The most expensive item of game-worn sports memorabilia in history was Michael Jordan’s jersey from the first game of the 1998 N.B.A. Finals, which fetched over $10 million ($15 million) at auction.
The previous record was set earlier this year at Sotheby’s, where the “Hand of God” shirt worn by legendary Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona fetched an astounding $US9.3 million ($14 million).
“In the weeks since we announced the auction, there’s been palpable excitement from not only sports fans, but collectors alike who are eager to own a rarefied piece of history,” Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables Brahm Wachter said.
“Yet again, today’s record-breaking result…solidifies Michael Jordan as the undisputed G.O.A.T., proving his name and incomparable legacy is just as relevant as it was nearly 25 years ago.”
At Sotheby’s “INVICTUS” auction, Jordan’s jersey was projected to sell for between $US3 million and $US5 million ($4.5 million and $7.5 million). The previous record for a basketball jersey sold at auction was Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers jersey from his first season, which sold for $US3.7 million ($5.5 million) in May.
After his autographed relic card from 1997–1998 sold for $2.7 million, it also smashed the previous record for any piece of Jordan sports memorabilia.
There were 20 bids for the infamous Last Dance jersey, made famous by the 2020 ESPN/Netflix documentary following Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as they attempted to win their sixth N.B.A. title in eight years.