1985 Michael Jordan Game-Issued and Signed Original Air Jordan 1’s in Original Box. The start of two of the greatest dynasties in basketball history are marked by this exceptional offering, a groundbreaking sculpture of leather and rubber that has become permanently engrained in American cultural iconography. Today the design seems charmingly simplistic when compared to the futuristic blend of mysterious polymers utilized to create the latest generation of Air Jordans, but the Ones will always reign supreme in collecting circles no matter what the designers at Nike could ever bring to market.
Presenting in unworn, virtually like-new condition in the most classic colorway, this pair of decades-old Air Jordan 1’s would be worth a small fortune to “sneakerheads” without any personal connection to their namesake whatsoever, but these are shoes made specifically for the GOAT, bearing “850204-TYPS” coding at each interior ankle to indicate they were produced between February and April of 1985 in the Tong Yang (Korea) factory as a “Player Sample.” No retail shoes are marked this way. Furthermore, the left and right shoes are sized “13” and “13 1/2” respectively, as per Jordan’s personal specifications. No size 13 1/2 examples of the original Air Jordan 1 were ever available to the general public.
A fascinating notarized letter of provenance from our consignor tells the tale of the shoes’ acquisition:
“In my role as Executive Director of the American Running Association (ARA), I, David Watt, worked with my late friend and Board Member Geoff Hollister of Nike to line up Nike sports items, event experiences and memorabilia. Through a senior Nike Basketball executive, Geoff Hollister was able to secure a commitment from then Player-President of the Washington Wizards NBA team Michael Jordan [for] a pair of ‘first edition Air Jordan 1 basketball sneakers.’ Mr. Hollister obtained the dual signed Air Jordan 1s from the Nike Basketball executive at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the day preceding the Gala event. At the time, Michael Jordan was residing in the penthouse of the Ritz Carlton, Washington DC. The hotel was the site of the 2003 American Running Honors Gala that I oversaw in my role as Executive Director. I paid the high bid of the basketball sneakers at the silent auction. The dual-signed Air Jordan 1 sneakers came in the original Nike shoe box. The shoes have been in my possession since the acquisition in mid-March 2003.”
Each sneaker is signed in black sharpie in the white toe box, rating 7/10 and 9/10 for left and right respectively. The shoe box exhibits a small degree of handling and storage wear commensurate with its advanced age, but it may be the rarest part of this whole ensemble. In its entirety, this is the most well-preserved offering of the original Air Jordan 1’s that we have ever encountered, a thrilling opportunity for the advanced collector. Notarized letter of provenance from original owner. Full LOA from Beckett Authentication Services.Full LOA from PSA/DNA.
Guide Value or Estimate: $80,000 – up.