A pair of 1985 Air Ship sneakers worn by Michael Jordan has been sold at a Sotheby’s auction for US$1.5m (approx. S$2.1m) — setting a new bidding record for game-worn footwear.
Jordan wore the Air Ship during his rookie season before he was given his very first signature sneaker, the Air Jordan 1. The Air Ship in Sotheby’s possession mirrors the team Chicago Bulls team colors of white and red and meets NBA rules of the time, which prohibits the use of non-team colors on player’s sneakers.
According to Sotheby’s, the size 13 sneakers are in good condition with clear signs of on-court use. The Air Ship was originally given to Tommie Tim III Lewis who was a ball boy for the Denver Nuggets during the 1984-85 season.
#AuctionUpdate The most valuable sneakers ever offered at auction—Michael Jordan’s regular season game-worn Nike Air Ships from 1984—have just sold at $1,472,000 in our luxury sale in Las Vegas. #SothebysxMGM pic.twitter.com/OlxvZ1ETML
— Sotheby’s (@Sothebys) October 24, 2021
The sale beats the previous record held by Jordan’s game-worn and signed pair of Air Jordan 1 that was auctioned off by Christie’s. That pair was sold for US$615,000.
The only sneaker that has been sold for more than the Air Ship’s US$1.5 million price tag is Ye’s Nike Air Yeezy sample, which sold for US$1.8 million in a private sale. The one-of-one sample sneaker was worn during his set at the Grammys and was immediately returned to Nike right after.
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