Basketball: Michael Jordan's sneakers sell for US$615,000, new record

One of the NBA megastar's Air Jordan 1 Highs that he wore in 1985, when he dunked the ball so hard it shattered the glass backboard.
One of the NBA megastar's Air Jordan 1 Highs that he wore in 1985, when he dunked the ball so hard it shattered the glass backboard.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - A pair of Michael Jordan's game-worn sneakers sold for US$615,000, (S$843,000) Christie's auction house said on Thursday (Aug 13), shattering a record set just months ago by the sale of another pair of the basketball legend's shoes.

The sneakers were a pair of Air Jordan 1 Highs that the NBA megastar wore during a 1985 exhibition match in Italy when he dunked the ball so hard it shattered the glass backboard.

"This is the original shoe with an actual piece of the backboard, a piece of glass, in the sole of the shoe," said Caitlin Donovan, head of handbag and sneaker sales at Christie's - which organised the Thursday auction with Stadium Goods.

Jordan racked up 30 points while wearing the size 13.5 shoes, which are in the red and black colours of his Chicago Bulls team.

Though the sale broke the record set in May when a pair of Air Jordan 1's sold for US$560,000, the new auction landed below the estimated range of US$650,000 and US$850,000.

The record setting sales highlight the soaring market value of objects identified with the retired basketball superstar since the release of The Last Dance, an ESPN/Netflix documentary that chronicles the saga of Jordan and his Chicago Bulls.

It also confirms that the lowly sneaker now has a place of pride in the world of wealthy collectors alongside more traditional collectibles.