Basketball jersey worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan sells for record $10.1 million

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The iconic jersey worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan in the opening game of the 1998 NBA Finals sold at auction for a record $10.1 million (£8.86 million). sterling).

The Chicago Bulls jersey was worn during a sports season dubbed The Last Dance, which saw Jordan win his sixth and final NBA title.

It has become the most cherished sports memorabilia in history, eclipsing the £7m paid for Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt worn during the 1986 World Cup.

The red and black jersey, sporting the number 23, is also the most valuable Michael Jordan item ever sold at auction.

It’s also the best-selling baseball jersey, meaning the former professional basketball ace has broken three new world records without setting foot on the field.

The Nike Mesh Vest has been listed on the New York auctioneer Sotheby’s website as “in excellent condition, consistent with use”.

The winning bid was more than double the $3m (£2.6m) estimate to $5m (£4.4m).

The jersey came with a photo that matches the Certificate of Authenticity and a copy of Sports Illustrated published in June 1998, which features the jersey on the cover.

The Sotheby’s website is also showing a previous lot, a pair of Nike Air Jordan 9 “Player Sample” baseball cleats which fetched over $44,000 (£38,636) at auction yesterday.

The black and white size 13.5 boots were cut to Jordan’s specifications in 1994, months after he shocked the basketball community by announcing his retirement from the sport after three consecutive NBA championships on October 6, 1993.

He threw a curveball to fans after revealing his plans to switch sports, embarking on a brief stint as a professional baseball player.

But the athlete returned to the NBA and the Chicago Bulls in 1995 – just nine days after retiring from baseball.

In 1999 he retired from basketball for the second time, insisting he was “99.9 per cent certain” he would not return.

But two years later, in 2001, Jordan returned to the basketball court, retiring for the third and final time in 2003.

Another pair of Nike Air Ship trainers, worn in Jordan’s fifth NBA game on November 1, 1984, sold for nearly $1.5m (£1.3m) in October 2019. last year.

Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear at Sotheby’s, said the sale “solidifies Michael Jordan as the undisputed GOAT, proving that his name and unmistakable legacy are just as relevant as they were nearly 25 years ago.”

Jordan, now 59, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2009.

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