Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, now has the most valuable sports jersey of all time.
A jersey worn by Jordan during Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals sold for an attention-grabbing $10.1 million at Sotheby’s September 15, becoming the most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia ever bought at auction.
The jersey toppled the previous record for game-worn collectibles — a jersey worn by the late soccer player Diego Maradona during the 1986 World Cup sold for $9.28 million at Sotheby’s in May.
A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card, which sold for $12.6 million at Heritage Auctions in late August, still holds the title for the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia sold at auction.
The red Chicago Bulls jersey with Jordan’s famous No. 23 was worn during what is widely known as Jordan’s “Last Dance” — a season that concluded a historic run of wins for the Bulls in the 1990s, which included six NBA championships. Jordan went on to temporary retire in 1999. In 2001, he returned to play for another two years with the Washington Wizards. Jordan officially retired in 2003 at age 40.
In 2021, a pair of sneakers Jordan wore during his first season with the Bulls sold for nearly $1.5 million, also at Sotheby's.