Editor’s note: This story was updated with the final sale price and other details following the auction.
In 1998, Michael Jordan laced up a pair of the iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s to bring home a Bulls victory during Game 2 of his final NBA championship — and now the sneakers are up for sale and is expected to break auction records.
Sotheby’s in New York will offer the game-winning sneaker next month for a high estimate of $4 million, and the open auction will take place online from April 3-11. current record from 2021 — a pair of Nike Air Ships that Jordan wore early in his career — is $1.47 million, marking the first time a set of sneakers has sold for more than $1 million USD.
Last year, Jordan’s Game 1 jersey, also from the 1998 Finals, became the most expensive piece of worn sports memorabilia to be sold at auction when brought in $10.1 million at a Sotheby’s sale.
Jordan’s farewell run with the Chicago Bulls is often referred to as “The Last Dance,” after the title of an ESPN and Netflix documentary that chronicled the season. Jordan announced his (second) retirement weeks before the Finals, making the six-game series against the Utah Jazz the most-watched in NBA history based on Nielsen TV ratings. (Jordan later returned from 2001 to 2003 to play with the Washington Wizards, but did not win another championship).
“Sports memorabilia worn by Michael Jordan has time and again proven to be the most elite and coveted items on the market,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles, in a press release prior to sale. “However, the items from his ‘Last Dance’ season are of greater scale and magnitude, as seen with our record sale of his Game 1 jersey in 2022.”
The auctioned pair of sneakers were worn during Game 2 in Salt Lake City, which the Bulls won 93-88 after losing Game 1, with Jordan scoring 37 points. They are the last pair of black and red Air Jordan 13s that Jordan ever wore on the court for an NBA game, according to a press release from Sotheby’s.
The Air Jordan 13 sneaker is part of a two-part sports memorabilia sale called “Victoriam,” which features items worn by athletes such as Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer, as well as an autographed 2022-2023 Chicago Bulls Varsity Jacket . team. The jacket comes from a new collaboration between the Bulls and Off-White, which was founded by Virgil Abloh, who died in 2021.
Other top lots included one of Kobe Bryant’s LA Lakers shooting jerseys, which sold for more than $406,000, and a soccer jersey, worn by the late Pelé in his debut for the New York Cosmos in 1975, which sold to over $177,000.
Top image: Air Jordan 13 sneakers signed by Michael Jordan.