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Michael Jordan's 1998 Air Jordans sell for a record €2 million

Michael Jordan and fellow Chicago Bulls player, Scottie Pippen, at an NBA basketball playoff game in Orlando (1995).
Michael Jordan and fellow Chicago Bulls player, Scottie Pippen, at an NBA basketball playoff game in Orlando (1995). Copyright Robert Baker/AP
Copyright Robert Baker/AP
By Laiba Mubashar
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A quarter century after Michael Jordans's "last dance" with the Chicago Bulls, his sports memorabilia is still making headlines with the latest record-breaking sale of his 1998 Air Jordans.

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Michael Jordan’s 1998 game-worn Air Jordans have set a new record for the world’s most expensive shoes, after selling for $2.2 million (approx. €2.01million) on auction at Sotheby’s.

This news is no surprise for sneakerheads and basketball fans alike, seeing as anything His Airness touches has always made headlines – like the record-breaking $10.1 million (approx. €9.2 million) sale of Jordan’s 1998 jersey last year or the $1.472 million (approx. €1.2 million) sale of Jordan's Nike Air Ships in 2021. 

This special pair of "Bred" (short for Black and Red) Air Jordans 13s were worn by the basketball legend during Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals – his last season with the Chicago Bulls – which has now famously become known as “The Last Dance” season, lending its name to the Emmy-winning 2020 Netflix documentary.

After losing to the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of that year, the stakes were high for the Bulls for Game 2. MJ scored 37 points, leading the Bulls to beat the Jazz 93-88 – while wearing these memorable sneakers in the second half of the game. This set the team on its way to their 6th NBA Championship and Jordan's 6th MVP (Most Valuable Player) award.

Sotheby's
Michael Jordan 1998 NBA Finals ‘The Last Dance’ Game Worn and Signed Air Jordan XIIIsSotheby's

The Air Jordans appeared on auction at Sotheby's from April 3 to April 11, as part of a sports memorabilia sale called "Victoriam". The sale also featured items worn by other athletes including Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and Roger Federer. Several other Jordan items in the two-part auction included a game-worn 1998 Bulls jersey, which sold for $508,000 (approx. €464,000), and a pair of 1985 Air Jordan 1s which fetched $127,000 (approx. €116,000).

"Michael Jordan game-worn sports memorabilia has proven time and time again 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 before the sale.

"However, items from his 'Last Dance' season are of a greater scale and magnitude as seen with our record-breaking sale of his Game 1 jersey in 2022."

Surely enough, MJ's Game 1 jersey is still the most expensive item of sports memorabilia to be auctioned. While the sale of these Air Jordans is trailing behind the jersey, it has beaten the record of Kanye West's Grammy-worn Nike Air Yeezy 1s, which sold for a record-breaking $1.8 million (approx. €1.6 million) in 2021. 

The sad news for MJ fans, however, is that these sneakers were among the last of MJ's game-worn merch to be auctioned, according to Sotheby's.

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