One of Michael Jordan’s most iconic pairs of sneakers is expected to set a record when it goes up for grabs next month.
A pair of Air Jordan XIIIs that the NBA legend wore during his famous “Last Dance” season are set to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s in early April. The shoes weren’t just worn by His Airness during his final campaign with the Chicago Bulls, they were worn during the 1998 NBA Finals, which is why there are expectations they could sell for as much as $4 million.
The sneakers headed for the block are a pair of “Bred” (black and red) Air Jordan XIIIs that the player laced up before game 2 of the finals matchup with the Utah Jazz. The star scored a game-high 37 points while leading the Bulls to a 93-88 win in Salt Lake City en route to a 4-2 series victory. Immediately following the game, Jordan signed both shoes and gave them to the ball boy responsible for maintaining the visitors’s locker room, according to the auction house. The sneakers are the only photo-matched and authenticated game-worn pair from any of the player’s six finals appearances that have gone up for bid until now.
The XIIIs may not be the most famous Jordans, but this pair will become the most expensive ever sold at auction if bidding reaches the pre-sale estimate of $2 million to $4 million. The record currently belongs to a pair of Nike Air Ships that are the earliest known sneakers worn by Jordan in an official NBA game, which Sotheby’s sold for $1.472 million in 2021. While collectors love all game-worn Jordan items, they’re especially keen on items from the 1997-1998 season, which has come to be known as the “Last Dance” thanks to the popular ESPN documentary of the same name. The most expensive piece of Jordan memorabilia is a jersey he wore during game 1 of that season’s NBA Finals, which sold for $10.1 million last year.
“Michael Jordan game-worn sports memorabilia has proven time and time again to be the most elite and coveted items on the market,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectable, said in a statement. “However, items from his ‘Last Dance’ season are of a greater scale and magnitude as seen with our record-breaking sale of his Game 1 jersey in 2022. Worn in his final year with the Bulls, the iconic Air Jordans coming to auction this April will be sure to excite the collector community and sports fans in this most important Jordan Year.”
Are you ready to go all out for this piece of Jordan memorabilia? The sneakers are part of Sotheby’s two-part online Victoriam auction that runs from April 3 to the 13. Prepare to spend big, of course—2023 is this century’s Jordan year after all.