Michael Jordan is still breaking records two decades after retiring.
As reported by Sotheby’s Auction House, “The Dynasty Collection,” a set of six individual shoes worn by Michael Jordan during each of his NBA Championship-winning appearances, has been purchased for a record-setting $8 million by a yet-to-be-revealed buyer.
It is the second most expensive piece of Michael Jordan memorabilia to sell after the athlete’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey went for a whopping $10.1 million in 2022, per Complex Magazine’s report. This latest purchase shows that the sports collectibles industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Consisting of an Air Jordan VI (1991), Air Jordan VII (1992), Air Jordan VIII (1993), Air Jordan XI (1996), Air Jordan XII (1997), and Air Jordan XIV (1998), “The Dynasty Collection” was initially estimated to sell at $7 million–$10 million, per the auction house.
The sneakers also have a deeply sentimental tie to the Chicago Bulls organization. According to Sotheby’s, before the 1991 NBA Finals, Tim Hallam, a public relations executive with the Chicago Bulls organization for over a decade at the time, asked Jordan to give him something personal if the team won. Specifically, he asked Jordan for one of his sneakers.
When the Bulls team was victorious, Jordan signed and inscribed the pair before gifting it to Hallam. Known for being somewhat superstitious, Jordan made this unusual exchange a ritual. Hallam received a single shoe after each of the Bulls’ six NBA Championships. A private owner later obtained the shoes from Hallam, per Sotheby’s.
In an official statement, Brahm Watcher, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles, said, “Serving as both a reminder of Michael Jordan’s lasting impact on the world and a tangible expression of his recognized legendary status, its significance is further validated by this monumental result,” per Complex.
The acquisition signifies the ongoing passion and admiration many basketball fans have for the Chicago Bulls player and six-time Finals MVP (a record that remains unmatched as of 2024).
Since the buyer of the collection has not been revealed, it is unclear what the private purchase of the sneakers means for average memorabilia enthusiasts, particularly fans who value the viewability of historical items related to Black achievements in sports.
Before being auctioned, the shoes in “The Dynasty Collection” were showcased worldwide. In addition to being displayed during the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention, the set was exhibited in New York, NY; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Hong Kong, China; London, England; and Singapore, as Bulls News Fan Nation reported.
If history is any indication, game-worn items will likely be preserved and untouched, with good reason. However, there is some consideration as to whether such priceless artifacts should be relegated to air-controlled storage lockers or viewable in public and cultural institutions.
This is especially relevant because the purchase contains additional items that may greatly interest Bulls fans.
The collection includes a set of signed 1/1 limited photographs by longtime Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, and Chicago Bears photographer Bill Smith, who has captured some of the most important moments in sports history, as noted by ESPN.
The auction images depict Michael Jordan following his 1992, 1993, 1996, and 1998 Finals wins and are a valuable supplement to an already-stacked purchase.
In the photos, Jordan is celebrating each win wearing a now-classic look of elation and just one shoe.