Michael Jordan's 1998 NBA Finals sneakers could net $2 million
Bidding for a set of sneakers NBA legend Michael Jordan donned during an NBA Finals game in his last season with the Chicago Bulls closes later Tuesday, and they could go for an eye-popping amount.
The black-and-red Nike Air Jordan XIII sneakers that are up for grabs until Tuesday afternoon sport the NBA Hall of Famer’s signature in silver ink on each toe, according to Sotheby’s. The auction house described the condition of the shoes, donned in the 1998 NBA Finals Game 2, as "immaculate" and "pristine consistent with use."
Sotheby’s has projected $2 million to $4 million as the range the sneakers could wind up netting while up for auction. As of Monday evening, the current bid for the shoes listed on the auction house’s website was $1.8 million.
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People started having the ability to place bids on them April 3, according to a tweet from the auction house.
"This is the only complete pair of sneakers worn by Michael in an NBA Finals game, from any of Michael’s 6 NBA Finals series, that have ever been photomatched and authenticated by The MeiGray Group, the official authenticator of the NBA," Sotheby’s said in the listing. "They are also the only pair worn by Michael Jordan from the 1998 NBA postseason that have ever been photomatched by MeiGray."
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They had been gifted by Jordan to the visiting team's locker room's ball-boy, according to Sotheby’s.
Jordan and the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz in that game by 5, scoring 93 points to the Jazz’s 88, ESPN reported. Of those 93 total points for the Bulls, 37 of them came from Jordan. The Bulls went on to take home the ‘98 championship title, marking Jordan’s sixth.
Jordan and Nike, the athletic footwear and apparel company that produced the shoe in question, have been collaborating since the '80s, when they first established a partnership. That original 1984 deal, spanning five years and worth a total of $2.5 million, became the subject of the recently-released Ben Affleck-directed film "Air."
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Over the years since, the Jordan Brand has seen massive growth. Nike CFO Matt Friend said during the fiscal 2022 fourth-quarter earnings call that "with approximately $5 billion in revenue, Fiscal ‘22 was Jordan’s biggest year ever, with epic growth potential ahead," according to a transcript.
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