Michael Jordan’s jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA Finals has sold for over $US10 million ($A15m) at an auction, making it the most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia in history.
The previous record was established earlier this year at Sotheby’s, with Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey fetching a staggering $US9.3m ($14m).
“In the weeks since we announced the auction, there’s been palpable excitement from not only sports fans, but collectors alike who are eager to own a rarefied piece of history,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables.
“Yet again, today’s record-breaking result … solidifies Michael Jordan as the undisputed G.O.A.T, proving his name and incomparable legacy is just as relevant as it was nearly 25 years ago.”
Jordan’s jersey was expected to fetch $US3 to $US5m ($A4.5 to $A7.5m) at Sotheby’s “INVICTUS” auction and eclipsed the $US3.7m ($A5.5m) spent in May on Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers jersey worn in his rookie year – the previous record for a basketball jersey at auction.
It also broke the record for any item of Jordan sports memorabilia after his autographed relic card from 1997-1998 sold for $2.7 million.
The jersey from the famed “Last Dance” season — named after the 2020 ESPN/Netflix documentary chronicling Jordan and Chicago Bulls in their quest to win their sixth NBA championship in eight years – attracted a total of 20 bids.