Michael Jordan is widely considered the GOAT of basketball, and with that status, it is unsurprising that many products and memorabilia that are associated with him are often highly coveted. Jordan was a unique part of basketball culture, and the fact that many people desire memorabilia that is linked to him makes those products expensive.
Recently, a Michael Jordan game-worn jersey from his college days with the North Carolina Tar Heels sold for a whopping $1.38 million. That is a staggering amount of money, and while it is obvious that many collectors are willing to pay that amount, it seems far from the reach of the common fan. An article by the Athletic detailed the transaction.
A game-worn Michael Jordan jersey from his sophomore season at North Carolina sold for $1.38 million — more than three times the previous record for a Jordan jersey — on Saturday at Heritage Auctions.
It is the only known jersey photo-matched to Jordan's 1982-83 season, when he was named Sporting News' NCAA player of the year, one season after hitting the national title-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA Tournament as a freshman. He averaged 20 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 36 games in 1982-83, his second of three seasons with the Tar Heels before he left for the NBA.
“As the final price tag proves, this jersey has everything any serious collector could possibly want," Heritage director of sport auctions Chris Ivy said in a release.
The same jersey sold for a then-record $63,500 at auction in 1999.
It is clear that there is a huge demand for Jordan memorabilia: he was a transcendent basketball player who many grew up idolizing. Sports collecting has experienced a surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, and perhaps this expensive jersey purchase is part of the increasing interest in collectors' items.