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The shoes from Michael Jordan's rookie season sold for a record $1.47 million

UNDATED: Chicago Bulls' forward Michael Jordan #23 dunks as the crowd takes photos during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers circa 1984-1998. (Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)
Focus On Sport
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Focus on Sport via Getty Images
UNDATED: Chicago Bulls' forward Michael Jordan #23 dunks as the crowd takes photos during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers circa 1984-1998. (Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

The pair of Nike Air Ships that Michael Jordan wore during his first season with the Chicago Bulls sold for nearly $1.5 million at an auction.

The shoes were estimated to sell between $1 million to 1.5 million before the auction. The shoes were sold to collector Nick Fiorella for $1.47 million.

The Nike Air Ship shoes were what Jordan played in before Nike gave him his own line of clothing and shoes, which would later become a household brand name and make Jordan a billionaire. It was the first time Nike ever collaborated with a player in such a way.

They were sold in Las Vegas during Sotheby's "Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury" auction.

Jordan wore the shoes that were auctioned on Sunday during his 5th NBA game on Nov. 1, 1984, when the Chicago Bulls suffered a loss against the Denver Nuggets, 113-129.

Jordan gave the size 13 shoes to the Denver Nuggets ball boy, Tommie Tim III Lewis, after the game, and they have been kept in "good overall condition" — according to Sotheby's — ever since.

The auction broke the previous record of a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s selling for $560,000 dollars last year.

Tien Le is an intern on NPR's News Desk.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tien Le
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