S otheby’s is pleased to present Michael Jordan | Shattered, an online auction of Michael Jordan memorabilia, led by Jordan’s historic game worn and signed ‘Shattered Backboard’ jersey. The auction presents a stunning assemblage of Michael Jordan memorabilia, including a 1985 game worn and signed pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s, a perfect Beckett Black Label Michael Jordan signed Upper Deck trading card, multiple deadstock Air Jordan releases, and more.
After an unbelievable NBA Rookie of the Year season, Michael Jordan – in late August of 1985 – traveled to Trieste Italy for an exhibition game sponsored by Nike. Michael played in Liga A for Stefanel Trieste, and donned this incredible and custom No. 23 orange-and-black Stefanel Trieste jersey.
The game is best remembered as the “Shattered Backboard” game, as the most memorable part of Jordan’s 30 point performance came when Michael – almost flying towards the net – dunked the ball with so much power and force that the entire backboard erupted, spraying shards of glass all over the court.
The moment has inspired some of Nike’s most popular Air Jordan 1 releases and is one of the brand’s most coveted colorways.
The MeiGray Group (“MGG”) in association with Sotheby’s went through extraordinary lengths to authenticate the jersey which has provenance from Carlo Stefanel. MeiGray explained, “MeiGray’s authentication process began when the jersey arrived in our office and we were able to compare photographs from during and after the game to the actual jersey. MGG compared the alignment of the crest, number, colored piping, team name and advertising patch on the front of the jersey. Not only did the alignment match exactly, but the imprecise positioning of the crest that was evident in today’s examination matched the photos of Mr. Jordan from 35 years ago. We believe this misalignment created a large puffy crease on the logo. This crease was also evident in today’s examination… and in photos from the event.”
The Nike “Air Jordan” is one of the most iconic designs in the history of both streetwear and basketball, and is a key part of the origin of the Air Jordan brand for Nike. Designed by Peter Moore, Michael Jordan wore Air Jordan 1s in 1984 and 1985, as well as modified versions in 1986 (after a broken foot Michael endured). These specific shoes are the iconic ‘Chicago’ colorway, and perhaps the most recognizable for Michael, as well as the Nike brand.
In 1984, Nike gave Michael Jordan his own signature line of shoes and clothes, which was pivotal in Michael agreeing to sign with Nike. It was the first time the brand did anything like this, and it paved the way for many of the player collaborations we now see. The term “Air Jordan” was coined by Michael Jordan’s agent David Falk. David apparently came up with name because Nike shoes had air in the soles and because, of course, Michael Jordan played basketball in the air.
Earns a Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel HillJordan quickly made a name for himself at UNC averaging 13.4 points per game and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. He would spend three years as a Tar Heel.
Selected by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA DraftTwo players came off the board before Michael Jordan in the 1984 draft, Hakeem Olajuwon to the Houston Rockets and Sam Bowie to the Portland Trail Blazers. While Olajuwon went on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Bowie is perhaps best remembered for being drafted before Michael Jordan.
The Original Air Jordan Sneakers DebutJordan's impact on the NBA was immediate, quickly landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the heading "A Star Is Born," and making the All-Star team as a starter. He also landed the shoe deal of the century partnering with Nike to create the Air Jordan sneaker, an endorsement deal that impelled his career to new heights.
Rookie of the YearThe accolades continued for Jordan in his first year in the league earning Rookie of the Year honors. That year the promising young rookie who had already grabbed attention as the heir apparent to superstars like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird averaged 28.2 points per game.
Watch Michael Jordan's Rookie of the Year Award Speech
63 Points Against the Celtics in Round One of the PlayoffsIn Jordan's second season he suffered a broken foot that kept him out of regular season play for all but 18 games. But his return came in time for the Bulls' first round playoff appearance against a legendary Boston Celtics team led by Larry Bird. Never one to shy away from history, Jordan put in a staggering 63 points, a playoff record.
Earns Most Valuable Player Award and Defensive Player of the YearJordan's 35 points per game led the league in scoring in the 1987–88 season and his 1.6 blocks and 3.16 steals helped cement his reputation as a formidable defender.
Watch Michael Jordan's MVP Presentation
Jordan's Bulls Win Their First NBA ChampionshipDefeating the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, the Chicago Bulls took the series in five games and gave the world a glimpse of what was to come.
Announces His RetirementThough very much at the top of his game in 1993, Jordan decided to retire.
Takes a Brief Sojourn Into a Career as a Baseball PlayerFollowing Jordan's announcement of an early retirement, he sent shock waves through the sports world by signing a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox.
Returns to Basketball from RetirementAfter a brief hiatus, Jordan returned to the Bulls
Bulls Win 72 GamesIn a year that saw Jordan win his eighth scoring title, the Bulls added Dennis Rodman to an already potent lineup, rendering them virtually impossible to beat. Rodman threw in his fifth straight rebounding title and Phil Jackson won Coach of the Year.
Bulls Win 6th NBA ChampionshipThe Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz in Jordan's final championship with the team. He also secured his sixth Finals MVP award, a record.
The Washington WizardsIn September of 2001, Jordan came back from his second retirement and announced that he would return to NBA to play with the Washington Wizards. During his time with the Wizards, Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history. On December 29, 2001, Jordan scored 51 points against the Charlotte Hornets to become the oldest player in NBA history to reach the 50-point threshold in a game.
A New “Era” of BasketballMichael Jordan's arrival in the NBA ushered in a new era of basketball. By 1992 when he led the U.S. Olympic Dream Team to a gold medal, he sat atop not just the National Basketball Association, but the entire sports world. By the time he finally retired from the game he had six championships, along with a seemingly endless stream of awards and records.
In terms of the shoe itself, the original Air Jordan 1s were so popular and successful that Nike continued to make new signature Air Jordans each season. This tradition continued beyond Michael’s retirement, and Nike is currently on the Air Jordan 35. From the day it launched, Air Jordans have always represented the pinnacle of sneaker design. The shoes are unmatched when it comes to quality, craftsmanship, materials, innovation, performance, and of course style.
The coding on the inside of the shoes states "850102 TYPS.” 850102 refers to the date of production. These shoes were made in 1985 between the months of January (01) and February (02). TYPS stands for “Tong Yang Player Sample” and means that the shoes are ‘Player Samples,’ produced from the 'Tong Yang' factory.
The sale also includes an incredible set of pristine deadstock pairs of Air Jordan 1s from 1985, as well as a deadstock pair of the coveted Nike Air Ships, the precursor the Air Jordan 1.
In 1984, Michael Jordan’s black and red shoes (Air Ships) became controversial after the NBA sent a letter to Nike in February of 1985 informing the company that Jordan’s colorful shoes were a violation of the league’s uniformity of uniform clause. Nike responded by creating an ad campaign around Jordan’s ‘banned’ shoes (during which they advertised Air Jordans instead), remarking that while “the NBA threw them out of the game, fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.”
The Air Jordan brand was created in the wake of the famous banned Nike ad campaign, and established MJ as the league's leader in shoe style.