Game-worn Jordan sneakers break record


A pair of Michael Jordan shoes has broken the record for the highest paid pair of game-used sneakers at auction.

The shoes, said to be used in the gold medal game against Spain in the 1984 Olympics, sold early Sunday morning for $190,373.

“The record-shattering price proves that Michael Jordan has no equal in the marketplace for game-used basketball memorabilia,” said Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions, which sold the shoes.

The previous record for a pair of game-used shoes sold auction were the pair of shoes Jordan wore in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals for the famous “Flu Game.” Those sold for $104,765 in 2013.

The Jordan pair of shoes, which are autographed and include Jordan’s orthotic inserts, would be considered the last pair he wore in a game as an amateur.

The shoes were obtained by a ballboy who happened to be the 11-year-old son of Los Angeles Lakers great Gail Goodrich as the game was played at The Forum, where the Lakers played.

The shoes mark the last time Jordan wore Converse in an official game.

Jordan, who wore Converse throughout his college career thanks to the brand’s $10,000 a year deal with University of North Carolina head coach Dean Smith, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls three weeks before he played his first game for the United States in the 1984 games.

Jordan scored 20 points in the 95-65 win over Spain on Aug. 10, 1984.

It was during the games that Nike started to put its full-course press on him. Jordan wanted to wear a Converse or adidas — which he wore during the Olympic trials — in the NBA, but the adidas business was in a state of flux and no offer ever came. Converse offered him $100,000 a year, in line with what Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were making. Nike blew away that offer with a five-year deal at $500,000 a year and stock options that brought the initial deal to $7 million, plus the promise of a signature shoe.

Jordan, who signed his deal with the Bulls in September, signed the Nike deal in late October 1984. The rest is history. Seventy million pairs of Air Jordans were sold in the first two months.

The other star of the auction was the famous T206 Honus Wagner card, the most famous card in sports collecting. That card, even in rough shape (graded a 1 out of 10) sold for an astounding $609,294. The collector who consigned the card to the auction, J. Ross Greene, paid $48,000 for the card in 1996. A T206 Wagner, graded a 1, last sold in 2009 for $400,000. The record for a Wagner, which is the all-time record for a price paid for a baseball card, was set last year with a $3.12 million sale.

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