Friday’s winning bid for “The Dynasty Collection” reached $8,032,800, setting a new global auction record for game-worn sneakers, according to auction house Sotheby’s.
“This set represents the most valuable and significant collection of Air Jordan sneakers ever brought to market,” the auction house said on its website ahead of the auction.
Notably, only one of each pair was sold.
Before the 1991 NBA Finals, Tim Halland, executive director of PR for the Chicago Bulls, requested that Jordan give him one of his game-worn Air Jordan trainers if the team were victorious. Jordan, having won, fulfilled this request, signing and inscribing the shoe before gifting it to Halland – and, due to superstition, continued this tradition for the other five championships, according to Sotheby’s, who obtained the sneakers from a Private American Collector that had obtained them from Halland.
The auction lot included a set of signed limited photographs depicting a smiling Jordan wearing just one sneaker following the triumphant NBA Finals.
The gap between Jordan’s first three consecutive championships and his last three was due to a brief exit he made from the game of basketball in pursuit of professional baseball in October 1993. Although, by March 1995, he had made a stylish return – leading the Chicago Bulls to the most successful regular season in NBA history with 72 wins.
An exceptional player, Jordan earned the nickname “Air Jordan” because of his incredible leaping ability and acrobatic maneuvers.
The Air Jordan line has been coveted by sneakerheads ever since the ex-Bulls star wore them in his rookie year – with a buoyant resale market for his range.
These sneakers are not the first to have sold for a staggering sum.
Last year, a a pair of Jordan’s iconic black and red Air Jordan 13s – the kind he wore to bring home a Bulls victory during Game 2 of his final NBA championship in 1988 – sold for $2.2 million at Sotheby’s in New York.
In October 2021, a pair of red and white Nike Air Ships sneakers, the type worn by Jordan during his fifth NBA game in his rookie season with the Bulls on November 1, 1984, sold for $1.47 million at auction.