The hoop and backboard on which Michael Jordan made his iconic ‘Shot’ in 1989 sold for $18,000 during a sports memorabilia auction held by Heritage Auctions. The auction ended in the early hours of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, as several additional pieces of Chicago Bulls memorabilia claimed top lot honors in the online sale.
It seems fans can’t get enough Jordan memorabilia following the 10-episode documentary The Last Dance, said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions.
“Since the show debuted, Jordan’s collectibles have experienced a sizable jump in value,” Ivy said. “Cards, game-worn gear and everything in between is being gobbled up by collectors and like-minded investors. It wasn’t just Jordan material that drew aggressive bidders. Several pieces of Bulls history were the most expensive pieces in the auction.”
Jordan was just 26 years old in 1989 when he sank a buzzer-beating jumper over the outstretched arm of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dinged-up Craig Ehlo and straight into the basket offered in the auction. The hoop was nearly lost to history: A Cleveland-area property developer rescued the North-end basket and backboard from the Richfield Coliseum in the 1990s before the arena was razed by the National Park Service.
The owner gifted the basket to a friend who installed it on a court outside a home in suburban Cleveland, where it remained for 20 years before showing up at auction. The basket was sold with a letter of provenance, as well as a letter of authenticity from Heritage Auctions.
Additional Chicago Bulls memorabilia on offer included:
- A jersey worn by Dennis Rodman on Christmas Day of the Bulls’ sixth and final NBA Championship during the team’s 1997-98 season, sold for $20,400. Rodman gave the jersey to a young fan who held up a handmade sign during the game featuring a flattering image of Rodman and the words: “All I want for Christmas is…” an arrow pointing to his jersey. Rodman signaled to the young woman and, playing the role of Santa Claus, gave her his jersey at courtside.
Rodman game-worn jerseys recently sold in the four figures – including a sweaty souvenir tossed from the hardwood to hockey legend Chris Chelios. Tonight’s result almost doubled the sale of that legend-to-legend jersey less than three years ago.
- Michael Jordan’s rookie card from 1986, in mint condition, sold for $12,932. As his first mainstream card, the red, white and blue beauty introduced the most exciting player in the game’s history to the NBA ranks. It was graded a Mint 9 by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).
As one sports-collecting trade publication recently mentioned, only seven years ago Mint 9 Jordans sold for $2,000 – and often under. But with the PSA Gem Mint 10 setting a record during its Heritage sale only weeks ago, its Mint 9 sibling has likewise shot up in value, more than tripling in price since 2013.
- The only graded example of a full ticket to a 1990 Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers match, during which Jordan set a career-high 69 points, ended at $6,300