Sports memorabilia fans are primed to be hyped up as one of the rarest items from Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” season with the Chicago Bulls will now be available for auction next month after a public exhibit.
In an announcement made on Wednesday (August 10), the famed RM Sotheby’s firm has announced that they will be displaying the game-worn jersey that the NBA legend wore in 1998 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals which featured the Chicago Bulls against the Utah Jazz. That 1997-1998 season – Michael Jordan’s last with the Bulls – has been enshrined as a cultural moment, heightened by the award-winning ESPN/Netflix documentary series The Last Dance. The jersey will be displayed for the first time in 20 years ahead of the 25th anniversary of that season at the firm’s flagship auction in Monterey, California which will be held from August 17th to August 20th. It will then be on display at Sotheby’s New York from September 6th to September 12th, and be available as part of the INVICTUS PART I single-lot online auction which will take place until September 14th.
The jersey’s rarity is sure to stoke a lot of interest. “Finals jerseys from Jordan are remarkably scant, and the 1997-1998 Finals are arguably the most coveted of them all,” said Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables, Brahm Wachter in the announcement. The estimated value of the jersey is set at $3.5 million, which would make it the highest ever for a piece of Michael Jordan memorabilia. The only other authentic Jordan jersey that is on display is one that was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. That was donated by the Hall-of-Famer himself for the museum’s original collection when it opened in 2016.
Private collectors have the remainder of the available game-worn jerseys from the Bulls guard. The jersey from Game 1 was featured in the 10th episode of The Last Dance, which was memorable for a key moment of footage showing Jordan relaxed and wearing headphones, listening to Kenny Lattimore before the game. It was also prominently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in June 1998 after the end of the Finals, which the Bulls won giving Jordan his sixth NBA championship.
More information on the auction can be found at sothebys.com.