Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals Sneakers Sold for a Record $2.2 Million

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Editor’s Note: Following the auction, this story has been updated with the final sale price and other relevant details.


In 1998, during Game 2 of his final NBA championship, Michael Jordan wore a pair of his famous black and red Air Jordan 13 sneakers, securing a victory for the Bulls. These iconic sneakers have now set a new record as the most expensive ever sold at an auction.

The sneakers, worn during the game-winning moment, were auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York for $2.2 million on Tuesday, surpassing the previous sneaker auction record of $1.47 million set in 2021 by a pair of Nike Air Ships worn by Jordan earlier in his career.

The sale coincided with what’s known as “Jordan Year,” a tribute to the basketball legend’s iconic jersey number 23. Air Jordan collaborated with Sotheby’s in January to auction off 13 pairs of retro sneakers inspired by The Notorious B.I.G., all of which exceeded their estimated value of $5,000, with the highest pair selling for over $32,000.

Previously, in a Sotheby’s auction, Jordan’s Game 1 jersey from the 1998 finals became the most expensive piece of worn sports memorabilia ever sold, fetching $10.1 million.

Nicknamed “The Last Dance,” Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls was documented in an ESPN and Netflix series. The six-game series against the Utah Jazz, following Jordan’s retirement announcement, became the most-watched in NBA history according to Nielsen TV ratings.

Michael Jordan pictured wearing the record-breaking sneakers during the NBA Finals at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 05, 1998.

“Michael Jordan’s game-worn sports memorabilia continues to be highly sought after,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles. “Items from his ‘Last Dance’ season hold special significance, as evidenced by the record-breaking sale of his 1998 Game 1 jersey.”

The sold sneakers were worn by Jordan during Game 2 in Salt Lake City, where the Bulls won 93-88 with Jordan scoring 37 points. These Air Jordan 13s mark the last pair of black and red sneakers Jordan wore during an NBA game, as highlighted in Sotheby’s press release.

After the game, Jordan signed and gifted the worn shoes to the ball boy in the visitor’s locker room, a gesture he was known for, according to Sotheby’s.

The Air Jordan 13 sneakers were part of a sports memorabilia sale called “Victoriam,” featuring items worn by notable athletes like Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and Roger Federer. Additionally, other Jordan items in the auction included a 1998 Bulls jersey and a pair of 1985 Air Jordan 1s that sold for $508,000 and $127,000 respectively.

Notable items in the auction included a LA Lakers shooting shirt worn by Kobe Bryant, selling for over $406,000, and a soccer jersey worn by Pelé on his New York Cosmos debut in 1975, which fetched over $177,000.

Image: The Air Jordan 13 sneakers signed by Michael Jordan.

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1. What is the significance of Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals sneakers selling for $2.2 million?

The sale of Michael Jordan’s iconic black and red Air Jordan 13 sneakers for $2.2 million at auction set a new record as the most expensive sneakers ever sold, surpassing the previous record of $1.47 million.

2. Why is 1998 referred to as “Jordan Year”?

1998 is called “Jordan Year” as a tribute to the NBA star’s iconic jersey number 23.

3. What other notable items were sold in the sports memorabilia auction?

Aside from Jordan’s sneakers, the auction featured items worn by athletes like Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and Roger Federer, with highlights including a Kobe Bryant shooting shirt and a Pelé soccer jersey.

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