Jordan, Obama, Kaepernick jerseys set auction records

Published December 5, 2020, 12:29 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

In this file photo taken on November 23, 2020 a Michael Jordan 1984 signing day Chicago Bulls official NBA game jersey is displayed beside U.S. President Barack Obama’s 1978-1979 game worn high school basketball jersey from Hawaii’s Punahou School at a media preview of Julien’s Auctions Presents Icons And Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll, Hollywood and Sports, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

Jerseys worn by retired NBA legend Michael Jordan, former US President Barack Obama and ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick set world records on Friday at Julien’s Auctions.

The jerseys, along with another from NBA Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, were feature attractions in a four-day auction that ended Friday.

The 1984 “signing day” number 23 jersey of former Chicago Bulls icon Jordan, who guided the club to six NBA crowns in the 1990s, went for $320,000.

That set a record sale price for any jersey worn by the five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and 14-time NBA All-Star playmaker.

The white jersey was the one Jordan lifted at his first news conference as a member of the Bulls as the club announced signing their top NBA Draft selection.

The previous record payout for a Jordan jersey was last July 18 for $288,000 for one worn in the 1998 Eastern Conference finals against Indiana.

Obama’s number 23 white jersey, worn by the future president during his senior year at Punahou School as a member of the 1979 Hawaii state champion squad sold for $192,000, a record price for any high school jersey.

It broke the old prep sales mark of $187,500 from October 2019 for a James high school jersey and came with a copy of the 1979 school yearbook showing Obama playing in the jersey.

Kaepernick’s rookie jersey for the San Francisco 49ers, a white number 7 shirt signed by the controversial quarterback, was used in his NFL debut on October 2, 2011.

It went for $128,000, the most expensive NFL jersey ever sold at auction. The prior mark ws $118,230 set by a 1960s Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts jersey sold in 2015 and a Joe Namath 1960s New York Jets rookie jersey sold last July.

Kaepernick’s kneeling protests during the US anthem before NFL games gained national attention when US President Donald Trump called for kneeling players to be fired. Kaepernick went unhired as a free agent after opting out of his 49ers contract and has not played since while becoming a symbol for Black social injustice protests.

A James 2003-2004 Cleveland Cavaliers rookie season jersey went for $128,000 to bring the total sales price for the trio of “23” jerseys to $640,000.

Worn, signed and gifted by James, the jersey bears the earliest-known James autograph on a game-worn jersey.

Other items and winning bids included $38,400 for a signed NBA Finals jersey from the late Kobe Bryant, $22,400 for a 1984 Los Angeles Olympics relay torch and $10,240 for an official team captain’s armband from the 1958 FIFA World Cup.