According to Sotheby’s, a set of sneakers used by NBA legend Michael Jordan early in his tenure was auctioned for roughly $1.5 million, creating a new auction benchmark for game-worn apparel.
The great athlete wore the white leather sneakers with the red Nike swoosh and insoles in the fifth round of his rookie campaign with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan wore the Nike Air Ship sneakers before Nike granted him his personal range of clothes and accessories, which would go on to become a trusted brand and make him a wealthy man. It was the first time Nike had worked with an athlete on a project like this.
Just before the auction, the shoes were expected to sell for $1 million to 1.5 million. Nick Fiorella, a buyer, paid $1.47 million for the sneakers. They were bought at Sotheby’s “Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury” auction event in Las Vegas.
Jordan’s signed size-13 lace-ups were all in remarkably good shape, according to Sotheby’s, with traces of game wear and tear. Tommie Tim III Lewis, a ball handler for the Denver Nuggets throughout the 1984-85 seasons, received the set as a present from the athlete.
Jordan donned the bidding sneakers during his fifth NBA game on November 1, 1984, as the Chicago Bulls lost 113-129 to the Denver Nuggets.
The sale shattered the old record, which was set last year when a set of Nike Air Jordan 1s sold for $560,000 dollars.
The demand for unique athletic shoes is on the rise. The record cost for sneakers has been cracked numerous times in recent years, as what was once considered a niche product draws attention from both the average citizen and top hoarders.