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Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals jersey sells for a record $10.1 million

Basketball jersey from Jordan’s famous “Last Dance” season with the Chicago Bulls sets a record for game-worn memorabilia.

Famous basketball player Michael Jordan’s Game 1 jersey from the 1998 NBA Finals has sold at auction for $10.1 million – a record for all sports memorabilia worn in the game, auction house Sotheby’s announced.

The number 23 red jersey from Jordan’s “Last Dance” season with the Chicago Bulls received 20 separate bids, Sotheby’s said in a statement Thursday, pushing the price to double its estimate of $5 million.

The sale also sets a new record for a basketball jersey at auction, and the jersey is the most valuable Jordan memento ever sold.

“The historic jersey was worn during what is arguably the most celebrated season of Jordan’s legendary and storied career, as the superstar cemented his legacy as the greatest basketball player of all time,” said Sotheby’s.

According to the auction house, the jersey is one of only two of Jordan’s NBA Finals jerseys ever to be auctioned.

Interest in Jordan’s 1998 season was renewed following the release in 2020 of an ESPN/Netflix documentary titled The Last Dance, which chronicled the Chicago Bulls’ efforts to capture an unprecedented sixth NBA championship in eight seasons. have been described in detail.

The 1998 NBA Finals, which saw the Bulls take on the Utah Jazz led by Karl Malone and John Stockton, was the most-watched NBA Finals series of all time.

It also serves as a testament to Jordan as a competitor, athlete, and teammate.

“Today’s record-breaking result of a staggering 20 bids once again cements Michael Jordan as the undisputed GOAT [Greatest of All Time]Proving its name and unparalleled legacy is just as relevant as it was almost 25 years ago,” said Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, in a statement.

On June 3, 1998, the Chicago Bulls arrived in Utah for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The home crowd was hostile to the team, but as the ESPN/Netflix documentary revealed, Jordan was seemingly unfazed by the pressure. There’s a now-famous scene where he grooves with R&B singer Kenny Lattimore on the Bulls’ bus.

While the Bulls lost by three points in Game 1, Jordan played 45 minutes — the longest time in a game in the Finals, Sotheby’s said. He also registered 33 points to send the game into overtime.

That season, the Bulls won their 6th NBA championship and Jordan secured his 6th NBA Finals MVP award.

The previous record for Jordan’s sports memorabilia was an autographed relic card from 1997-1998 that sold for $2.7 million, according to Sotheby’s.

Kobe Bryant’s worn and signed jersey from the 1996-1997 season, which sold for $3.7 million, previously held the record for a basketball jersey.

Before Jordan’s jersey sold for $10.1 million on Thursday, the previous record for all game-worn sports memorabilia was set by Diego Maradona’s Hand of God jersey, which grossed $9.3 million earlier this year , said Sotheby’s.

In recent years, the auction house has expanded into sneakers and sports memorabilia.

Sotheby’s currently holds the record for most valuable sneakers sold at auction, with Michael Jordan’s earliest known regular-season match-worn Nikes selling for $1.5 million last year.

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