As Michael Jordan championships go—and there were many—it’s among the most important and meaningful. It wasn’t his first. There had been three before it. It wasn’t his last, either. There would be a couple more before he moved on from the Chicago Bulls but the 1996 NBA title not only put the cap on one of the greatest seasons in NBA history, it was as emotional as anything the usually stoic Jordan had ever done.
Now, the only known copy of a ticket stub from the deciding game of the ’96 NBA Finals autographed by Jordan is about to go up for sale. Heritage Auctions will offer the worn, but boldly signed and fully authenticated ducat in its upcoming August Platinum Night sale, where it could go for $40,000 or more.
The original owner had watched the Bulls defeat the Seattle Supersonics 87-75 in Game 6 at the United Center, earning a 4 games to 2 win in the best of 7 series after the never-say-die Sonics had rallied back from a 3-0 deficit. The championship marked the start of the franchise’s second three-peat and capped a much heralded regular season that saw them set what was then the NBA record of 70 wins.
The Sonics were no slouches. They’d finished 64-18 in the Western Conference and the combined win total of 136 for the championship round was an NBA record. It was the last time the team would appear in the Finals before departing for Oklahoma City.
Dennis Rodman tied his own NBA Finals record with 19 rebounds and Jordan was named Finals MVP for the fourth time after averaging 27.3 points per game. The championship—captured on Father’s Day 1996– was his first after the murder of his father James three years earlier. Amid the celebration, Michael Jordan dedicated the title to his dad.
Bidding for the ticket is expected to open July 30 as part of an auction scheduled to close over two nights, August 21 and 22.