In the heroic and unprecedented endeavors of Michael Jordan, his amazed and adoring followers learned that the iconic star’s farewells were usually temporary. The offered hoops heirloom is simultaneously a vestige of both an unparalleled athlete and a historic edifice: the former capping off the first portion of a championship-laden career and the latter a hallowed building housing that hardwood deity for the final time in regular season play. Specifically, this pair of Nike “Air Jordan” shoes was worn and autographed by Jordan on April 22, 1993 in that season’s home finale.
Just a few short weeks before Jordan powered the Bulls to a third successive NBA crown and proceeded to announce his retirement, the “end” to the career of perhaps the most dominant player in the history of the game was the furthest thing from the minds of Jordan’s teammates, opponents and fans. Embarking on his unexpected respite, he cited a “loss of desire to the play the game.” As he donned these shoes on April 22, 1993, however, he remained, clearly, at the age of 30, the most complete and prolific player in NBA annals. Torching the nets for 36 points en route to a 109-103 triumph over the Detroit Pistons and a seventh straight NBA scoring title, Jordan appeared (and was) invincible that day. The Windy City would wait, of course, and welcome its hero back for another “Three-Peat.” The Chicago Stadium, however, was razed in his absence and replaced by the United Center, where the championship banners literally doubled.
As he flaunted his gravity-defying antics for his last-ever regular season battle at the beloved palace on Madison Street, Jordan wore and signed these shoes. The white leather size “13” accessories feature black and red accents, “23” embossed on the front flap of each and “Air Jordan” silhouette logos embroidered to the tongues. “AIR JORDAN” is embossed on Velcro-lined fasteners, while the aforementioned silhouette logos decorate the rubber soles. Jordan has signed the toe of each in black marker. The right shoe signature projects (“7” strength, while the left shoe scripting shows (“5”) quality. Moderate wear is evident with scuff marks about the perimeters and wear along the bottoms. Full photo LOA from JSA.
These shoes were acquired by a former Andy Frain employee who worked in the ticket office at Bulls games at Chicago Stadium. Of note are the factory stampings on tags sewn to the underside of each tongue. “920112FT2” identifiers indicate a January 12, 1992 manufacture date. The shoes match those in two April 22, 1993 Chicago Bulls game photographs found in Getty Images (222944 and 72529765).
We note that this same style shoe, from the same year (with only one autographed), sold earlier this year at public auction for over $11,000...and those could not be pinpointed to a particular, significant game, as these can!