The iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s that Michael Jordan wore in the 1998 NBA Championships are officially the most expensive sneakers to ever be sold at an auction. Michael Jordan led the Bulls to victory in Game 2 wearing those sneakers, and promptly after the game signed them and gave them to the ball boy.
A few weeks prior to the championship, Jordan had announced his retirement. This final season with the Bulls is now considered “The Last Dance,” and is portrayed in the documentary on Netflix. The famous sneakers sold early this week at Sotheby’s in New York for a shocking $2.2 million. The previous sneaker auction record was $1.47 million, also set by a pair that Jordan had worn early on in his career.
Brahm Wachter, the head of streetwear and modern collectables for Sotheby’s, says that he has known Jordan’s game-worn memorabilia to be some of the most sought-after items on the market, “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.”
Jordan’s Game 1 jersey from the ’98 finals was one of the most expensive worn sports memorabilia to sell at auction, selling for $10.1 million just last year. The sale this year was cleverly placed during the “Jordan Year” which was only fitting since Sotheby’s auction partnered with Air Jordan to auction off a collection of exclusive sneakers designed in memory of The Notorious B.I.G. The collection included 13 pairs of retro sneakers, all which outsold their expected returns – with one pair selling for more than a whopping $32,000.
The Game 2 red and black Air Jordan 13s were auctioned in a sports memorabilia sale called “Victoriam,” which included items from other top athletes like Kobe Bryant, Pelé, and Roger Federer, as well as numerous other Jordan items.