jersey worn by basketball star Michael Jordan during one of the most famous seasons in his NBA career sold for a record $10.1 million at a New York auction Thursday.
The eight-figure sum was more than double initial estimates, setting a new auction record for a piece of game-worn sports memorabilia, according to Sotheby’s, which organized the sale.
Jordan wore the Chicago Bulls jersey in Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals, the culmination of a famous season known as “The Last Dance” that featured in a 2020 ESPN and Netflix documentary series of the same name. On June 3, 1998 Jordan pulled on the jersey for a game against the Utah Jazz, scoring 33 points in 45 minutes in a Bulls loss.
The Bulls went on to win the championship despite major internal divisions that had affected their season, with Jordan gaining his sixth NBA winners ring.
The $10.1 million sale price realized on Thursday means it is now the most expensive basketball jersey ever to sell at auction, far surpassing the $3.7 million paid for one of Kobe Bryant’s last year. The item also broke the game-worn sports memorabilia record held by Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona’s shirt from the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England, said Sotheby’s. The blue soccer jersey was sold to an anonymous buyer for $9.3 million earlier this year.