Here are the five most expensive NBA jerseys ever sold. Collectors and investors enjoy purchasing game-worn items for a logical list of reasons – to celebrate the athlete’s legacy, a rare championship moment, a history-making moment, or just for an iconic performance. Another jersey made the list on Wednesday night. Check out the most expensive NBA jerseys ever sold, as of 2023.
5.) Michael Jordan’s 1986-87 Rookie Bulls Jersey — $480,000
This Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 1986-87 game-worn jersey was sported by His Airness when he posted a 56-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 24, 1987. In October 2020, the jersey sold for $480,000 at Heritage Auctions.
Additionally, it was first featured on the cover of the “One Man Gang” issue of Sports Illustrated, and M.J. reported wore it during his final regular-season game where he scored 61 points and reached the 3,000-career point mark to join Wilt Chamberlain.
4.) LeBron James’ 2013 NBA Finals Game 7 Heat Jersey — $3.68 million
In late January, LeBron James’ Miami Heat jersey from Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals sold for $3.68 million at Sotheby’s. This is the four-time MVP’s highest-selling game-worn jersey to date.
Furthermore, the 19-time All-Star’s No. 6 Heat jersey is the third-most valuable game-worn jersey ever sold at Sotheby’s. As a matter of fact, it was purchased by a private collector, per TMZ Sports.
“Today’s tremendous result comes at a pivotal time in LeBron James’ career, where he is in arm’s reach of clenching the all-time points record, one of the NBA’s most revered accolades,” Sotheby’s officials said in a statement.
3.) Kobe Bryant’s 1996-97 Lakers Rookie Jersey — $3.69 million
Next, Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers 1996-97 rookie jersey sold for $3.69 million at Goldin Auctions’s May Elite Auction in May 2021. This came a week after the NBA legend was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. At the time, it was the most expensive basketball jersey in league history.
Moreover, the gold and purple home jersey also features the Hall of Famer’s signature on the frontside No. 8. Although he wore No. 8 for the first half of his career, he switched to No. 24 before the 2006-07 season.
Not to mention, this jersey was bought by Bob Duggan, the Chairman of the Board of Genius Inc., Pulse Biosciences and Summit therapeutics.
2.) Wilt Chamberlain’s 1972 NBA Finals Game 5 Lakers Jersey — $4.9 million
On Wednesday, the Lakers jersey Wilt Chamberlain wore in Game 5 of the 1972 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks, when he won one of his two championships, reportedly sold for $4.9 million at Sotheby’s.
It shattered the record sale for a Chamberlain sports memorabilia item, which was for his game-worn jersey from his 1959-60 rookie season with the Philadelphia Warriors. His rookie jersey sold for $1.79 million.
Of course, Chamberlain went on to win the 1972 NBA Finals MVP after posting a double-double in the Lakers’ 114-100 closeout win. The NBA Hall of Famer amassed 24 points and 29 rebounds in 47 minutes of action.
1.) Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 Bulls Jersey — $10.1 million
In September 2022, the Michael Jordan 1998 NBA Finals game-worn jersey was expected to sell for about $5 million at Sotheby’s. The auction house declared the jersey a “high-value item.” In fact, no one was expecting the final price of this sale. As it turns out, the jersey sold for $10.1 million.
Jordan’s Chicago Bulls jersey is from Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. The date of the game was June 3, 1998, and the Jazz won 88-85 at Delta Center.
In a statement released by Sotheby’s, a spokesperson said: “Jordan’s 1998 NBA Finals Game 1 jersey is among the most highly-desired pieces of sports memorabilia, and the present example is one of just two Finals jerseys to ever appear at auction, from any of his six championships.”
As of September 2023, this is the most expensive NBA jersey ever sold.