May 17th 2020, a pair of autographed game-worn sneakers from Jordan’s 1984-85 rookie season were sold on Sunday (5/17/20) for a record $560,000, bringing in about four times as much money as Sotheby’s anticipated.
The previous all-time sales record of $437,500 came summer 2019, on a pair of Nike’s original prototype running shoes. Both pairs of shoes were owned by collector Jordy Geller.
Geller, who bought Jordan’s sneakers in 2012, said the attention generated by “The Last Dance” — roughly six million viewers per episode — led him to put the legend’s shoes up for sale. The highest price previously spent on a pair of game-used sneakers of Jordan’s came three years ago, when a pair of his shoes from the 1984 Olympics were sold for $190,373. The “Air Jordans XII’s” from the 1997 NBA Finals “Flu Game” were sold for $104,765 in 2013.
Jordan Michael Geller is an American sneaker collector who founded and operated the ShoeZeum, the world's first sneaker museum. In 2012, Geller was certified by Guinness World Records for having the largest sneaker collection in the world, at 2,388 pairs.
In 2009, Jordan Michael Geller got a threatening letter from Nike. The company said he was no longer allowed to shop at any of its stores.
"Please know that Nike's retail salespersons are not authorized to discuss this decision with you, so please do not seek to engage them in any way regarding the future sale or return of Nike products," wrote Nike's then-director of stores, Jon Auerbach.
The Gellers decided to close the ShoeZeum in November 2012, and moved to Portland. But despite moving to Nike mecca, Geller decided it was time to stop collecting. He has instead been selling them—which has become a full-time occupation for the couple.