Ben Affleck and Matt Damon aren't the only ones paying homage to MJ.
Less than a week after the release of the movie "Air," which chronicles Nike's signing of Michael Jordan, Sotheby's announced that a pair of signed Jordan sneakers that were worn in the second half of Game 2 of the 1998 "Last Dance" NBA Finals have sold for $2,238,000 -- the highest price ever paid at auction for a pair of sneakers.
In that game, Jordan had 37 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists -- with no turnovers -- in the Chicago Bulls' crucial 93-88 win over the Utah Jazz. Nine days later, Jordan won his sixth and final NBA championship and was named Finals MVP.
The previous record for a pair of sneakers -- and the first to sell for more than $1 million at auction -- belonged to a pair of Nike Air Ships that are the earliest known pair to be worn by Jordan in a regular-season game. Those sold at auction for $1.472 million at Sotheby's in 2021.
The sneakers sold at auction on Tuesday -- Air Jordan XIII Breds (shorthand for black and red, the same color scheme that got Jordan repeatedly fined early in his career) -- happen to be the final pair of Breds that he wore in a game.
Sotheby's said Jordan gifted these sneakers to a Jazz ball boy who'd found Jordan's previously lost jacket. They are the only complete pair of sneakers worn by Jordan in an NBA Finals game that have been photo-matched and authenticated by the MeiGray Group, the official authenticator of the NBA.
It's not the first piece of "Last Dance" memorabilia to make waves. In September, a jersey worn by Jordan in Game 1 was sold at auction by Sotheby's for $10.091 million -- the most expensive sports memorabilia item of all time. The only sports collectible item that has ever fetched more is the 9.5-graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, which sold for $12.6 million in August 2022.
"Today's record-breaking result further proves that the demand for Michael Jordan sports memorabilia continues to outperform and transcend all expectations," Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement. "Sotheby's is extremely proud to hold the world record for most valuable game-worn sports memorabilia at auction and the most valuable sneakers ever sold, both of which -- to no surprise -- are directly tied to the global icon, Michael Jordan."