, and a handwritten serial number. The card was one of 23 produced, and featured a small piece of the jersey Jordan wore during the 1992 NBA All-Star game.
Interestingly, that card paled in comparison to Jordan’s top-selling card, which sold in 2019 for $350,100 on eBay. The extremely rare card was from the 1997-98 Precious Metal Gems collection, and the amount of the sale broke a couple of records, including the most expensive card ever sold on eBay and the most expensive Jordan card ever sold.
Air Jordan 1 shoes sell for world-record amount
Cards and jerseys are obviously desired Michael Jordan items, but the sale of a pair of Jordan’s game-worn shoes is the holy grail of Jordan collectibles. And the amount a buyer paid for them only confirms that.
The pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 shoes from the 1985 season, his first year in the league when he won the Rookie of the Year award, went on the auction block with Sotheby’s earlier in May with the auction house expecting the sneakers to fetch a price tag between $100,000-$150,000.
The auction house was slightly off in its prediction as a bidding war broke out in the closing minutes of the auction over the weekend. The eventual winning bid claimed the shoes for a staggering $560,000. The sale shattered the world auction record for shoes, which was set last year in an auction of the Nike “Moon Shoe” that sold for $437,500. The running shoes, which was one of 12 pairs made, were designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman for the 1972 Olympic Trials.
It should be no surprise that the GOAT in basketball history is the GOAT in shoe auction history considering Jordan’s Nike basketball shoes are also the GOAT in shoe sales.