The jersey Michael Jordan held up after signing his first contact with the Chicago Bulls on Sept. 12, 1984 fetched $320,000 at Julien’s Auctions on Dec. 4. The auction house estimated the jersey would go for between $200,000 and $300,000. There was only one bid.
“Jordan held up this exact jersey (professionally photo-matched)—his very first official NBA Chicago Bulls game jersey—at his first press conference as a new member of the team while (Rod) Thorn announced that Jordan had been signed as their first-round draft pick with a multimillion-dollar contract,” the auction house stated.
The jersey came accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the former archivist for the Chicago Bulls collection of game-worn items and by a letter of authenticity from Sports Investors Authentication, including a Photo Match Evaluation stating that they “photo-matched Jordan holding this exact jersey up right after he signed his Bulls contract.”
In the same Icons and Idols: Sports auction, a LeBron James game-worn and signed home jersey from his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers sold for $128,000. Its pre-auction estimate was between $100,000 and $200,000. Which led NBC Sports Chicago to write, “Hopefully this disparity puts the MJ vs. LeBron debate to bed.”
Remarkably, the jersey wasn’t a record for Jordan memorabilia. In May 2020, after the Jordan/Bulls documentary “The Last Dance,” a pair of game-worn Nike Air Jordan 1s sold for $560,000 at a Sotheby’s auction.