Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals sneakers are expected to break auction records

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

In 1998, Michael Jordan laced up a pair of his iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s to bring home a Bulls win in Game 2 of his final NBA championship – and now the sneakers are going on sale and are expected to break auction records.

Sotheby’s in New York will list the game-winning sneakers next month for a lofty estimate of $4 million, with an open bidding process taking place online April 3-11. The current record from 2021 – a pair of Nike Air Ships worn by Jordan early in his career – is $1.47 million, which was the first time a pair of sneakers has sold for more than $1 million.

The sale will take place during “Jordan Year” – a nod to the NBA star’s legendary jersey number 23. In January, Air Jordan teamed up with Sotheby’s to auction 13 pairs of retro sneakers designed in memory of The Notorious BIG All lots surpassed their high estimates of $5,000, with the top selling for more than $32,000.

Last year, Jordan’s Game 1 jersey, also from the 1998 finals, became the most expensive worn sports memorabilia sold at auction when it fetched $10.1 million at a Sotheby’s auction.

Michael Jordan’s black and red Air Jordan 13 sneakers, worn during Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals (pictured), will be auctioned. Credit: Don Grayston/NBAE/Getty Images

Jordan’s farewell run with the Chicago Bulls is often referred to as “The Last Dance,” after the title of an ESPN and Netflix documentary that chronicled the season. Jordan announced his (second) retirement weeks before the Finals, leading to the six-game series against the Utah Jazz becoming the most-watched series in NBA history according to Nielsen TV ratings. (Jordan later returned to play with the Washington Wizards from 2001–03 but did not win another championship).

“Michael Jordan sporting memorabilia has consistently proven to be the most elite and coveted item on the market,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, in a press release. “However, items from his ‘Last Dance’ season are of greater scope and scope, as evidenced by our record-breaking sale of his Game 1 jersey in 2022.”

The pair of sneakers being auctioned were worn during Game 2 in Salt Lake City, which the Bulls won 93-88 after losing Game 1 with Jordan scoring 37 points. They’re the last pair of black and red Air Jordan 13 designs Jordan ever wore on court for an NBA game, according to a press release from Sotheby’s.

After Game 2, Jordan autographed the set of worn shoes and gave them to the ball boy in the visitors’ locker room, which Sotheby’s says he was known for

The Air Jordan 13 sneakers are part of a two-part sports memorabilia sale called “Victoriam” that includes items worn by athletes such as Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer, as well as a Chicago Bulls Varsity Jacket signed from 2022- 2023 team. The jacket comes from a new collaboration between the Bulls and Off-White, founded by Virgil Abloh, who died in 2021.

A public exhibition of memorabilia from the sale, including the Air Jordan 13 sneakers, opens April 5 at Sotheby’s New York galleries.

Image above: The Air Jordan 13 sneakers signed by Michael Jordan.

Source : www.cnn.com

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