A record-breaking $10.1 million was paid for a jersey worn by basketball great Michael Jordan in the 1998 NBA Finals, which marked his final championship win. According to the auction house, the vintage red Chicago Bulls jersey with Mj’s number 23 sold for more money than any other piece of sporting memorabilia used in a game, setting a new jersey auction benchmark. The leotard drew 20 bids, and the final price was double Sotheby’s top estimate.
Additionally, it is the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia owned by Michael Jordan. Before this, a signed relic card from 1997–1998 set the previous record with a price tag of $2.7 million. Only the second of Jordan’s six championship-winning jerseys has been auctioned. Despite giving one to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, most of his NBA Finals jerseys are still in private hands, according to the auction house.
Before the Jordan merchandise breaking it in May, the Diego Maradona “Hand of God” jersey maintained the record for the most expensive item of sports collectibles ever sold. The basketball jersey signed by Kobe Bryant and used in games during the 1996–97 season held the previous record. According to Sotheby’s, the value of that NBA artifact was $3.7 million.
This transaction confirms Michael Jordan’s status as the indisputable GOAT and demonstrates that his name and legendary legacy are still relevant today, over 25 years after they first gained notoriety.
At 59 years old, Jordan played with the Bulls for most of his basketball career and won all six championships. However, in 2001, Jordan came out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards for two seasons. The acclaimed ESPN/Netflix documentary “The Last Dance,” which debuted in 2020, featured a detailed account of his final season with the Bulls. The former basketball player owns the Charlotte Hornets, who play in North Carolina, where he was born. He also receives millions in royalties from Nike’s Air Jordan shoe line.