Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ NBA sneakers sell for record $2.2m

The Air Jordan 13 trainers worn by Jordan in the 1998 NBA Finals have become the most valuable sneakers ever sold.

Michael Jordan sneakers
The basketball great wore the shoes during the 1998 NBA Finals, known as 'The Last Dance' [Timothy A Clary/AFP]

A pair of sneakers worn by NBA superstar Michael Jordan has sold for $2.2m, making them the most valuable sports footwear ever sold, auction house Sotheby’s said.

The auctioned shoes were a pair of the Air Jordan 13 sneakers that the basketball great wore during the 1998 NBA Finals, known as “The Last Dance”.

The online sale cements Jordan’s position as the most valuable athlete at auctions for sportswear memorabilia.

The previous record holder was a pair of Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1s that the New York City auction house sold for $1.8m in April 2021.

Jordan wore his sneakers during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, where he scored 37 points in a matchup against the Utah Jazz. After the game, the superstar Chicago Bulls shooting guard reportedly signed and gave the kicks to a Jazz ball boy who worked in the visitors’ locker room.

“Today’s record-breaking result further proves that the demand for Michael Jordan sports memorabilia continues to outperform and transcend all expectations,” Sotheby’s chief of streetwear and modern collectables Brahm Wachter said on Tuesday.

The price, which includes fees and commission, came in just above Sotheby’s low pre-sale estimate of $2m but well below the predicted high of $4m.

The auction house said Jordan had autographed the shoes and given them to a ball boy after the game.

Sotheby’s did not identify the seller but said it was not the original recipient. Nor did it name the buyer of the size 13 shoe.

The sneakers are known as “Bred” for their black and red colour, a style Jordan wore throughout most of his trophy-laden career.

Jordan, now 60, spent the bulk of his playing career with the Bulls, with whom he won all six of his titles, but came out of retirement in 2001 to play two seasons with the Washington Wizards.

The retired star now owns the Charlotte Hornets, located in his childhood home of North Carolina, and reportedly still earns millions in royalties each year from sales of Nike’s Air Jordan brand of sneakers.

Tuesday’s sale coincided with the release this month of the movie Air, about Nike’s pursuit of Jordan.

The $10.1m sale of Jordan’s jersey from Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals in September 2022 beat a record held by Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” Argentina jersey.

Source: News Agencies