In the battle for the auction of collectible sporting goods, basketball legend Michael Jordan smashed all records on Thursday: Sotheby’s sold $ 10.1 million for the megastar’s jersey worn during his last victorious title in NBA in 1998.
The famous red jersey flanked by number 23 of the Chicago Bulls broke the previous world record held by a jersey of footballer Diego Maradona, sold some 9.3 million dollars.
Sotheby’s, owned by Franco-Israeli telecoms tycoon Patrick Drahi, auctioned this article for eight days in September, worn by the world superstar of basketball and the sports industry, 59 years old today, for an estimate ranging from three to five million dollars.
Jordan’s jersey, worn for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, 1997-98 season, went for twice the estimated high-end price, at exactly $10.1 million.
It is « a new record for a basketball jersey at auction, a record for any previously worn, heritage sporting item, and the most expensive item ever sold in Michael’s collection. Jordan », welcomed in a press release the auction house of works of art.
– Jordan belongs « to history » –
One of its managers, Brahm Wachter, said that as soon as the sale was announced in August, « the enthusiasm was palpable among sports fans but also among collectors eager to own a rare piece of history. « .
He hailed « the matchless name and legacy of Michael Jordan, still resonating nearly 25 years later. »
For Mr. Wachter, « the 1997-98 season is perhaps one of Jordan’s fan favorites because Michael was at the top of his game knowing it was his last chance with the Chicago Bulls for the championship. of the NBA ».
It was what pundits – and a 2020 documentary – dubbed « The last dance »: his final season with the Bulls after arriving in 1984, with a hiatus in 1993-94.
Jordan returned to the court for the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003.
Jordan is also the athlete of records in terms of auction sales.
In October 2021, Sotheby’s sold a pair of sneakers, the Nike Air Ships, worn by Jordan in 1984-85 for $ 1,472,000, setting an auction record for shoes worn in matches.
– Astronomical price –
An astronomical price, smashing the record of Nike Air Jordans sold for 615,000 dollars in August 2020 during auctions organized by the competing company Christie’s.
Another item from Michael Jordan’s collection, an autographed card from the 1997-98 season, also sold for $2.7 million.
Six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls, inspiration for Nike’s Air Jordan line of sneakers, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, this New York native is considered one of the greatest sportsmen of all time and today as one of the most prominent personalities in the sports industry.
Another basketball legend, Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020, also saw a jersey from his 1996-97 NBA season sold for $ 3.7 million.
Finally, the absolute record for a collectible sporting item was held until then by a jersey of one of the absolute stars of football, the Argentinian Diego Maradona, who died in November 2020, when he had crucified England at the 1986 World Cup: the garment was sold by Sotheby’s in May for nearly 9.3 million dollars.