At 58, Michael Jordan is still achieving new heights. Goldin Auctions, out of its new Private Sales Division, completed the single-most expensive Jordan item sale of all-time when a 1997-98 Upper Deck “Game Jersey” game-worn patch card with an on-card autograph sold for $2.7 million over the weekend. That broke the all-time Goldin Auctions record of $2.1 million — held by the same kind, but differently numbered, card.
As popular as Jordan’s 1986-87 Fleer rookie card has become — Jordan card sales increased by 370% on eBay in April 2020, following the release of The Last Dance — the 1997-98 Upper Deck may be Jordan’s most important: It’s the first example of a Jordan autographed memorabilia card in a set.
The sneakers, included in Sotheby’s “Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury” collection, are expected to be the most valuable ever offered at auction. Sotheby’s estimates the pair will sell for $1 million to $1.5 million; the current record stands at $615,000 for a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 High game-worn sneakers from 1985, sold by Christies in August 2020. The Air Ships, designed by Bruce Kilgore, come from a former Denver Nuggets ball boy, whom Jordan gifted the sneakers to after the game.
Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie uniform won’t be changing hands after all. The artifact’s shareholders on the asset investing platform Collectable rejected a $2 million offer Tuesday, with 82% of voters (weighted by their holding size) saying no deal. The price would have been the second highest ever paid for a basketball uniform. Fractional shares of the 1959-60 full uniform—tank top and shorts together—have been trading on Collectable since this spring, rising from an initial value of roughly $1.25 million to more than $1.6 million this weekend. Collectable operates under the idea that sports memorabilia ought to be an asset class in addition to being wall decor. And this year has been kind to collectible investors.
The current record for an NBA kit belongs to a signed Kobe Bryant jersey that sold for $3.69 million in May. The previous high was $1.38 million, set by a Michael Jordan North Carolina piece. The Chamberlain uniform sold for $700,000 in 2019. Collectable said the uniform was likely worn for every home game during Chamberlain’s rookie year, when he averaged 38 points and 27 rebounds for the 49-26 Philadelphia Warriors.