The Dynasty Collection Comprises Michael Jordan's 'Air Jordan' Six Championship Sneakers In Their Entirety
Greatness has become synonymous with Michael Jordan's name.
In addition to six NBA championships, six Finals MVPs, five league MVPs, and two Olympic gold medals, Jordan enjoyed unprecedented success as an athlete. Jordan is widely considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Off the court, Jordan's partnership with Nike to create the massively popular 'Jordan Brand' was just as influential as his achievements on the court. In addition to solidifying Nike's position as the world's largest sneaker company, the partnership marked the beginning of a lucrative era of collaboration between sneaker companies and athletes. As a result of his relationship with Nike, Jordan became the first NBA player to reach $1 billion in net worth.
During Jordan's rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984, Nike produced the first Air Jordan model - the Air Jordan I. A public release of the Air Jordan I took place in 1985. In the years to follow, Jordan's pattern remained the same - produce a new model for him and then release it to the public. Thus, Jordan's subsequent models and design innovations were inextricably linked to his legendary performances and eras.
Sotheby's presents The Dynasty Collection, a set of six Nike Air Jordan sneakers worn by Michael Jordan in each of his six NBA championship clinching games. There are six Air Jordans in the set: the Air Jordan VI (1991), the Air Jordan VII (1992), the Air Jordan VIII (1993), the Air Jordan XI (1996), the Air Jordan XII (1997), and the Air Jordan XIV (1998).
In terms of value and significance, this set represents the most valuable and significant collection of Air Jordan sneakers ever released.
A total of 6 NBA championships were won by Michael Jordan's team during his 15 professional seasons. The six titles were the result of two three-peats (1991-1993 & 1996-1998), with the gap coinciding with Jordan's brief retirement and career as a professional baseball player.
Jordan earned a reputation for consistently spectacular performances in the playoffs and, particularly, in the NBA Finals. As is evident from his perfect 6-0 Finals record and his record of never scoring less than 20 points in a Finals game. In addition, Jordan was awarded the Finals MVP award following all 6 championships, a feat that has never been matched.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls, 1991
During Jordan's first NBA Finals appearance, the Chicago Bulls faced Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. Lakers were attempting to collect their 6th championship since 1980, while Bulls had never reached the Finals. Jordan wasn't about to give up after years of frustrating playoff exits. The Bulls recovered from a Game 1 loss in Chicago to win the next three games, forcing a potentially deciding Game 5.
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their first NBA title on June 12, 1991, when they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 at the Great Western Forum. The victory marked the beginning of the Chicago Bulls dynasty that would dominate the NBA for decades to come.
Wearing this Air Jordan VI, Jordan scored 30 points, had 10 assists, 4 rebounds, five steals, and two blocks in the championship-winning game.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls, 1992
In the NBA Finals, the defending champion Bulls faced Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Rich Report, Drexler was Jordan's 'number one' a month prior. The magazine's May 11, 1992 issue featured the cover story, 'The world's number one rival.' After splitting the first four games of the series, the Bulls won Game 5 in Portland to set up a Bulls championship in Game 6.
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls repeated as NBA champions on June 14, 1992, when they beat the Trail Blazers 97-93 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. In the final 12 minutes, the Bulls outscored the Blazers 33-14 despite trailing by 15 points entering the 4th quarter. As a result of his comeback victory, Jordan became the first player to win a championship in Chicago since 1991.
In this Air Jordan VII, Jordan scored 33 points, added four rebounds, four assists, and four steals during the victory.
Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls, 1993
Michael Jordan was not awarded the 1992-93 NBA MVP despite winning back-to-back NBA championships and leading the Bulls to the Finals for a third consecutive season. Instead, Charles Barkley, who was Jordan's opponent in the 1993 NBA Finals, won the award. Clyde Drexler had been compared to Jordan the year before, but Jordan was determined to prove that no one could match him.
With a 3-2 series lead, the Bulls were set to play Game 6 at America West Arena in Phoenix on June 20, 1993. To complete the three-peat, Jordan and the Bulls defeated the Suns 99-98 in a thrilling game.
Wearing this Air Jordan VIII, Jordan scored 33 points and added eight rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.
