A pair of sneakers, worn by Michael Jordan during the 1998 NBA Finals, has fetched a record $2.2 million at an auction, making them the most valuable sneakers ever sold.
According to a Reuters report, the Air Jordan 13 "Breds", short for “black and red”, were worn by Jordan in the second game of the Finals during his final season with the Chicago Bulls, referred to as the "Last Dance".
Jordan scored 37 points in the game and led the Bulls to a 93-88 win over the Utah Jazz. He went on to win his sixth and final NBA Championship and was named the Finals MVP, adds the Reuters report.
The shoes were gifted by the legendary player to a Jazz ball boy after the game as thanks for finding a lost jacket. They were the final pair of Breds that Jordan wore in a game, said Sotheby's.
The online sale cements Jordan's position as the most valuable athlete at auctions for sportswear memorabilia. It broke his own record of $1.5 million for sneakers, set in September 2021, states an AFP report. Those red-and-white shoes were worn by the player in the fifth game of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, and Nike's Jordan-affiliated brand quickly became a sensation both on and off the court.
Such high price for a pair of sneakers shows the boom in the market for rare sports shoes. The record price for sneakers has been broken several times recently as what was seen as a niche market a decade ago now attracts interest from the general public as well as leading collectors.
"Today's record-breaking result further proves that the demand for Michael Jordan sports memorabilia continues to outperform and transcend all expectations," Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement.
Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype model, which fetched $1.8 million in 2021, were earlier the most expensive sneakers to be sold at an auction.