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The Air Jordan 1 High, which Michael Jordan wore when he smashed the net's glass backboard during an exhibition game in Italy in 1985, are expected to sell for up to $850,000 at auction

Basketball

Air Jordan sneakers expected to set new record for sports shoe

NEW YORK, United States, Jul 30Eleven pairs of Nike sneakers worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan are up for auction from Thursday, including a set that could smash the record for a sports shoe.

The highlight of the online sale is the Air Jordan 1 High that the NBA megastar wore during a 1985 exhibition match in Italy when he dunked the ball so hard it smashed the glass backboard into thousands of pieces.

A piece of glass is still lodged in the sole of the left shoe.

“It was an iconic moment in the history of sport,” said Caitlin Donovan, head of handbag and sneaker sales at Christie’s — which is organizing the auction with Stadium Goods.

The red, white and black sneakers, which are signed by Jordan, are estimated to sell for between $650,000 (Sh70mn) and $850,000 (Sh91.6mn).

If they match their lowest pre-sale estimate then they will break the all-time record price for a sports shoe, set by Sotheby’s in May when it sold a pair of Air Jordan sneakers for $560,000 (Sh60.3mn),

The Air Ship sneakers that Michael Jordan wore at the start of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls are expected to sell for up to $550,000 © AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Other pairs on offer in the auction, which runs until August 13, are the Nike Air Ship set that Jordan wore at the early part of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984. They could fetch up to $550,000 (Sh59.3mn).

The Air Jordan 7 Olympic that Jordan wore in the gold medal game against Croatia at the 1992 Barcelona Games, which the USA “Dream Team” won, are listed between $50,000 (Sh5.4mn)-$70,000 (Sh7.5mn).

A pair of cleats that Jordan wore during his brief foray into Minor League Baseball in 1994 have a pre-sale high estimate of $9,000 (Sh970,000).

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Christie’s expects the sale to raise a total of $2 million, highlighting 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.

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