Editor’s note: This story was updated with the final sale price and other details after the auction.
In 1998, Michael Jordan laced up a pair of his iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s to take home a Bulls victory during Game 2 of their final NBA championship, and now the sneakers are on sale and expected that break auction records.
Sotheby’s in New York will offer the winning sneakers next month, for a high estimate of $4 million, with the open auction taking place online from April 3-11. The current 2021 record – a pair of Nike Air Ships that Jordan wore early in his career – is $1.47 million, marking the first time a pair of sneakers sold for more than $1 million. of dollars.
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 sale.
Jordan’s farewell with the Chicago Bulls is often referred to as “The Last Dance,” after the title of an ESPN and Netflix documentary chronicling 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 in NBA history, according to Nielsen TV ratings. (Jordan would later return from 2001 to 2003 to play for the Washington Wizards, but did not win another championship.)
“Sports memorabilia worn by Michael Jordan has proven time and time again to be the most elite and coveted items on the market,” Brahm Wachter, director of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, said in a press release ahead of the sale. . “However, the items from their ‘Last Dance’ season are of greater scale and magnitude, as seen with our record-breaking sale of their Game 1 jersey in 2022.”
The pair of sneakers up for auction 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 are the last pair of black and red Air Jordan 13 designs that Jordan wore on court for an NBA game, a Sotheby’s press release noted.
The Air Jordan 13 sneakers are part of a two-part sports memorabilia sale called “Victoriam,” which includes items worn by athletes such as Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer, as well as a signed Chicago Bulls varsity jacket. for 2022-2023. equipment. The jacket comes from a new collaboration between the Bulls and Off-White, founded by Virgil Abloh, who passed away in 2021.
Other notable lots included one of Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers shooting jerseys, which sold for more than $406,000, and a soccer jersey, worn by the late Pelé in his debut with the New York Cosmos in 1975. , which sold for more than $177,000.
Cover image: The Air Jordan 13 sneakers signed by Michael Jordan.