Michael Jordan’s earliest known regular season Nikes, a pair of signed and game-worn Nike Air Ships, have been put up for auction and are estimated to sell for more than $1 million. The exclusive, pre-Jordan Brand line sneaker will be included in Sotheby’s upcoming “Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury” auction. At its current projection, the Nike Air Ships are the all-time highest estimated cost price for sneakers available at an auction.
According to Sotheby’s, these white and red Nike Air Ships were worn by Michael in just his 5th NBA Game, on November 1st, 1984. Its unique design pre-dates the famously popular Air Jordan 1 and is seen as a cornerstone in the legacy of the Jordan 1 design’s eventual framework.
Image via Sotheby’s
Designed by Nike and made specifically for Jordan, the Nike Air Ship, was made in a red and white colorway along with a black and red alternate. Many of the other limited versions of the shoe given to Michael had either “Nike Air” or “Air Jordan” branding on the back of the heel, unlike this auctioned pair, which simply has “Air” on its back.
The shoes were originally given to Tommie Tim III Lewis, a previous Denver Nuggets Ball Boy, and are sold with Lewis’ actual 1984-1985 Denver Nuggets season Staff Pass, as well as a Letter of Provenance from the original owner, according to Sotheby’s. Also, the Nike Air Ships are auctioned with a letter from Resolution Photomatching, who examines the Air Ships as a potential match to shoes worn in prior games than even the original November 1st date.
Check out more photos of the Nike Air Ships below: