Jordan wore the jersey in the Bulls' Game 1 loss against the Jazz, a series he eventually won to earn his sixth NBA title.
The Chicago Bulls jersey Michael Jordan wore during Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals was sold for $10.1 million at Sotheby's this week, the auction house announced. The bidding went on from Sept. 6-14 and reached a price that was significantly higher than the $3-5 million estimated when Sotheby's first announced the auction.
This jersey is now the most expensive game-worn sports memorabilia ever. It surpassed Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" jersey from the 1986 World Cup, as that was sold for $9.28 million in May.
One of only two Jordan game-worn NBA Finals jerseys to go up for auction, this particular one serves as a nice souvenir of the five-time MVP's iconic "Last Dance" with the Bulls.
According to Sotheby's, Jordan wore the jersey on June 3, 1998 when he registered 33 points in 45 minutes against the Utah Jazz. The game went into overtime, but the Bulls took an 88-85 loss on the road. That series ended up going to six games, and the Bulls walked away with the title that gave Jordan his sixth and final NBA championship ring. He also earned his sixth Finals MVP award that year.
"The season itself is his 'magnum opus' as an athlete, and a testament to him as a champion and competitor," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectables, in a press release last month. "Finals jerseys from Jordan are remarkably scant, and the 1997-1998 Finals are arguably the most coveted of them all."
The auction website described the jersey as being "in excellent condition consistent with use." It comes with a photo-matching certificate from The MeiGray Group, as well as a graded copy of a June 1998 Sports Illustrated, which features Jordan wearing the jersey on the cover.
It's been quite the summer for sports memorabilia. Last month, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card with a 9.5 grade from grader SGC was sold for a record $12.6 million -- the most ever paid for a sports item, card or memorabilia.
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