Sotheby, a luxury real estate brand, will auction a pair of autographed sneakers that basketball legend Michael Jordan wore in one of his first games in the National Basketball Association.
Jordan’s size 13 Nike Air Ship sneakers, which he wore in his fifth game for the Chicago Bulls in the 1984-85 season, are likely to sell between PHP 50 million and PHP 76 million, according to the auction house’s estimate.
In 1984, while working on the Air Jordan 1, Nike sent Jordan a limited quantity of Air Ships. However, Jordan gave the worn sneakers to Tommie Tim III Lewis, a ball boy for the Denver Nuggets at the time after the game. Lewis held on to the shoes until this year, according to Sotheby’s.
Jordan rocked Nike’s Air Ship designed by Bruce Kilgore, as Nike finished manufacturing of the Air Jordan 1, the first ever signature sneaker of Jordan’s historic deal.
When Nike signed the top prospect rookie, he was promised a line made exclusively for him, marking the first time an athlete has been granted a signature line.
After the NBA issued Nike a letter claiming that the vibrant shoes were in violation of the league’s uniformity requirement, the AirShip brand became popular.
Jordan was also threatened with a penalty of at least PHP 254,570 every game he wore them in.
The highest price paid at auction for a pair of sneakers is PHP 31,320,105, which was set at Christies in August of last year. Those were Nike Air Jordan 1s that the six-time NBA champion wore in 1985.
Last May, Sotheby set a new record by selling a pair of autographed Air Jordan 1s for PHP 28,513,520.
Meanwhile, Nike’s Air Jordan brand is a cultural icon, with sales in the billions of dollars each quarter.
Almost every item associated with Jordan has increased in value at auctions after the premiere of ESPN and Netflix’s popular documentary series “The Last Dance.”
The Air Ships will be auctioned off live in Las Vegas on October 24.
Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/michaeljordan/