A pair of Michael Jordan shoes that changed hands twice in the span of a few minutes after a game late in his rookie season of 1984-85 are now on the auction block.
The story is one that shows a little enterprise can go a long way.
On the night of March 5, 1985, a family of Jordan fans watched the rookie score 37 points in a win over the Washington Bullets, then hung around after the game, seeking out the player parking lot in hopes of snaring an autograph from Jordan.
From a distance, they saw Jordan standing beside his BMW, speaking with a man “with whom he appeared to already be familiar,” according to a letter of provenance from the consignor that accompanies the shoes being offered by Heritage Auctions. The two autograph-seeking brothers left disappointed after Jordan popped the trunk of his car, unzipped his equipment bag and handed the shoes to the man, then drove off.
That’s when things got interesting.
The brothers returned to the family car in general parking and headed for home when one of them spotted the man walking down the street, carrying MJ’s shoes. They pulled over and indicated an interest in buying them. The man was receptive and a price was successfully negotiated, one “that today would seem absolutely paltry when considering the future that awaited Michael Jordan,” according to the auction listing.
Time was turned the ankle padding a bit crunchy but the shoes have managed to avoid the degradation of rubber common in vintage sneakers. The inside carries a “13 850101-TYPS” manufacturing stamp that was used only for Jordan’s personal models.
The current high bid stands at over $40,000 with bidding set to continue through Saturday.