Six sneakers—individual Air Jordans, not pairs—that MJ wore during the final, winning game of each of his NBA championships are up for sale by Sotheby’s in a collection.
It’s unclear how much a unique grouping like this might sell for, said Eric Hirsch, a modern collectibles specialist with Sotheby’s, which is offering the shoes for a private sale, not auction. A pair of shoes Jordan wore in his rookie season in 1984 sold in 2021 for a record-breaking $1.47 million. Hirsch said this collection could go for double, but he wouldn’t be surprised by 10 or 20 times that amount. Then, in September, a jersey Jordan wore in the 1998 NBA Finals sold at auction for $10.1 million.
The sports collectibles market has been smashing records, after really taking off when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. A Mickey Mantle card sold for $12.6 million in August. Athletes are investing in the market; former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter started a playing card marketplace called the Arena Club. And Fanatics Inc. is starting a livestreaming service focused on collectibles.
Dubbed “The Dynasty Collection,” the six Jordan shoes are now on display in Dubai. They were first shown to select clients in London and New York. After a week in Dubai, they’ll move to Hong Kong, Singapore and then New York. There’s no deadline for the sale, but Hirsch says it’s expected to happen in 2023—the Jordan year.
Originally, the six shoes belonged to a PR man for the Chicago Bulls, Tim Hallam, Hirsch said. After Jordan won his first title in 1991, he gave one of his game shoes to Hallam. Then, the player once again gave a shoe to Hallam after winning in ’92, then again in ’93, ’96, ’97 and ’98. Hallam then sold the collection at some point. The current owner’s identity isn’t being disclosed.
The shoes are in varying condition. Some of the polyurethane on the shoes has disintegrated over time, which could be repaired should the buyer choose. Original writing on the shoe is still clear. On the outside of the shoe from 1991, a left shoe, Jordan wrote, “To Tim” and signed it in gold ink. On the inside, there’s gold writing identifying when the shoe was worn: 6-12-91, Game 5, Bulls 108 L.A. 101.
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