Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 autographed, game-worn Nike Air Ships sneakers are returning to auction after initially selling for $1.47 million. These shoes were worn before the iconic Air Jordans were released in 1985, making them the earliest known game-worn sneakers by the NBA Hall of Famer.
More importantly, Jordan’s 1984-85 autographed shoes are being auctioned at Goldin Auctions, the leading collectibles marketplace, offering a secure space to “buy and sell sports and pop culture memorabilia, autographed items, and more.” The sneakers feature “Nike” on the tongue and “Air” on the heel.
Jordan, 60, wore the pair of Nikes during the fifth game of his rookie 1984-85 NBA season. Jordan’s fifth career appearance was the Bulls’ 129-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver on Nov. 1, 1984. This was just five days after His Airness signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract with Nike, his first shoe deal.
Scuff marks are visible on the sides of the sneakers to prove use. “These may be the single most valuable and important Jordan sneaks of all time,” Goldin owner and founder Ken Goldin said in a video.
MEARS, Resolution Photomatching, and JSA have all confirmed the authenticity of both vintage-ink autographs. MEARS said the interior production code (“13 BH-092884 – TY”—for Sept. 28, 1984, at Tong Yang factory) is the earliest stamping they have examined.
Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 autographed, game-worn Nike Air Ships sneakers return to auction after initially selling for $1.47 million at Sotheby’s in 2021
Following the Chicago Bulls’ 129-113 loss on Nov. 1, 1984, Jordan handed the shoes to Denver Nuggets ball boy T.J. Lewis. In 2021, Lewis sold the sneakers to Sotheby’s for $1.47 million, the then-highest sum ever paid for game-worn sneakers.
“Once the game was over and the Bulls made it out of their team meeting, I was able to enter the locker room to start cleaning to finish up the night,” Lewis said in recollection to Goldin in an interview. “I looked over, saw Michael Jordan sitting at his locker and he was still in his uniform.
“I made my way a little closer so he was able to see me in hopes that he would change his mind about not giving me his shoes. To my surprise he suddenly notices me, looks down and grabs the shoes he wore in the game that night, looks back up at me and asks if I wanted them?
“Of course, I said yes, found a pen and had him sign both shoes. One of the shoes he signed just his name and the other shoe he signed ‘My Very Best To Tj Michael Jordan.’”
Goldin’s online bidding for Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 sneakers will close on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, at 10 p.m. The highest bid was submitted on Aug. 23 for $170,000.
A total of eight bids have been submitted. The best strategy a bidder could use to win the shoes would be to wait until 9:55 p.m. on Sept. 13 to place the highest bid possible.
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Source: Basketball Insider