Michael Jordan remains an iconic figure in the sports world, on and off the basketball court. The Hall of Famer still commands interest among collectors, who can’t seem to get enough of Jordan memorabilia.
Now, a Sotheby’s auction that will benefit Jordan’s father will offer several exclusive collectibles.
The James R. Jordan Foundation Capsule Collection be conducted by Sotheby’s for 10 days in early November. The collection, which will include jerseys, art and cufflinks that are part of Jordan’s monumental basketball career, will go on sale Nov. 2 and will last through Nov. 12. Sotheby’s announced that a digital catalog is available beginning Thursday.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit the foundation, a nonprofit organization that creates a “pathway out of poverty” for youths by “leveling the playing field” so they can become successful and productive. The organization creates networks of support for youths and their families, with an emphasis on education.
The foundation was founded by Jordan’s mother, Deloris Jordan, to honor her late husband. James R. Jordan was shot to death on July 23, 1993, near Lumberton, North Carolina, as he slept in his car. The elder Jordan was returning home from a funeral and had pulled his car over to the side of the road when Daniel Andre Green and Larry Martin Demery fatally shot him and stole the vehicle. Both were later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, although Demery was granted parole and is scheduled to be released in 2023.
The auction items have been held by the foundation.
“We are excited to partner with Sotheby’s to bring additional support to our efforts through this incredible charity auction, featuring a curated grouping of property from the organization’s collection,” Delores Jordan stated. “Our hope now, as it is always, is to make a difference in the lives of all the children and families we serve.”
The highlight of the auction is a lot containing a 2012 Converse commemorative pack and a practice-worn jersey from MJ’s days at the University of North Carolina. The lot includes an autographed, size 40 North Carolina jersey and a signed pair of size 13 Jordan x Converse Pro Leather sneakers. The lot also includes a No. 23 Jordan practice jersey in Carolina blue.
This pack was issued in 2012 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Tar Heels’ 1982 national championship, when Jordan’s shot with 17 seconds to play sealed North Carolina’s first NCAA crown in New Orleans under legendary coach Dean Smith. The pack was one of 30 issued, and the one up for grabs in this auction is labeled 9/30. It was kept by the foundation as a reminder of the uniform number Michael Jordan wore during the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games.
“Thirty years ago, on college basketball’s grandest stage, a game-winning jump shot with seventeen seconds remaining birthed the legend of 23,” the inside of the box reads. “It was the moment that Mike Jordan became, Michael Jordan. The moment that 23 became more than just a number. And that moment the world was introduced to the greatest to ever play the game.”
Jordan was a key member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team” basketball squad, which included Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and Christian Laettner. The Sotheby’s auction will include a size 48 uniform worn by Jordan during the team’s run to the gold medal at the Barcelona Games. The Champion brand jersey carries Jordan’s No. 9 and is signed on the back.
Another big ticket item is a pair of Jordan’s 14-karat white gold and diamond cufflinks. The square-shaped, 1-inch by 1-inch cufflinks are adorned with the initials “MJ” and are set in round diamonds. Together, the two pieces of jewelry, which Jordan wore, weigh 5.75 carats.
Included with the cufflinks is a box from longtime Chicago jeweler Lester Lampert.
Also on the block is a screen print of Jordan created by noted artist LeRoy Neiman. The artwork is signed by Jordan and Neiman and is numbered 313/320. It is dated from 1991, which was the first of six NBA championship seasons for the Chicago Bulls.
The screen-print is one of only two produced by Neiman picturing Jordan, and the only one that features MJ exclusively. It is a typically expressive piece of artwork by Neiman, featuring several images of Jordan in action.
The foundation “has been doing vital work both locally and globally in support of children and families in underserved communities for over 20 years,” Deloris Jordan said.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of eCommerce development, said it was an honor for Sotheby’s to participate in the auction.
“The property is a tightly curated grouping of items with perhaps the most remarkable provenance collectors could hope for,” Wachter said. “We are looking forward to raising funds for this very important cause, which will support the efforts of the Foundation both locally and globally. We hope this collection of items, including cufflinks, jerseys, and art excite our global audience towards bidding for this important cause.”
Bidding begins at 8:30 a.m. EST on Nov. 2.