A pair of signed Air Jordan 13s and game-worn by the man himself during the 1998 NBA Finals contests – making them the only complete pair of trainers worn by Michael in an NBA Finals game, where always going to sell for a pretty penny but this latest Sotheby’s auction has set a new world record.
During the 1998 NBA Finals, of Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” season, it was the most viewed of all NBA Finals contests ever.
It was a must-win match where the Chicago Bulls, led by Jordan who registered 37 points over 40 minutes, triumphed over the Utah Jazz 93-88. Michael donned the sleek ‘Bred’ Air Jordan 13 trainers during the second half of the game, on his way to his 6th NBA Championship and 6th Finals MVP award.
Michael generously signed and gifted his game-worn Air Jordans to a ball-boy from the game, gifting the young man one of the most prestigious and rich in sporting heritage pair of trainers ever.
Following being auctioned off at Sotheby’s plus still in immaculate condition with large, silver signatures on each toe-box, the “Last Dance” Air Jordan 13s have now sold for $2.238 million USD (approximately £1.79m) – making them the most expensive pair of shoes ever auctioned off.
The extremely expensive Air Jordan 13s may have had their price slightly spurred on following the hype of Ben Affleck’s “AIR” movie, but already an iconic pair of kicks, they where destined for a luxurious price.
The record-breaking AJ13s are decorated in a ‘Bred’ colourway, which is a shorthand synonym for ‘Black and Red’ Air Jordan trainers, a typical style Michael wore that featured the iconic Chicago Bulls colours.
It was this Bred colourway that Michael wore on his very first pair of Air Jordan 1s and the NBA would famously fine him $5,000 per game because the colours violated the league’s strict uniform code. The colourway has since been branded as a rebellious colourway for trainers.
The newly-set record proves that Michael Jordan sports memorabilia continues to exceed all expectations and remains an extremely popular category at Sotheby’s. It was only in 2022 when a Jordan jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA finals was sold at Sotheby’s for $10.1 million.