A track from Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” just made sports history.
The Chicago Bulls legend’s jersey from Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals has sold for $10.1 million, auction house Sotheby’s announced Thursday, making it the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold and the most expensive Michael Jordan item ever sold at auction.
The jersey breaks the previous record of $9.3 million held by Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal jersey from the 1986 World Cup, which was sold by the same auction house at auction earlier this year.
At the time, Sotheby’s hailed the Maradona jersey as the most expensive sports memorabilia of all time, but a $12.6 million Mickey Mantle card has since topped the market.
The sale of the Jordan jersey comes on the heels of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” docuseries about Jordan’s 1997-98 season with the Bulls, and it’s staggering to think that this jersey sold for a record though. it was worn during a defeat. The Bulls lost Game 1 to the Utah Jazz 88-85 before winning the next three games to take control of the series.
As a press release from Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectibles Brahm Wachter noted when announcing the auction, the rarity of a Jordan Finals jersey made it too difficult for collectors to resist:
“The 1997-98 season is perhaps one of the most popular among Jordan fans, as Michael reached the peak of his abilities while simultaneously pursuing what he thought was his last chance to win an NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls.
“The season itself is his ‘magnum opus’ as an athlete, and a testament to him as a champion and competitor. Jordan finals shirts are remarkably rare, and the 1997-98 finals are arguably the most coveted of all.”
Sotheby’s originally estimated that the Jordan jersey would sell for $3-5 million, but they apparently didn’t realize how crazy the Michael Jordan market can still get after all this time.