Nostalgia sparked by ESPN's The Last Dance documentary led to a record-breaking payday for one opportunistic sneaker collector. 😮
A pair of autographed Air Jordan 1s worn by Michael Jordan during his rookie season in 1984-85 were resold at a Sotheby's auction on Sunday for $560,000, shattering the all-time record for auctioned sneakers by over $100,000.
Sold by a sneaker collector named Jordy Geller, he purchased the shoes in 2012, but only recently decided to give them up after witnessing all the hype surrounding The Last Dance series, which concluded on Sunday night.
“I decided to sell because now is the right time,” Geller told the Action Network, also noting that sports business reporter Darren Rovell's tweets about pricey Jordan artifacts "convinced" him to finally sell.
This is far from Geller's first time around the block, though. He set the previous price record for sneakers sold at an auction, offering an original prototype of Nike’s first shoes – the "Moon Shoe" – designed by Nike co-founder and Oregon coach Bill Bowerman, which fetched $437,500 last July at Sotheby’s.
Those were given to track athletes at the University of Oregon ahead of the 1972 Olympic Trials and only 12 pairs were ever made. Geller's were the only known ones to be unworn.
Sotheby’s Brahm Wachter, who ran the auction on Sunday, said Geller "always has a great sense of timing for these things.” That's a fact.
Though it's not known how much Geller made off the auction, he likely walked away with a sizable profit considering the shoes were initially expected to sell for around $100,000. The identity of the buyer was also kept private.
The Air Jordan 1 was MJ's first signature shoe as part of his Nike sponsorship. Over the years, they've evolved into an iconic symbol of the greatest player to ever step on a basketball court.