By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Writer
The hoop and backboard upon which Michael Jordan made his iconic ‘Shot’ in 1989 sold for a hefty $18,000 during a sports memorabilia auction held by Heritage Auctions last month. According to a Heritage Auction press release, the auction ended in the early hours of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, and several additional pieces of Chicago Bulls memorabilia claimed top lot honors during the online sale. “It seems fans can’t get enough Jordan memorabilia following the 10-episode documentary The Last Dance,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions. “Since the show debuted, Jordan’s collectibles have experienced a sizable jump in value.”
Ivy explained since the 10-part documentary was released, cards, game-worn gear and everything in between were being gobbled up by collectors and like-minded investors. Ivy said it wasn’t just Jordan material that drew aggressive bidders, but several pieces of Bulls history were the most expensive pieces in the auction as well. “Jordan was just 26 years old in 1989 when he sank a buzzer-beating jumper over the outstretched arm of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dinged-up Craig Ehlo and straight into the basket offered in the auction,” said the auction group. “The hoop was nearly lost to history: A Cleveland-area property developer rescued the north-end basket and backboard from the Richfield Coliseum in the 1990s before the arena was razed by the National Park Service.”
The auction group said the owner gifted the basket to a friend who installed it on a court outside a home in suburban Cleveland, where it remained for 20 years before showing up at an auction. The basket was sold with a letter of provenance, as well as a letter of authenticity from the Heritage Auctions group.