Michael Jordan's 'Last Dance' jersey sells for $10.1 m

NBA great's jersey becomes most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia in history

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Basketball legend Michael Jordan's jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA Finals sold for over $10 million at an auction, making it the most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia in history.

The previous record was established earlier this year when Argentine football great Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" jersey fetched a staggering $9.3m. Jordan's jersey was sold for $10.1 m.

"In the weeks since we announced the auction, there's been palpable excitement from not only sports fans, but collectors alike who are eager to own a rarefied piece of history," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables.

"Yet again, the record-breaking result solidifies Michael Jordan as the undisputed G.O.A.T, proving his name and incomparable legacy is just as relevant as it was nearly 25 years ago."

The jersey is only the second worn by Jordan during his six championships to be sold at auction.

Most of Jordan's NBA Finals jerseys remain in private hands, although he has donated one to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Jordan, 59, spent the bulk of his basketball career with the Bulls, with whom he won all six of his titles. His final season with the Bulls was detailed in the hit Netflix documentary "The Last Dance" released in 2020.

Earlier, a rare Mickey Mantle baseball card became the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia after it fetched $12.6 million in auction.

Before the pandemic, the sports memorabilia market was estimated at more than $5.4 billion, according to Forbes. By 2021, that market has grown to $26 billion.

Updated: September 17, 2022, 7:28 AM