View full screen - View 1 of Lot 4. Michael Jordan 1997-1998 ‘The Last Dance’ Game Worn Chicago Bulls Jersey | Matched to 8 Games.

Michael Jordan 1997-1998 ‘The Last Dance’ Game Worn Chicago Bulls Jersey | Matched to 8 Games

Lot Closed

February 9, 07:34 PM GMT


600,000 - 1,000,000 USD

Lot Details



Mesh, Cotton

Circa Late 1990s

This is the most heavily worn 1997-1998 ‘The Last Dance’ Michael Jordan game worn jersey that Sotheby’s has handled. In the 1997-1998 season, Jordan would frequently switch shirts, with many jerseys worn for a single game. This jersey – worn in 8 games – is a particularly desirable sports artifact. 

The Last Dance, as it’s called, was Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls (1997-1998) and is perhaps the most beloved period in Jordan folklore, as Michael reached the apex of his popularity and powers while simultaneously conquering major internal divisions that were fracturing the team dynamics of the late 90s Chicago Bulls. The season is referred to as The Last Dance due in large part to the smash-hit ESPN documentary of the same name, which chronicled the Bulls efforts in the 1997-1998 season. The players were cognizant that the roster would ultimately be disbanded at the end of the season and as such, knew it was their final opportunity to capture a 6th Bulls Championship of the decade. The Last Dance was Michael Jordan’s ‘magnum opus’ as an athlete – a testament to him as a competitor, a sportsman, a teammate, and ultimately, a champion.

The fairytale season culminated in a rematch of the 1997 NBA Finals with the Bulls squaring off against John Stockton, Karl Malone, and the Utah Jazz. In Game 6, with the Bulls leading the series 3-2, Jordan famously came up with a last-minute steal before sinking a game-winning jumper in the closing seconds. It was a picture-perfect ending that only ‘His Airness’ could have delivered. At the conclusion of the game, Jordan collected his NBA record 6th Finals MVP award.  

Michael wore this jersey in eight games throughout that magical 1997-1998 NBA season. Jordan averaged a league-leading 28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists as he led the Bulls to the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference with a 62-20 record. 

This heavily worn jersey has been photomatched by The MeiGray Group to the following eight games: 

  • December 17, 1997 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 104-83 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 36 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.

  • December 23, 1997 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 94-89 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists.

  • December 25, 1997 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Miami Heat 90-80 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. 

  • December 27, 1997 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks 97-90 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 47 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. 

  • January 2, 1998 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 114-100 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 44 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist.

  • January 6, 1998 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 90-79 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. 

  • January 10, 1998 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Golden State Warriors 87-82 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 32 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. 

  • January 13, 1998 - The Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 101-91 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jordan registered 40 points, 1 rebound, and 2 assists. 

Michael Jordan’s peak performance was on full display across these eight games, all of which resulted in Bulls victories. The stretch of games includes three 40-point performances, two 30-point performances, and two double-doubles. In total, Jordan recorded at least 269 points, 47 rebounds, and 24 assists while wearing this jersey.

The December 17 game against the Lakers was particularly notable in that it pitted Jordan against a young, up-and-coming Kobe Bryant. This jersey is photomatched to an iconic image of Jordan and Bryant standing side-by-side amidst their most famous on-court battle with both players scoring over 30 points. 

Though Jordan won the duel that night, his immense respect for Bryant developed into a close relationship with MJ serving as a mentor to the burgeoning superstar. 

The two legends only played eight total games against each other in the NBA. Just four of those games took place while Jordan was a member of the Chicago Bulls. Jordan and Bryant split those four matchups. 

They played four more games against each other between 2001-2003 after Jordan briefly came out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards. Bryant’s Lakers defeated Jordan’s Wizards in three out of the four. 

Although Jordan outscored Kobe in their first four matchups, Bryant got the last laugh in their final head-to-head game on March 28, 2003. Kobe scored 55 points in a 108-94 Lakers win. The torch had officially been passed. 

Going Deeper | The Dynamics of the 1997-1998 Season

There was no love lost between Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause. Krause – who had an undeniable talent for picking winning teams and players – did not get along with the key people that made the Chicago Bulls so dangerous: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson. This division ultimately hit a breaking point when Krause mandated that the 1997-1998 season would be Phil Jackson’s last with the Bulls. As Jordan refused to play for anyone but Jackson, Krause’s move would ultimately break apart the Bulls dynasty, and imbued the 1997-1998 season with a sense of finality and urgency.

Jackson recalled being told the news: “Jerry called me into his office and said, 'This is going to be your last year, I don't care if you win 82 games in a row, this will be your last year here'.”

"So I said, 'Fine' and walked out of the room, and that was the only words that were exchanged."

Mr. Krause said many things surrounding the 1997-1998 season. Among the most disturbing to Jordan specifically was that the team needed to be “rebuilt” and that “Players don't win championships, organizations do.” Krause later refuted the quote.

In Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech more than 10 years later in 2009, Jordan still seemed irked by Krause’s words stating, “I don’t know who invited him. I didn’t… he said organizations win championships. I said I didn’t see organizations playing with the Flu in Utah. I didn’t see them playing – you know – with a bad ankle.”

Ultimately, perhaps the tension within the team and the adversity Jordan faced pushed him even further – as it was known to do for Jordan – to his 6th NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls.

The jersey is accompanied by a photomatch letter and three photomatch graphics from The MeiGray Group.