It's hard to find many more iconic pairs of shoes.
The autographed Air Jordan XI signature sneakers that Michael Jordan wore during Game 3 of the 1996 NBA Finals and later signed are now up for bidding on Grey Flannel Auctions, and it's scary to think about how high that price might rise.
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The process started at $5,000, but after three bids (as of this article's publication), the price has already risen to $6,655. And with the auction running through June 18, there's plenty of time for it to rise as high as MJ did on one of his signature jumpers during that game.
The listing itself contains a description of the shoe, which is being sold by Eric Snow, one of the Seattle SuperSonics who went up against Jordan during that Finals series:
Black Air Jordan XI with white and red trim. On the outside of each ankle area is a “Jumpman” logo embroidered in red stitching. On the back is player number “23” in white. On the right-footed sneaker, Jordan signed near the inside ankle area in silver pen and in our opinion, rates a 9 overall.
Additionally, Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver presents some context, though I'm guessing the sneakerheads out there were already aware of the immense popularity of this particular sneaker:
Sneakers really don’t get much more iconic than this. The Jordan XIs are the most popular and recognizable version of Jordan’s signature sneakers thanks to their groundbreaking patent-leather design. Retro versions of the shoe in various colors are still released every year to much fanfare. The black-and-red colorway — often referred to as “Breds” for short — is among the most popular because Jordan wore it during the 1996 playoffs.
So, what did Jordan do while wearing this particular shoe?
He'd go on to win Finals MVP during the 1996 NBA Finals after dispatching the Sonics in six games. And Game 3 stood out as quite the impressive performance, as he recorded 36 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals, doing so on only 23 shots from the field.
Jordan drilled 11 of those 23 attempts, but he also knocked down three of his four shots beyond the arc and all 11 of his looks from the charity stripe. He was pretty darn dominant on the offensive end, and he helped contain Seattle's backcourt combination of Gary Payton and Hersey Hawkins to a combined 31 points on 21 shots.
Was it the best game of his career? Absolutely not, but it was a stellar performance on a big stage.
Go forth and bid. Just don't expect to turn into Jordan when you lace 'em up.
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