Michael Jordan’s signature shoes from 1996 sold for a record $1.47 million on Monday in a Brooklyn auction of basketball memorabilia, the Chicago Bulls legend’s first signature sneaker.
The shoes, previously owned by designer Marc Ecko, had an initial estimate of up to $950,000 at the Michael Jordan Celebrity Apparel Auction.
Jordan’s shoes have been offered up at auctions previously, the most recent being 2017’s attempt to find a home for them online. Those sneakers, which also sold for a record $900,000, were given to Jordan’s chief marketing officer, the enigma known as Demetrius Smith. The shoes had an online reserve price of $750,000, with the highest bidder having to pay $1.
Ecko, the former rapper who founded BodyArmor and Forbes rich list sports company Def Jam Recordings, put the shoes up for sale again at Funko, a toys-and-comics company that makes Pop! figures, collectible football and basketball bobbleheads and collectible wax figures for clothing lines and footwear.
The shoes up for sale, which are now returned to Jordan, were similar to the first signature Jordan sneakers that the coach wore in the 1995-96 season when he led the Chicago Bulls to their second consecutive NBA title. In addition to making the listing, Funko posted an Instagram video with a toy replica of the shoes and a diamond-encrusted swoosh “wearing” the Bulls’ championship ring.
While the auction itself didn’t start until 11 a.m. ET, the shoes were on the block as early as 8 a.m. in a press room that was jammed with Jordan fans before the sale began. Around 150 people lined up the length of the room for more than two hours to get their hands on a pair of the shoes.
Those fans might have ended up paying much more than $1.47 million, which is still high for most sneakers, but still a far cry from Jordan’s $9.98 million sale of his No. 23 jersey from the 1992 championship game to The Jordan Brand in 2008. That was the highest-selling jersey of all time.