Michael Jordan memorabilia exploded in popularity over the last three years, with ESPN’s “The Last Dance” docu-series helping usher in new fandom for “His Airness.” Although new products from the Air Jordan series have benefitted from new interest in the Chicago Bulls legend, gear from MJ’s professional career has arguably benefited more.
Different auction houses have held record-breaking events since 2020, with the latest arriving in the form of the Goldin 100. The leading collectibles marketplace has recently launched what could be the rarest and most important shoe in Jordan’s history: an Air Ship from the guard’s fifth-ever professional NBA game. Before Jordan’s mother, Deloris, helped secure a proper endorsement deal that included a signature sneaker, Nike outfitted the Bulls’ rookie in the Air Ship, a high-top basketball sneaker with design cues from other popular basketball sneakers of the era. Jordan and the “Windy City” team faced the Denver Nuggets in their fifth game of the 1984-85 NBA season. The Bulls lost to the Nuggets on November 1st, 1984, but the local ball boy, T.J. Lewis won.
According to Lewis, he asked Jordan for the white and red sneakers he was wearing during shoot-around. The product-of-the-University-of-North-Carolina initially denied the request, but offered Lewis the shoes after the game. Lewis sold the sneakers via Sotheby’s in 2021 for a staggering $1.47 million, the then-highest sum ever paid for game-worn shoes. The shoes have been verified by MEARS, Resolution Photomatching, and JSA, and are inscribed with Jordan’s rookie-season signature.
Enjoy detailed photos of the historic pair ahead, and place your bids between now and September 13th via goldin.co.
For pairs your can buy at retail, check out the Air Jordan 1 “Palomino” set to launch on September 2nd.