Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ jersey fetches a record $10.1 million

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Written by Jack Guy, CNN

Contributors Oscar Holland, CNN

This story has been updated with the final sale price and other details after the auction

A jersey worn by basketball star Michael Jordan during one of the most famous seasons of his NBA career has sold for a record $10.1 million at an auction in New York. York Thursday.

The eight-figure sum was more than double initial estimates, setting a new auction record for a piece of game-worn sports memorabilia, according to Sotheby’s, which organized the sale.

Jordan wore the Chicago Bulls jersey in Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals, the culmination of a famous season known as ‘The Last Dance’ which featured in a 2020 ESPN and Netflix documentary series of the same name . On June 3, 1998, Jordan donned the jersey for a game against the Utah Jazz, scoring 33 points in 45 minutes in a loss to the Bulls.

The Bulls won the championship despite major internal divisions that had plagued their season, with Jordan earning his sixth NBA winner’s ring.

The 1998 NBA Finals jersey worn by Michael Jordan during a press preview at Sotheby’s on September 06, 2022. Credit: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

It is one of only two of his shirts worn in a final game to have ever been auctioned, said Sotheby’s, which billed it as “one of the most important items of the career of Michael Jordan”.

In a statement, Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, said the sale “solidifies Michael Jordan as the undisputed GOAT (the greatest of all time), proving that his name and his legacy incomparable are just as relevant as they were nearly 25 years ago.”

Prior to the sale, Wachter had called the 1997-98 season “perhaps one of the most popular among Jordan fans, as Michael reached the pinnacle of his abilities while simultaneously pursuing what he understood to be his last chance. to an NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls.”

“The season itself is his ‘magnum opus’ as an athlete, and a testament to him as a champion and competitor,” he added in a press release. “Jordan finals shirts are remarkably rare, and the 1997-98 finals are arguably the most coveted of all.”

Michael Jordan with Scottie Pippen on the court during Game 1 against Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

Michael Jordan with Scottie Pippen on the court during Game 1 against Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. Credit: John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

The pre-sale estimate of $3-5 million was the highest ever for a Jordanian jersey or any other Jordanian memorabilia, the auction house said.

The sale price of $10.1 million on Thursday means it is now the most expensive basketball jersey ever sold at auction, far exceeding the $3.7 million paid for one of the jerseys. of Kobe Bryant last year. The article also broke the record for match-worn sports memorabilia held by Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona’s shirt in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England, Sotheby’s said. The blue football jersey was sold to an anonymous buyer for $9.3 million earlier this year.
In October 2021, a pair of Nike Air Ships sneakers, worn by Jordan, sold for $1.47 million at auction. The basketball star wore the red and white sneakers in his fifth NBA game during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls on November 1, 1984.

The shoes set a world record for the highest price achieved for a pair of sneakers at auction, according to Sotheby’s. They also became the first pair of sneakers to sell for over $1 million at auction.

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