A young Michael Jordan was devastated when he discovered he had a broken foot early in the 1985 season.
Jordan had averaged 28.2 points per game as a rookie in 1984, pumping new life into the Chicago Bulls. He played just 18 games during the 1985-86, however, missing the rest of the regular season with a fractured bone in his left foot.
''I don’t feel too well. I’ve never gone through anything like this before, and I don’t know how to deal with it,” Jordan told the Chicago Tribune after the injury.
''The way I feel now, I want to go off and hide somewhere and get better. This is a time I have to take it within myself and think about things. Think about why this is happening to me.''
Jordan returned for the playoffs, averaging 29.3 points, but the Bulls were eliminated in the first round. The following year, a healthy Jordan led the NBA with 37.1 points per game, launching a stretch of seven straight seasons when he averagied more than 30 points.
After suffering the injury on Oct. 29, 1985, Jordan gave away the Air Jordan 1 shoes he was wearing during that game. Though tied to a disappointing moment in the legend’s career, the shoes are now worth nearly half a million dollars.
The Air Jordan sneakers from that 1985 game sold for $422,000 in the MINT25 Auction conducted by Lelands over the weekend.
The Jordan shoes were one of several rare items in the auction, which was held in conjunction with The MINT Collective, a first-of-its-kind event uniting sports collectors, professionals and investors March 25-27 in Las Vegas. In all, 17 lots sold for a total of $5.8 million.
Among the other top sellers were a Jordan 1998 Chicago Bulls game-worn “Last Dance Buzzer Beater” jersey that sold for $351,000 and a 2020-21 Panini Prizm Gold #1 LeBron James Tribute #1/10, graded PSA Gem Mint 10, that netted $408,000.
Additional auction highlights include:
• A 1961 Fleer Basketball unopened wax pack with a Wilt Chamberlain rookie showing for $444,000.
• Babe Ruth’s signed letter linked to his 1918 bat contract with Louisville Slugger for $406,000.
• A 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks #71 Lionel Messi Rookie, graded PSA Gem Mint 10, for $304,000.
• A T206 Baseball complete set minus the Honus Wagner card for $303,000.
• A fractional 20 percent ownership of Mike Eruzione’s 1980 Team USA Hockey gold medal winning game-worn jersey that sold for $139,000.
The MINT Collective was originally scheduled to be held in January but was postponed to March due to COVID.