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Michael Jordan’s Earliest Known Game-Worn Nikes Sold for $1.47 Million at Auction, Breaks New World Record

A pair of Michael Jordan‘s game-worn Nikes just broke an auction record, going for $1.47 million at Sotheby’s Icons of Excellence and Haute Luxury auction in Las Vegas yesterday. They’re the first pair of sneakers to sell for more than $1 million at an auction, the highest price achieved for a pair of sneakers, which marks a new milestone.

Selling to “avid cards collector” Nick Fiorella, the retro white high-tops with hits of red were worn during Jordan’s 5th NBA game in his rookie season in 1984, making them the earliest regular-season pair from his NBA career to be auctioned off. The 1984 “Air Ship” was designed by Bruce Kilgore and was the first basketball shoe worn by Michael Jordan in the NBA.

Michael Jordan Earliest Known Regular Season Nikes
Michael Jordan’s game-worn Nikes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sotheby's

The signed “Air Ships,” which predate the iconic Air Jordan line, are the second most expensive pair of sneakers to be sold at an auction. They only come behind the April sale of Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes from 2008, which he wore at the Grammys and went for $1.8 million.

“To present such a groundbreaking and important pair of sneakers at this special auction in Las Vegas further solidifies the strength and broad reach of the sneaker collecting community,” Brahm Wachter, Head of Sotheby’s Streetwear and Modern Collectables, said in a statement.

Michael Jordan Earliest Known Regular Season Nikes
Another look at the vintage 1984 white and red high-top sneakers.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sotheby's

“This record-breaking result for the Jordan Nike Air Ships affirms the place of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan franchise at the pinnacle of the sneaker market. Since launching sneaker sales at Sotheby’s in 2019, we’ve seen time and again the ceiling for sneakers continue to be pushed, and we are excited about all the potential ahead of us.”

Michael Jordan Earliest Known Regular Season Nikes
Michael Jordan’s signature can be seen on the lateral side.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sotheby's

The Nike Air Ships are known for being banned in 1985 for going against the league’s uniformity of uniforms clause.

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