During his basketball career, Michael Jordan was famous for being a high flyer, seemingly able to take flight on the court. Now his basketball shoes are doing the same thing at auction.
An autographed, ultra-rare pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes, made specifically for Jordan to commemorate his role in the popular mid-1990s movie Space Jam, soared to new heights, selling for $176,400 recently at Sotheby’s.
The size-13, one-of-a-kind Nikes are autographed by Jordan. The shoes are considered “deadstock,” meaning they were never worn. The shoes are a “player sample” made specifically for Jordan, who wore the style during the 1996 NBA playoffs, leading the Chicago Bulls to the championship.
“This pair is truly a grail for many sneaker collectors worldwide,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement. “This pair has been kept in absolutely perfect condition to this day.”
Released in 1996, Space Jam, part animation, part live action, became an enduring sports comedy starring Jordan and a host of Warner Bros. cartoon stars including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Tweety and Sylvester, the Tazmanian Devil, Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn. Other professional basketball players such as Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues and Charles Barkley have prominent cameos. Bill Murray’s there, too. The film made more than $250 million during its release and remains a nostalgic and cultural phenomenon.
“This pair has been one of my most prized possessions for years now, and with the release of the new film, it felt like the right time for another collector and ‘Space Jam’ fanatic to enjoy this incredible pair,” the seller, Andre Ljustina, said in a statement. “I hope a new collector can enjoy them as much as I have.”
The most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction are a game-worn pair of red Air Jordan 1s worn by Jordan that sold for $615,000 at Christie’s last year.
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