Sneaker auctions are on the rise and have been setting record after record in recent months. The Air Jordans going under the hammer at Christie's New York could be the latest contenders when it comes to topping sales records. November 24 to December 9, the auction house will be offering a pair of Air Jordan XIII "He's Got Game" shoes worn by Michael Jordan during the last regular 1997-1998 NBA season game against the New York Knicks.
Will these sneakers break the record set by the 1984 Nike Air Ships also worn by Michael Jordan, which sold at the end of October for almost $1.5 million? A tidy sum for second-hand sneakers, although they're particularly coveted among the biggest collectors and avid basketball fans. Now, Christie's is expected to make waves with its next offering -- another pair of sneakers worn by Michael Jordan, this time on April 18, 1998, in the final basketball game of the season, where the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks 111-109.
Offered as part of the "Handbags x Hype: The Luxury Remix" sale, these Air Jordan XIII "He's Got Game" shoes were not only worn by the NBA superstar, but are also signed by his hand. Estimated to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000, the sneakers were designed by Tinker Hatfield and are inspired by the black panther -- in turn referencing Michael Jordan's "Black Cat" nickname -- with a holographic jewel on the heel evoking a panther's eye and an outsole resembling a panther's paw.
The 1997-1998 NBA season is not insignificant for Michael Jordan, who once again dominated the American basketball championship, averaging 28.7 points per game, but also 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. His performance was crowned with several titles, including his fifth MVP award and, of course, his sixth -- and last -- NBA championship. In other words, these sneakers appear to have more than enough to help them smash the previous auction record.