A jersey worn by LeBron James during the first half of Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals sold at auction for $3.7 million Friday, becoming the third-most expensive game-worn jersey ever sold at Sotheby's.
It is the most a game-worn James jersey has ever fetched at Sotheby's but ranks behind Michael Jordan's "Last Dance" NBA Finals jersey ($10.91 million) and Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" jersey ($9.28 million).
On the night James wore this jersey, he scored 37 points, nabbed 12 rebounds and had four assists as the Miami Heat eliminated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7. James was 5-of-10 from 3-point range and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. The jersey happens to be from the season James won his fourth and most recent NBA MVP Award, which tied him for third most with Wilt Chamberlain, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Bill Russell and Michael Jordan (both with five).
James is projected to pass Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's career points king in less than two weeks.
"Today's tremendous result comes at a pivotal time in LeBron James' career, where he is in arm's reach of clenching the all-time points record," Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectibles, said in a statement. "[After Jordan's 'Last Dance' jersey], this successful sale of another incomparable legend's jersey [is] one of the most significant jerseys to ever hit the auction block."
The previous record for a game-worn James jersey was for his 2020 NBA All-Star Game jersey, which sold for $630,000 in 2020. The most ever paid on a James item remains the $5.2 million paid for a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection rookie patch autograph, which set a card record when it was sold through PWCC in April 2021. (The sports card record has since been broken numerous times, but the James RPA remains the most expensive, non-fractional ownership basketball card ever sold. )
It won't be long until another likely record-breaker comes out of Sotheby's. Just after the third anniversary of his death, on Feb. 1, a jersey Kobe Bryant wore in 25 games (including six playoff games) during his lone NBA MVP season in 2007-08 opens for auction. It's expected to fetch anywhere from $5 million to $7 million.
During Bryant's 2007-08 season, he became the youngest player to score 20,000 points -- a record broken by James in 2013.