The Air Jordan XIIIs, which was worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan during his final championship campaign with the Chicago Bulls in 1997–98, was auctioned for a groundbreaking price of $2.2 million on Tuesday. The 1997-98 NBA Finals is famously known as 'The Last Dance' and Jordan scored 37 points for the Chicago Bulls against Utah Jazz while wearing those shoes.
Jordan had allegedly signed and given these shoes away to a ball boy in the locker room. The Air Jordan 13s were worn by Jordan for the second game of the finals during his last year with the Chicago Bulls - often referred to as The Last Dance and the inspiration behind the hit Netflix series with the same name.
The previous record for the most expensive footwear was held by Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1s, which were auctioned at a whopping price of $1.8 million. However, this is not the first time that any of Jordan's memorabilia has gathered huge bids, a jersey he wore at the 1998 NBA Finals was sold in 2022 for $10.1 million.
"Today's record-breaking result further proves that the demand for Michael Jordan sports memorabilia continues to outperform and transcend all expectations," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables. The latest sale seals Jordan's position as the most valuable athlete at auctions for sportswear memorabilia.
Late Argentina legend, Diego Maradona's jersey from the 1986 World Cup fetched around $7.6 million in May 2022 while the Azteca ball, that Maradona scored the infamous 'Hand of God' goal, was sold for $2.4 million in November last year. One of Kobe Bryant's Lakers shooting shirts went for over $406,000, and a soccer jersey worn by the late Pelé on his 1975 debut for the New York Cosmos brought in over $177,000, among other top lots.