You all remember “The Last Dance” mini series, don’t you? Well, those same sneakers that NBA legend Michael Jordan used to bring home the victory for the Bulls in Game 2 of his last championship, are now that most expensive shoes in the world.
His iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s sold for $2.2 million at Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday, smashing the other sneaker auction record of $1.47 million which was set in 2021 by a pair of Nike Air Ships that the former Bulls star wore earlier in his career.
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 12, 2023
This important event is happening during “Jordan Year”, in reference to Jordan’s legendary number 23 jersey. Back in January the celebrations started as Air Jordan partnered up with Sotheby’s to sell 13 pairs of retro sneakers that were designed in memory of The Notorious B.I.G..
Those shoes were initially estimated at $5,000 by multiples, but some ended up selling for more than $32,000. The year before, the player’s Game 1 jersey from the 1998 Finals sold for $10.1 million, becoming the most expensive worn sport’s memorabilia to ever sell at an auction.
Just in case you’re not aware of Jordan’s “The Last Dance”, he had announced his farewell run with the Chicago franchise for his 1998 season, which ended up in a six-match series vs. the Utah Jazz, becoming the most-watched in NBA history. The athlete would later return in 2001 to play a couple of years for the Washington Wizards.
Jordan’s shoes weren’t the only sport memorabilia sold at the auction
“Michael Jordan game-worn sports memorabilia has proven time and time again to be the most elite and coveted items on the market,” said Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, Brahm Wachter.
“However, items from his ‘Last Dance’ season are of a greater scale and magnitude as seen with our record-breaking sale of his Game 1 jersey in 2022.”
Check out some of Michael Jordan’s last moments wearing the Bulls jersey in these final series:
So, these $2.2 million sneakers were worn during Game 2 in Salt Lake City, just as Chicago beat Utah 93 to 88 after having lost Game 1. With this shoes, Jordan socorred 37 points, and were the last pair of black and red Air Jordan 13s that he ever wore on court for an official NBA match.
According to Sotheby’s, in the series of contests that followed, the Bulls star girfted a set of his worn shoes to the ball boy in the visitors locker room, as he traditionally did.
These Air Jordan 13’s were part of a sale called “Victoriam,” which included other sport memorabilia worn by star athletes like Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer and Tom Brady. The other highest-sold items were the Lakers star’s shooting shirts (selling for $406,000) and a soccer jersey worn by Brazilian legend Pelé on his debut for the New York Cosmos in 1975.
Source: Basketball Insider