A pair of Michael Jordan rookie year shoes is heading for auction. SCP Auctions says the white and red Nikes pre-date the Air Jordan line and were handed to a Lakers ball boy after a Chicago Bulls victory in Los Angeles. With both signed by Jordan, who added his number 23, the Nike Air model shoes are expected to fetch $50,000 or more.
“These are very rare shoes indeed,” said SCP Auctions spokesman Dan Imler. “Jordan actually handed these to the attending Lakers’ ball boy after the game and they have stayed in his possession for the past 31 years. Their provenance is flawless.”
SCP says the shoes have been consigned by Khalid Ali, who was a 15-year-old ball boy at the Forum on December 2, 1984. Ali says he summoned the courage to walk up to Jordan during the Bulls pregame warm-ups and ask him for the shoes. The back story is that he originally asked Jordan for a pair of tri-color (red, black and white) Nike shoes that Michael was simply breaking in during warm-ups. “They were an intriguing blend of multi-colored Nike shoes,” recalled Ali. “I had never seen a pair of Nike shoes with three colors before.”
After shoot-arounds, however, Jordan went back to the locker room and came out for the game wearing a completely different pair of white Nike Air shoes with the red swoosh. According to Ali, those are the shoes Jordan gave him in the Bulls locker room following the game. According to Ali, Jordan even grabbed a pen out of his duffle bag and signed them both.
After securing his prize, Ali dated the left shoe “12-2-84”.
They are considered the first ever pre-Air Jordan gamers to hit the hobby. Jordan only wore this style of shoe during the early portion of his rookie campaign before switching full time to Air Jordans later in the campaign.
ESPN has confirmed Ali was employed as a Lakers ball boy that season.
Online bidding, open to registered bidders, will run for two-and-a-half weeks and conclude on Saturday, April 25. The auction will be conducted online at www.scpauctions.com. For more information, call 949-831-3700.