The Nike Air Ship trainers are from 1984 and are signed by MJ himself, and mark the first pair of sneakers to ever sell for more than $1 million at an auction. The sale sets the Nike's only behind Sotheby's previous sale of Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes from the Grammy's in 2008, selling at $1.8 million USD.
The Nike Air Ship silhouette plays a big part in Michael Jordan's NBA journey, as it was the first basketball silhouette he wore at the start of his career. Designed in 1984 – the same year that Nike launched MJ's own Jordan Brand line – the Air Ship sneakers are a part of history.
Sotheby's report that the auctioned pair is attributed to Jordan's fifth NBA game, and pre-dates the now-iconic Nike Air Jordan 1 sneaker. The Swoosh's partnership with MJ was the catalyst of a series of player and brand collaborations and quickly grew into one of Nike's biggest wins, with the Air Ship silhouette playing a pivotal part in designing the AJ1.
Purchased by trading card Nick Fiorella collector at Sotheby's "Icons of Excellence & Haute Luxury" auction in Las Vegas, the signed pair ended up reaching a total of $1,472,000 after being estimated to sell between $1 million and $1.5 million. A small price to pay for a piece of history, perhaps.