S otheby’s is pleased to present The One | MJ’s Air Jordan 1s – an online auction of Michael Jordan’s game-worn and autographed Nike Air Jordan 1s from 1985. A Player Sample (PS), the shoes on offer were custom-made for Michael Jordan in sizes 13 and 13.5. Among the most valuable pairs of sneakers in history, these Air Jordan 1s are in remarkable condition, and were exclusively crafted for Jordan – featuring supple leather and a unique cut that was specific to MJ.
The tagging reads 850204 TYPS. 850204 refers to the date of production. These shoes were made in 1985 between the months of February (02) and April (04). TYPS stands for Tong Yang Player Sample and refers to the fact that the shoes are Player Samples (PS). The regular Air Jordan 1s that were released to the public do not say TYPS on them (instead they simply abbreviate the factory where they were made).
MJ’s shoes are Mids. In 1985 Nike released Highs and Lows to the public, but not Mids.
MJ’s shoes are laced up with red laces – unlike the retail Air Jordan 1, which came with black and white laces. MJ occasionally laced up his Air Jordan 1s with red laces for a little flare (he wore red laces in his 63 point playoff performance at the Boston Garden arena).
MJ’s Air Jordan 1s are made of different materials than the Air Jordan 1s that Nike released to the public. The leather is soft and buttery, as opposed to being stiff and hard. The collars are supple instead of crunchy.
These shoes are in Michael Jordan’s unique size; the left shoe is a size 13 and the right shoe is a size 13.5. MJ wore mismatched shoe sizes throughout his career.
The right shoe is autographed by Michael Jordan, with the signature appearing in black permanent marker. Many of MJ’s game-worn autographed shoes are signed with a ball point pen that wears away over time. The style of MJ’s signature is true to the era of when the shoes were made.
Air Jordan 1s feature the first Nike Air Jordan logo, the ‘Air Jordan Wings’ logo, which was designed by Peter Moore. Original Air Jordan 1s also featured Swooshes on the uppers just like other Nikes. When Nike designed the Air Jordan 2, they removed the Swooshes and kept the Wings logo, and when Nike designed the Air Jordan 3, they replaced the Wings logo with the Jumpman logo, which quickly became the face of the brand. Interestingly, the Jumpman logo appeared on hangtags of retail pairs of Original Air Jordan 1s and Air Jordan apparel from 1985 but it did not appear on Air Jordan shoes until the Air Jordan 3.
The soles exhibit signs of wear and many of the stars on the outsoles have worn off or are worn down, congruent with game wear. MJ wore Air Jordan 1s in 1984 and 1985, and modified versions in 1986. The first time that he laced up a pair of Air Jordan 1s was 11/17/84 against the Philadelphia 76ers. MJ wore Air Jordan 1s until October 29, 1985 when he broke his foot, causing him to miss 64 games. Upon his return, Michael did wear Air Jordan 1s, however they were further modified for Michael.
The vintage originals are in the Chicago Bulls white, black and red – the Air Jordan 1 colorway that Michael Jordan wore the most often on the court. In 1984, Nike gave Jordan a signature line of shoes and clothes – a crucial, unprecedented move to entice Michael Jordan to sign with Nike. Produced between February and April 1985, Jordan wore the present pair of Air Jordan 1s during an early, pivotal point of his career and thus catapulted the sneaker’s popularity.
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 though was unable to bring home a fourth consecutive championship
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 (a record that only LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have since broken). 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.
Did You Know?
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, therefore forbidding Jordan from wearing them. Nike responded by creating an ad campaign around Jordan’s banned shoes, remarking that while “the NBA threw them out of the game, fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.” The Air Jordan 1s were created in the wake of the famous banned Nike ad campaign, and established MJ as the league's leader in shoe style.
The Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” is a 10-part series that examines the Chicago Bulls’ final championship season in 1997-1998. That year, the team was followed by an NBA Entertainment film crew; for this reason, ESPN was able to capture exclusive footage that fans can now access today.
Available on ESPN and Netflix, the documentary miniseries features interviews of more than more than 100 players, coaches, journalists and fans who witnessed the incredible final season. The season finale aired on May 17, 2020, which coincided with the last day Michael’s Air Jordan 1s were available at Sotheby's.
Watch the Miniseries
The successful buyer will be contacted to discuss options for shipment and collection of property – please note that global shipments are currently experiencing delays. While our New York building is currently closed, our staff is available to assist you at any time; please see the contact information for the sale.