A Pair of Size-12.5 Nike Basketball Sneakers Designed for Barack Obama Are Dropping on Presidents’ Day Weekend—for $25,000
The sneakers go on offer at 4:44 p.m. Friday in honor of the 44th president.
If you’re a fan of #44, Sotheby’s New York has a sale that could make your Presidents’ Day weekend very special. The auction house is offering a pair of Nike basketball sneakers designed in 2009 for former US President Barack Obama for $25,000 (or more).
The size 12.5 Hyperdunks are one of only two pairs in existence, according to Sotheby’s. The shoes, which honor Obama’s love for hoops, go on view today at the auction house’s York Avenue showroom. The covetable kicks will also appear on Sotheby’s new “Buy Now” website, which features works of art, fashion, timepieces, design, antiques, and other collectibles. The sale opens at 4:44 p.m. (get it?) on Friday, kicking off Presidents’ Day weekend.
“One of just two pairs made by Nike in celebration of Mr. Obama, the sneakers feature incredible details, including the Seal of the President of the United States, the number ‘44’ embroidered on each sneaker, and ‘1776’ written on the insoles,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of e-commerce development, in a statement. “It’s a pleasure to bring such a unique item to market,” he said, adding with a bit of a groaner, “We hope it will be a slam dunk.”
If the symbolism wasn’t quite clear enough, the 1776 graphic is accompanied by a bald eagle. Oh, and they’re red, white, and blue.
Obama himself has a history with Nike, says the house. Playing for the junior varsity and varsity basketball teams at Hawaii’s Punahou School, he was wearing Nike Blazers when he took home the state championship in 1979. And last year the shoemaker donated $5 million to the Obama Foundation, a gift that will promote physical fitness at the planned Obama Presidential Center on the south side of Chicago.
Obama provided one of the lighter moments of the 2020 presidential campaign when he gracefully sunk a three-pointer at a school gymnasium in Flint, Michigan, while campaigning for his former vice president, Joe Biden, who would go on to win the presidency.
The shoes are in great condition (but for a small mark near the swoosh on the right sole), says the house. But wherever that came from, it probably wasn’t Obama, who has never publicly worn the pair of deadstock sneakers.
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