A pair of signed, game-worn Michael Jordan sneakers from the 1998 NBA Finals fetched a record $2.2 million on Tuesday, making them the most valuable sneakers ever sold, auction house Sotheby’s said.
The Air Jordan 13 “Breds” – short for “black and red” – were worn by Jordan in the second game of the Finals during his final season with the Chicago Bulls, referred to as the “Last Dance”.
Jordan scored 37 points in the game and led the Bulls to a 93-88 win over the Utah Jazz. He went on to win his sixth and final NBA Championship and was named the Finals MVP.
Sotheby’s said Jordan gifted the sneakers to a Jazz ball boy after the game as thanks for finding a lost jacket. They were the final pair of Breds that Jordan wore in a game.
They are the only complete pair of sneakers worn by Jordan in an NBA Finals game that have been photo-matched and authenticated by the MeiGray Group, the official authenticator of the NBA, the auctioneers added.
The previous record for a pair of sneakers was held by a pair of Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1s, which Sotheby’s sold for $1.8 million in 2021.
Sotheby’s also auctioned Jordan’s jersey from the opening game of the 1998 Finals for $10.1 million in September 2022, which became the most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia ever sold.
—Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford