If you’re listening the last dance docu-series like the rest of the world, you know all about Michael Jordan’s legacy with the Chicago Bulls. Now a pair of game-worn Converse he wore as a young North Carolina Tar Heel is up for grabs – and you could say the sneakers are what started his memorable career.
The collectible kicks were donated to Heritage Auctions by Chuck Duckett, who was MJ’s roommate and crew chief at UNC in 1982. Jordan apparently gave him the sneakers during his freshman year. “He played in them, trained in them and wore them around campus,” says Duckett 247 Sports. UNC’s men’s basketball team would make history that year by becoming NCAA national champions. And who could forget Jordan’s game-winning jump shot?
Despite securing one of the biggest and most successful sneaker partnerships of all time, it turns out Jordan had a thing for playing Converse. The auctioned pair features a blue and white colourway synonymous with the University. The kicks also come with the number “23” written inside each tongue tag, along with the words “Best Wishes” inscribed by Jordan himself.
Duckett reconnected with the GOAT in January at the 40th anniversary celebration of North Carolina’s 1982 national championship basketball team. “We sat down and talked and I showed him pictures of the shoes. and he said he remembered it well,” Duckett continues.
“He said, ‘These are worth a lot of money, you should sell them.’ I told him that my sister-in-law had them, did he want them back? He said no. I suggested auctioning them off and donating half the money to Carolina Basketball. He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘That would be great, I would really like that.’
With auctions set to close on August 28, the shoes are expected to fetch over $100,000. Although it is likely that they go well beyond that. For context, a pair of Jordan’s NBA rookie season Nike Air Ships sold for a record $1.47 million at auction last year. Maybe the estimate for this lot should come with an extra “0”.