Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals sneakers to go up for auction
In 1998, Michael Jordan laced up his iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s to give the Bulls a win in Game 2 of his final NBA championship. And now that sneaker is up for sale and is expected to break auction records.
New York’s Sotheby’s is set to offer its game-winning sneaker for as high as $4 million next month, with an online public auction from April 3-11. The current record for 2021 — which Jordan wore earlier in his career — is his $1.47 million, the first time a set of sneakers has sold over his $1 million.
The sale is in the “Year of Jordan”, named after the NBA star’s iconic jersey number 23. In January, Air Jordan partnered with Sotheby’s to auction 13 of his retro sneakers designed to commemorate The Notorious BIG All. Multiples surpassing the high estimate of $5,000, the highest sale surpassed his $32,000.
Last year, Jordan’s Game 1 jersey, also used in the 1998 Finals, sold for $10.1 million at Sotheby’s auction, making it the most expensive sports memorabilia ever worn.
Jordan’s breakup with the Chicago Bulls is often referred to as “The Last Dance,” after the title of the ESPN and Netflix documentary that chronicled the season. Jordan announced his retirement (for the second time) just weeks before the finals, and the six-game series against the Utah Jazz became the most-watched game in NBA history, according to Nielsen TV ratings. (Jordan then returned to play for the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003, but he didn’t win another championship).
Brahm Wachter, Head of Streetwear and Contemporary Collectibles at Sotheby’s, said in a press release: “But his ‘Last Dance’ season items have a larger scale and magnitude, as seen in record-breaking sales of Game 1 jerseys in 2022.”
The sneakers up for auction were worn in Game 2 in Salt Lake City, where Jordan scored 37 points in the Bulls’ 93-88 loss in Game 1. According to a Sotheby’s press release, the last pair of black and red Air Jordan 13s Jordan wore on the court for an NBA game is his design.
According to Sotheby’s, after Game 2, Jordan signed ball boys in the visitor’s dressing room and presented them with a set of worn shoes.
The Air Jordan 13 sneaker will come in two copies called “Victoriams”, featuring items worn by athletes such as Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer, as well as the Chicago Bulls’ varsity jacket signed for 2022-2023. Part of a configured sports memorabilia sale. team. The jacket is from a new collaboration between Bulls and Off-White launched by Virgil Abloh, who passed away in 2021.
A public exhibition of sale memorabilia, including Air Jordan 13 sneakers, will open April 5 at Sotheby’s New York galleries.