ESPN and Netflix documentary “The Last Dance” continues to drive collector interest, and is the subject of a Sotheby’s auction.
The art and luxury house is auctioning Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey from his final season on the Chicago Bulls, which was highlighted prominently in the documentary.
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The jersey could go for between $3 million and $5 million, according to Sotheby’s, which would make it the highest auction price for a Michael Jordan jersey. It will be offered in a single-lot sale from Sept. 6 through Sept. 14 and will be on public exhibition from Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 in Monterey, Calif., and Sept. 6 through Sept. 12 at Sotheby’s New York, during the sale.
“The 1997-1998 season is perhaps one of the most popular among Jordan fans, as Michael was reaching the height of his abilities while simultaneously pursuing what he understood would be his last chance at an NBA Championship with the Chicago Bulls,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables. “The season itself is his ‘magnum opus’ as an athlete, and a testament to him as a champion and competitor. Finals jerseys from Jordan are remarkably scant, and the 1997-1998 Finals are arguably the most coveted of them all.”
The 1998 NBA Finals was one of the most viewed of all NBA Finals of all time, and game six of the series, Jordan’s last game on the Chicago Bulls, still holds the record for being the highest-rated and most watched NBA Finals game of all time.
But in game one, things looked different for the team in their “Last Dance,” a term coined by then-coach Phil Jackson. The team arrived in Utah to face the Utah Jazz to a raucous crowd and would lose in overtime despite Jordan putting up 33 points in 45 minutes of play. The series was heavily featured in the documentary and caught a rare moment of Jordan on the team bus listening to Kenny Lattimore’s latest album ahead of its release.
The 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey is one of two Jordan NBA Finals jerseys to appear in auction. Most of the jerseys are privately owned, but one resides in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture since 2016, which Jordan donated.
Prior to this auction, Sotheby’s auctioned Diego Maradona’s 1986 World Cup match-worn shirt, which achieved $9.3 million, a world auction record for most valuable jersey ever sold and for any sports memorabilia.
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