Sports Memorabilia From Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and More Could Fetch HK$93 Million at Auction
Sotheby’s first Sports Week event will begin on 5 April.
BY Abby Montanez  |  March 25, 2024
3 Minute Read

Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s is no stranger to making history; and now, for the first time ever, the famed auction house will be holding its inaugural Sports Week event featuring collectibles from the world’s greatest athletes. 

Slated to kick off on 5 April, the series will include six live and online auctions in New York. The auctioneer has more than 350 pieces of sports memorabilia that will go under the hammer from superstars such as Michael JordanLeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, and Muhammed Ali. Included in the lot is everything from game-worn jerseys to iconic sneakers with estimates from US$500 to US$6 million (HK$3,910 to HK$46 million). 

“The market for unique sports artefacts has been enjoying unprecedented growth as collectors continue to chase the best-of-the best objects, with a particular desire to acquire those that are ‘fresh to market,’” says Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles, in a press statement. “We’re excited to bring an entirely new series to this passionate community, which is curated with a focus on a broad range of game-worn collectibles from the most memorable moments in sports history and the athlete—both past and present—that have made a noteworthy impact on their sport.” 

A white Lebron James jersey and a pair of signed shorts worn by Muhammed Ali.
A LeBron James Lakers jersey and Muhammed Ali’s match-worn shorts will go under the hammer during Sotheby’s Sports Week auction.
Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Among the Sports Week highlights is a pair of Ali’s match-worn shorts from his circa 1975 Thrilla in Manila match, a legendary battle between Ali and boxer Joe Frazier. The white satin trunks, which have been signed by Ali and inscribed by his assistant Drew “Bundini” Brown, are predicted to fetch anywhere from US$4 million to US$6 million (HK$31 million to HK$46 million).

If you’re a basketball fan, the most coveted item on the auction block is Jordan’s game-worn Air Jordan 11s from the 1996 NBA Finals. The sneakers, which are listed between US$200,000 and US$400,000 (HK$1.5 million to HK$3.1 million), were individually gifted to two former Seattle Supersonics ballboys. You’ll also have the opportunity to bid on Bryant’s adidas Top Ten kicks, which he wore throughout his rookie season and his Los Angeles Lakers jersey from Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals (est. US$1.5 million to US$2.5 million / HK$11 million to HK$19 million). A Lakers jersey that James wore during his 38,000th point game is also up for grabs (est. US$500,000 / HK$3.9 million), along with his 2024 NBA All-Star jersey, which could go for US$300,000 (HK$2.3 million). 

Additionally, the jerseys that Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu wore during this year’s three-point contest are available for bidding. Also on the block is Wayne Gretzky’s game-worn St Louis Blues jersey from the 1995-1996 season (est. US$400 to US$500,000 / HK$3,130 to HK$3.9 million), Ernie Banks’s jersey from when he hit his 500th home run (est. US$300 to US$500,000 / HK$2,345 to HK$3.9 million), and Jordan’s signed, game-worn “Shattered Backboard” jersey from 1985 (est. US$500 to US$700,000 / HK$3,910 to HK$5.4 million). Altogether, the entire lot is predicted to sell for over US$12 million (HK$93 million).

Not too shabby for Sotheby’s first Sports Week.