Seattle SuperSonics vs. Chicago Bulls, 1996
After the first three-peat, Jordan retired from basketball to pursue a career in professional baseball. But when the MLB players went on strike in 1994, Jordan refused to cross the picket line. He ultimately returned to the Bulls in March of 1995. In the 1995-96 season – Jordan’s first full NBA season since 1992-93 – Jordan and the Bulls won a then-NBA record 72 games and made their fourth NBA Finals appearance of the decade. This time the opponent was the Seattle SuperSonics.
Jordan and the Bulls had extra motivation following their uncharacteristic early exit from the 1995 playoffs, while the Sonics featured All-Stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. Jordan willed the Bulls back to the mountaintop in order to reestablish their dominance over the NBA.
On June 16, 1996, Jordan and the Bulls won 87-75 in Game 6 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois to clinch their fourth NBA championship. A particularly emotional game for Jordan, who was playing in his first NBA Finals since his father's death in July of 1993, was the championship-clinching victory on Father's Day.
While wearing this Air Jordan XI, Jordan scored 22 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, assisted 7 times, and stole two times during the emotional victory.
Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls, 1997
The 1997 Finals pitted the Chicago Bulls against a Utah Jazz team that included John Stockton and Karl Malone, both Hall of Famers. In addition to Jordan's famous 'Flu Game' performance, the series also featured one of Jordan's most iconic performances.
In Game 5, with the series at two games each, Jordan became ill and became extremely ill. Despite being reported to be suffering from 'flu-like symptoms' by announcer Marv Albert, Jordan himself later suggested, in the hit Netflix documentary The Last Dance, that he might have been suffering from food poisoning.
As a result, Jordan miraculously scored 38 points despite visible discomfort, leading the Bulls to a rematch in Chicago. During Game 6 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on June 13, 1997, Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their fifth NBA title in seven years.
Wearing this Air Jordan XII, Jordan recorded a game-high 39 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in another memorable Finals performance.
Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls, 1998
In 1997-98, Michael Jordan played his final NBA season with the Chicago Bulls, often referred to as 'The Last Dance. During this time, Jordan reached his peak popularity and power while simultaneously resolving internal divisions fracturing the team. It was the players' last chance to win one final championship together since they knew the roster would eventually be disbanded at the end of the season.
Michael Jordan's 'The Last Dance' exemplified his skills as a competitor, a sportsman, a teammate, and ultimately, a champion as an athlete. Following the fairytale season, the Bulls squared off against John Stockton, Karl Malone, and the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals.
Game 6 of the series took place at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 14, 1998, with the Bulls leading the series 3-2. Jordan famously came up with a last-minute steal before sinking the game-winning jumpshot at the end, making it one of the most watched games in NBA history. Only Jordan could deliver a picture-perfect ending. As a member of the Chicago Bulls, Jordan won his 6th Finals MVP award at the conclusion of the game.
The Air Jordan XIV was worn by Jordan in the Bulls' 87-86 championship-clinching victory and dynasty-cementing victory.
By the end of his NBA career, Jordan's fanbase stretched far beyond Chicago – they came from all over the world. Perhaps no other athlete has had the global impact and influence of Michael Jordan. In addition to being the face of the Jordan Brand and appearing in Space Jam, Michael Jordan transcended sports and became a symbol of success and peak human achievement, transcending sport. All top achievers were called Michael Jordans in their respective fields.
A fresh out of the University of North Carolina, Jordan made his Olympic debut for the United States in 1984, playing for legendary Indiana coach Bob Knight.
Eight years later, Jordan returned to the Olympics as the face of the 'Dream Team' at the 1992 Games, widely regarded as the best sports team ever assembled after a rule change allowed professionals to attend. Jordan's global celebrity status was elevated to new heights at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona as a result of the team.
Jordan gained an aura of invincibility after the United States decisively defeated all eight of their opponents en route to winning the Gold Medal. Jordan stood out among superstars such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley.
Although Michael Jordan retired 20 years ago, his status as a pop culture and sports icon continues to linger. Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James have aimed to reproduce Jordan's success and chase his metaphorical throne. Despite his incredible record of perfection at the highest level, no one has been able to capture the world's attention and support quite like Jordan.
In simple terms, nobody has ever been capable of "being like Mike".