A jersey worn by a basketball legend Michael Jordan during Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals, his most recent title win, sold on Thursday for a record $10.1 million (178 million rand), according to Sotheby’s.
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An iconic red Chicago Bulls jersey with Jordan’s No. 23 on the back has sold for the most game-worn sports memorabilia ever, an auction house said, setting a new record for a basketball uniform at auction.
The final amount was double Sotheby’s high estimate, and 20 bids were made for the T-shirt.
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Jordan broke the record set in May for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold. Diego Maradona “Hand of God” knitwear
The previous record for an autographed basketball jersey was held by Kobe Bryant, who wore it in 1996-97. NBA memorabilia fetched $3.7 million, according to Sotheby’s.
Jordan’s jersey is only the second jersey of the star during six championships to be sold at auction.
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According to Sotheby’s, most of Jordan’s NBA Finals jerseys remain in private hands, though he donated one to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Michael Jordan still receives Air Jordan royalties
Jordan, now 59, spent most of his basketball career with the Bulls, with whom he won all six titles, but retired in 2001 to play two seasons with the Washington Wizards.
His final season with the Bulls was detailed in a popular ESPN/Netflix documentary “The Last Dance” released in 2020.
Bram Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and contemporary collectibles, said in a statement that the sale “establishes Michael Jordan as the undisputed GOAT, proving that his name and incomparable legacy are just as relevant as they were nearly 25 years ago.”
The New York auction house, owned since 2019 by Franco-Israeli telecommunications tycoon Patrick Drahi, previously sold a pair of Jordan sneakers for nearly $1.5 million.
The retired basketball star currently owns the Charlotte Hornets, based in his childhood home in North Carolina, and reportedly still earns millions in royalties each year from sales of Nike Air Jordan sneakers.
Garin Lambley © Agence France-Presse