Sotheby’s is proud to present ZENITH, a two-part curated auction paying homage to a variety of athletes whose careers have reached unparalleled success. Led by an iconic Kobe Bryant jersey in ZENITH | PART I, the auctions feature a variety of athletes who have had deep and lasting impact on their respective sports. From Michael Jordan to Roger Federer to Connor McDavid and Stephen Curry, the auctions feature a host of items many of which are fresh to market.
Michael Jordan Game Worn ‘The Last Dance’ Jersey | Matched to 8 Games
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 (1997–98) 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 by the same name, which chronicled the Bulls efforts in the 1997–98 season. The players were cognizant that the Bulls franchise 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. 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 December 17 game in which Jordan wore this jersey is 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.
Shohei Ohtani 2022 ‘First Career Grand Slam’
Shohei Ohtani hits his FIRST CAREER GRAND SLAM! (In MLB or NPB!)
Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani has taken Major League Baseball by storm since he made his debut in the 2018 season. One of just a small number of two-way players since the 1930s, Ohtani is elite at the plate and on the mound. Though still in his prime at 28 years old, ‘Shotime’ has already cemented his status as one of the most remarkable athletes of the modern era.
Sotheby’s is proud to present a significant artifact from the career of Shohei Ohtani: the Los Angeles Angels jersey worn by Ohtani as he smashed his first career Grand Slam. The game pitted the Angels against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9, 2022 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. Ohtani hit two home runs including a 413-foot Grand Slam in the 7th inning to propel the Angels to an 11-3 victory. In a marquee ‘Shotime’ performance, Ohtani went 3-4 at the plate with 5 runs batted in and 3 runs scored.
Tom Brady Game Worn Playoff Cleats
If there is one thing that nearly all football players, coaches, analysts, and fans can agree on, it is this: Tom Brady is the GOAT.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion has dominated the NFL over the course of his 22-year professional career. His individual accomplishments are vast: three-time MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP, 15 Pro Bowls, all-time passing touchdowns leader, and all-time passing yards leader. But individual accolades aside, Brady will be best remembered for his unparalleled playoff success. When the weather got cold and the pressure of do-or-die games mounted, Brady rose to the occasion time and time again. His 35 career postseason victories are the most of any player, not to mention 19 more than the next closest quarterback, Joe Montana. When it comes to winning in the postseason, no one has done it more than Tom Brady.
These cleats were worn by Tom Brady in the 2006 AFC Divisional Round against the San Diego Chargers. Brady and the New England Patriots defeated the top-seeded Chargers 24-21 to advance to the AFC Championship Game. Brady passed for 280 yards with 2 touchdowns.
These cleats represent the first, and to this date the only photomatched Tom Brady playoff game worn item to have been offered at auction.
Stephen Curry 2018 NBA Finals Game Worn Sneakers | Game 1 & 3
After winning two championships in three years from 2015–2017, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors entered the 2018 NBA Finals looking to establish a dynasty. Facing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals for the fourth consecutive year, the stakes could not have been higher. The Warriors finished the regular season with a 58-24 record, which gave them home court advantage over the 50-32 Cavaliers.
Stephen Curry and the Warriors would ultimately be successful, claiming victory in the 2018 NBA Finals.
Sotheby’s is proud to present these sneakers worn by Curry in Game 1 (full game) and Game 3 (first half) of the 2018 NBA Finals, played on May 31, 2018 and June 6, 2018.
Kobe Bryant 2000 NBA Playoffs Game Worn Sneakers
Sotheby’s is pleased to offer the sneakers worn by Kobe Bryant in Game 4 of the 2000 Western Conferences Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers on May 28, 2000 at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon.
With the Lakers nursing a 2-1 series lead, a 21-year old Bryant stepped up to contribute 18 points, a game-high 7 assists, and 4 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers 103-91.
After closing out the series in 7 games, Bryant and the Lakers went on to defeat the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals. It was the first of 5 championships won by Bryant during his career.