Michael Jordan’s Signed, Game-Worn UNC Shoes Sells for $79,314 at Auction

North Carolina's Michael Jordan (23) cheers from the bench as the Tar Heels wins another game for head coach Dean Smith, right, in Raleigh on Nov. 15 1983. (AP Photo/Bob Jordan)

BOB JORDAN/Associated Press

Before Michael Jordan became the face of Nike, he was a North Carolina Tar Heel rocking a pair of Converse on the college court. 

On Friday, a pair of sneakers Jordan wore during his freshman season of 1981-82 sold for $95,176.80 via Lelands Sports Memorabilia and Card Auctions. Bidding began at $5,000 and quickly tripled that number with 10 days still left on the clock. 

Here’s how the pair are described on Lelands website

“All original White and Carolina Blue Converse are sizes 12.5/12.5M (Jordan was known for wearing two different sized shoes) and show nice use with typical scuffs, a few loose threads and wear noticed on the soles. Each shoe has Jordan’s number “23” underneath the tongue and you will notice that the two Converse tags on the tongues are not identical. Since Jordan was known for wearing two different sized shoes, we can assume that MJ wore these sneakers at the same time. If he did not wear them both at the same time, they were still both worn by MJ at some point during the 1981-1982 season. In any case, we can still consider this to be a pair since there is a left shoe and right shoe. Highlighted by period full name signatures on both sneakers, the autographs were placed perfectly on the white leather just above the stars while Jordan was attending UNC. Although faded, they are still visible and complement these keepsakes extremely well.”

Jordan helped the Tar Heels to the 1982 national championship, averaging 13.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists over the season while playing 31.7 minutes per game and shooting 53.4 percent from the field. 

North Carolina defeated Georgetown, 63-62, to win the title, with Jordan knocking down the game-winning bucket with 15 seconds left in the game. 

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