Sneakers worn by Michael Jordan fetch a record KSh20m
A pair of sports shoes worn by Michael Jordan during the basketball finals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics sold Sunday for KSh19.64 million ($190,372) in an online auction, the auction house announced.
Wearing the white-and-blue Converse brand shoes, Jordan – then still an amateur – scored 20 points in a match against Spain on August 10, 1984 that ended up as a 96-65 walloping.
Jordan was playing for the last all-amateur US Olympic team, one which, under fiery coach Bobby Knight, won the eight matches it played by an average of 30 points.
After the game against Spain Jordan gave the shoes – each of them autographed – to an 11-year-old ball boy, according to the SCP Auctions house, which organized the sale.
It described the size 13 canvas-and-leather shoes as being “well-preserved,” including even Jordan’s “very own navy blue orthotic inserts” and showing “signs of game use” including “proper heel drag.”
They were the last non-Nike shoes Jordan was ever seen wearing, SCP said. He was said to prefer Adidas shoes before signing a $500,000 deal with Nike after the Olympics in 1984; his brand now generates $2.5 billion in yearly sales for Nike, according to ESPN.
Sunday’s buyer was not immediately identified. The online auction began on May 24.
The sales price is believed to be the highest ever for a pair of shoes worn during a game or match, breaking the record for another pair worn by Jordan – during the 1997 National Basketball League finals – sold in 2013 for $104,765.
But the record for shoes worn by any athlete remains with a black-leather pair worn by British miler Roger Bannister when he broke the four-minute barrier in 1954.
Those shoes were sold for 266,500 pounds in September 2015 – about $409,000 at the exchange rate at the time.
And the record for any shoes – sporting or otherwise – is still held by the iconic ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 blockbuster film “The Wizard of Oz.”
The dainty slippers, made of red satin and covered in red sequins, sold in 2000 in an auction organized by Christie’s for $660,000.
Three other pairs made for the movie have survived; one pair is in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, in Washington.
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