Slam Dunk! A Pair of ‘Space Jam’ Nikes Made for Michael Jordan Himself Have Sold at Sotheby’s for $176,400
The shoes were specially made for the NBA superstar.
Is it the shoes? A one-of-a-kind pair of Air Jordan sneakers created for Michael Jordan in honor of his starring role in the hit Looney Toons feature Space Jam just sold for $176,400 at Sotheby’s against a $150,000 to $200,000 estimate.
Produced in 1995, the size-13 Nikes are autographed by Jordan on the left shoe. The auction house touted the sneakers as “deadstock,” highlighting their never-been-worn status. The shoes are a “player sample” made specifically for Jordan, who wore the style during the 1996 NBA playoffs, where the Chicago Bulls claimed the championship.
Nike designer Tinker Hatfield designed the shoes to prevent Jordan from rolling his ankle when changing direction on the court. They were never produced for retail sale in these colors.
“This pair is truly a grail for many sneaker collectors worldwide,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement. “This pair has been kept in absolutely perfect condition to this day.”
The sale was announced timed to the release earlier this month of Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring NBA star LeBron James. The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews, but enjoyed a $31.1 million opening weekend at the box office. (The original movie grossed over $230 million during its theatrical run 25 years ago.)
“This pair has been one of my most prized possessions for years now, and with the release of the new film, it felt like the right time for another collector and ‘Space Jam’ fanatic to enjoy this incredible pair,” the seller, Andre Ljustina, said in a statement. “I hope a new collector can enjoy them as much as I have.”
The “MJ’s Secret Stuff: The Space Jam Jordans,” as the shoes are called, are named after the drink that Jordan and Bugs Bunny give their animated teammates to boost their confidence to win against their alien rivals, the Monstars. (On the line was intergalactic slavery.)
Another pair of Jordan sneakers is currently on offer in an Olympics-themed Sotheby’s sale, “The Games,” open for online bidding through August 2. A pair of Converse Fastbreaks that the young Jordan wore at the 1984 Olympic Trials, before his rookie season in the NBA, is expected to fetch $75,000.
The most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction are a game-worn pair of red Air Jordan 1s (yes, MJ wore these) that sold for $615,000 at Christie’s last year.
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