“INVICTUS,” a two-part auction at Sotheby’s this September, will include some of the finest sports memorabilia to come to market in recent years. Led by a single-lot sale of a game-worn jersey from Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” season, the auctions feature an exciting array of iconic memorabilia and artifacts, including jerseys, sneakers and equipment across baseball, basketball, football, tennis, boxing, hockey and more.
A jersey worn by Michael Jordan in game one of the 1998 NBA finals is coming to the block in “INVICTUS Part I,” a single-lot sale. Known as Jordan’s “Last Dance,” the 1997–98 season was his final season with the Bulls and his final chance at an NBA Championship in Chicago. Jordan played 45 minutes in the first game against the Utah Jazz — the most he played of any of his finals games that year — in a performance that helped cement his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. This game issued jersey was later featured on the cover of a Sports Illustrated issue reporting on the Bulls’ eventual win, and game one was a focus of the 2020 ESPN/Netflix documentary “The Last Dance.”
“The 1997–1998 season is perhaps one of the most popular among Jordan fans,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables, said in a statement. “The season itself is his ‘magnum opus’ as an athlete, and a testament to him as a champion and competitor.” Estimated to achieve between $3 to 5 million, this basketball jersey could become the most valuable piece of Michael Jordan memorabilia to sell at auction.
From Wayne Gretzky to Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali to Kobe Bryant, the athletes represented in “INVICTUS Part II” are among the greatest in the world. The second auction will be led by a pair of Nike Oregon Waffle Sneakers race worn by Steve Prefontaine, who’s often credited with jump-starting Nike’s expertise as a running-shoe company. A hockey stick used by Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky in his final game on 18 April 1999 is expected to reach between $125,000–200,000. And a game-worn, photomatched Kobe Bryant jersey, estimated at $120,000–140,000, comes from one of the sport’s most competitive players.
Other athletes represented in “INVICTUS Part II” include Dennis Rodman, Rafael Nadal, Peyton Manning, Jackie Robinson and LeBron James. All seventeen lots from both auctions will be on view at Sotheby’s New York from 6–12 September.
Both “INVICTUS” auctions will open for bidding online 6–14 September.