Technically speaking, the real Space Jam Air Jordan 11 has never been released to the public. Only a handful of pairs were made for Michael to wear while filming the movie, and when Nike eventually released the sneaker five years later it inexplicably changed the color of the Jumpman from “concord purple” to “concord blue.” In 2016, the color was switched back as the sneaker re-released for the 20th anniversary of Space Jam — but then the “23” inscription on the heel was swapped for “45,” the number Jordan wore briefly upon returning from retirement.
To this day, the only way to get the exact same sneaker Jordan wore in Space Jam is to secure one of the extremely rare pairs made only for him. And that’ll now be possible, as Sotheby’s is auctioning one of the original samples given to His Airness himself.
An unworn sample of the Space Jam Air Jordan 11 is expected to fetch $150,000 to $200,000 — which would make it one of the most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction. The movie-inspired color scheme for the AJ11 is already one of the most iconic shoes from Jordans line, but a chance to own one of the very shoes that started the craze is worth every penny, at least in the context of other six-figure kicks.
Someone once traded a pair for a car — It’s amusing to see how much the price has gone up for the OG Space Jam 11s, as one of the legends around the sneaker involves someone trading a pair for a used Honda Civic. One of Jordan’s personal stylists from the film was able to keep a pair that Jordan actually wore and eventually traded it for the car. The person who acquired the rare sneakers than sold them on eBay for a sum that’s been lost time, but another pair sold that year went for $11,000.
The pair up for auction comes in Jordan’s size 13 and was tailored specifically for his feet as a player sample. Jordan also signed one of the sneakers in silver ink, and they’ll come in a wooden box created just for the occasion and etched with the Tune Squad logo. Selling them is Andre Ljustina, a sneaker collector and founder of the resale store Project Blitz.
“This pair has been one of my most prized possessions for years now, and with the release of the new film, it felt like the right time for another collector and Space Jam fanatic to enjoy this incredible pair,” Ljustina said in a press release. “They really have become a piece of my history, and I hope a new collector can enjoy them as much as I have.”
Entering rare territory — The current record for the most expensive sneaker ever auctioned is a Nike Air Yeezy sample worn by Kanye West at the Grammys. It sold for $1.8 million earlier this year, shattering the previous record held by a pair of game-worn and autographed Air Jordan 1s that sold for $560,000 just as The Last Dance finished airing. Only five sneakers overall have sold for $200,000 or more, and the Space Jams may just join that list soon.
Sotheby’s is beginning the auction today and will accept offers until July 26. And if you can’t afford to make a bid in value equal to an exotic foreign car, the sneakers will also be shown to the public for the same time span at Sotheby’s York Street Galleries in New York City.