NATIONAL NEWS

1 icon, 6 shoes, $8 million: An auction of Michael Jordan’s championship sneakers sets a record

Feb 3, 2024, 1:53 PM | Updated: 3:22 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A collection of sneakers that superstar Michael Jordan wore as he and the Chicago Bulls won six NBA championships has fetched $8 million at auction, setting a new record for game-worn sneakers, Sotheby’s said.

The six Air Jordan shoes — one apiece from the last games of the 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998 championship series — sold Friday. Sotheby’s dubbed it the “Dynasty Collection.”

“Serving as both a reminder of Michael Jordan’s lasting impact on the world and a tangible expression of his recognized legendary status, its significance is further validated by this monumental result,” Brahm Wachter of Sotheby’s said in a statement. Wachter oversees modern collectables for the auction house.

Sotheby’s didn’t identify the buyer and described the seller only as “a private American collector” who obtained them from a longtime Bulls executive.

Jordan first gave a sneaker to the executive after the championship-winning game in 1991 and continued the tradition afterward, according to Sotheby’s. The auction lot included photos of Jordan wearing a single shoe as he celebrated the 1992, 1993, 1996 and 1998 wins.

A five-time league MVP and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Jordan was so singular a player that then-NBA Commissioner David Stern in 1992 called him “the standard by which basketball excellence is measured.” The NBA renamed its MVP trophy for Jordan in 2022.

He also helped shake up the athletic shoe industry and supercharge sneaker culture by teaming up with Nike to create Air Jordans in the mid-1980s.

The pair he wore in the second game of the 1998 NBA Finals was sold through Sotheby’s last April for $2.2 million, a record for a pair of sneakers. The highest auction price for any Jordan memorabilia was $10.1 million for his jersey from the first game at that series, according to Sotheby’s, which sold it 2022.

Simply an unused ticket to Jordan’s 1984 debut with the Bulls was sold through Heritage Auctions in 2022 for $468,000 — over 55,000 times the face value.

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1 icon, 6 shoes, $8 million: An auction of Michael Jordan’s championship sneakers sets a record