Rare Michael Jordan trainers on display in Middle East for first time

The retired basketball superstar wore the shoes during the final games of his six NBA championship wins

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Shoes Michael Jordan wore during his six NBA championship wins are on display in Dubai.

The Dynasty Collection, which includes one shoe from each pair worn during his NBA Finals victories, are available to see at the DIFC branch of Sotheby's auction house. They are on display until Friday, before being offered for private sale.

During the 1990s, Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six championships, decided during a best-of-seven final round known as the NBA Finals. The shoes were all worn during the deciding games that clinched the title for the Bulls.

“Each of these sneakers was worn by Michael Jordan in the six games that the Chicago Bulls won the championships in,” Eric Hirsch, Sotheby’s sports memorabilia specialist tells The National.

“We're talking about six of the most significant and important basketball games that Michael Jordan ever played. So as far as the game-worn sneakers for Jordan, these are among the pinnacle of those. As a set, for them to be sold together, is unprecedented.”

The trainers are a collaboration between Jordan and Nike, which produced the first Air Jordan model, the Air Jordan I, in 1984, for the player to use during his first season with the Chicago Bulls.

The Dynasty Collection includes the Air Jordan VI, worn during the championship final versus Los Angeles Lakers in 1991; the Air Jordan VII worn in 1992 in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers; the Air Jordan VIII worn to play the Phoenix Suns in 1993; and the Air Jordan XI, which he wore to beat the Seattle SuperSonics in 1996. Also in the sale is an Air Jordan XII and Air Jordan XIV, worn in 1997 and 1998 respectively to play Utah Jazz.

“Michael Jordan game-worn sneakers are very rare as it is,” Hirsch adds.

“What's even rarer are sneakers that he wore during the play-offs or in the finals. As far as championship-clinching games, he only played in six of those in his career and all six of them are represented here.”

Three of the pieces in the collection are signed by Jordan.

This is the first time an auction house such as Sotheby’s has exhibited streetwear and trainers in the Middle East region.

“The sneaker-collecting community has been around for a while,” says Hirsch.

“However, coinciding with the boom in sports memorabilia and [sports] cards as a whole, which really took off about three years ago during the pandemic, we've seen a major increase in the demand for game-worn sneakers specifically.”

Hirsch highlighted the significance of one of the shoes in particular, the Air Jordan XIV worn in game six of the 1998 NBA Finals.

“It was his last game as a member of the Chicago Bulls,” he says.

“It's also the game where Jordan does his famous crossover and hits the game-winning shot with five seconds left in Utah. It's one of the most memorable and famous images and shots and moments of Jordan's career. And we have the sneaker."

Hirsch also added the public viewing of the sneakers could be a once-off opportunity for fans.

“It's possible that something like this ― from Michael Jordan, and sneakers of this magnitude — could never be shown publicly again,” he says.

“So while you have the opportunity, I would I would advise people to check it out.”

The Dynasty Collection is on display at Sotheby’s Dubai in the DIFC until Friday

Updated: March 01, 2023, 9:17 AM