Billionaire Michael Jordan’s 1984 Nike Air Ship sneakers, worn during his fifth career NBA game, recently fetched an impressive $624,000(N479.23 million) at auction.
Jordan, often regarded as the NBA’s greatest player of all time, was an ambassador for the Nike brand.
These shoes, auctioned by Goldin Auctions, initially had a winning bid of $520,000 (N399.36 million), but the final price included a 22% buyer’s premium totalling $624,000(N479.23 million) to cover auction costs-Bleacher Reports.
The sneakers, featuring MJ’s autograph and a photo matching definitively confirming their use during his fifth game against the Denver Nuggets on November 1, 1984, were a valuable piece of basketball history.
Notably, Jordan wore the Nike Air Ships during his NBA rookie season in 1984 before the official launch of the Air Jordan brand.
What you should know
The story behind these shoes involves a Denver Nuggets ball boy named Tj Lewis, who held onto the autographed sneakers for 40 years.
After a Bulls game, Lewis approached Jordan in the locker room, hoping to secure the shoes as a souvenir.
To his astonishment, Jordan not only noticed him but also handed over the shoes he had worn that night and even signed them.
One of the shoes bore a special message: “My Very Best to TJ Michael Jordan.”
More on Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan, valued at $2 billion by Forbes estimates, is widely considered the NBA’s greatest player, having won six titles with the Chicago Bulls.
While his career earnings amounted to $90 million, his lucrative corporate partnerships with brands like Nike, Hanes, and Gatorade have boosted his pre-tax earnings to a staggering $1.8 billion.
In addition to his business ventures, Jordan has served as a special advisor and investor for sports-betting firm DraftKings, ventured into NASCAR team ownership, and sold a minority stake in the Charlotte Hornets in a 2019 deal that valued the NBA team at $1.5 billion.