Michael Jordan’s Historic ‘Shattered Backboard’ Jersey Goes For Sale

Sotheby’s recently announced that they are to present Michael Jordan – Shattered, an online auction of Michael Jordan memorabilia. Celebrating Michael Jordan’s astonishing legacy as one of the greatest athletes in modern history, the dedicated, online auction is open for bidding today through 3 December.

The selection of game-worn and signed pairs of Nike Air Jordan 1s, deadstock Air Jordan releases and more is led by Jordan’s historic game-worn and signed ‘Shattered Backboard’ jersey (estimate $300/500,000). 

Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Director of eCommerce Development, commented: “In 1985 when Stefanel sponsored the Stefanel Trieste team, spectators witnessed a spectacular moment in sporting history, as Michael Jordan – almost flying – completed one of the most remarkable dunks of all time, shattering the backboard into thousands of pieces. 35 years later – after inspiring multiple Nike releases and colourways – the game-worn and signed jersey from this iconic moment is finally coming to market.

This sale also features an incredible selection of Michael Jordan game-worn and signed sneakers, including a pair of dual-signed and game-worn Air Jordan 1s from 1985 – the same type of iconic pair that Sotheby’s sold this past summer for $560,000, breaking the world auction record of $437,500 at the time for the 1972 Nike Moon Shoe, set the previous year at Sotheby’s. Including basketball cards, jerseys, sneakers and even contemporary art, we hope that this sale excites the global audience for Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls memorabilia.”


Michael Jordan's Historic 'Shattered Backboard' Jersey Goes For Sale
Michael Jordan ‘shattered backboard’ game-worn and signed Stefanel Trieste jersey | Estimate: $300 000 – $500 000

Worn by Michael Jordan during one of the most incredible moments in basketball history, this autographed jersey was worn by Jordan during the historic ‘Shattered Backboard’ game in Trieste, Italy in 1985 (estimate $300/500,000). After an unbelievable NBA Rookie of the Year season, Michael Jordan travelled to Trieste in August 1985 for an exhibition game sponsored by Nike.

Jordan played in Liga A for Stefanel Trieste and donned this incredible and custom No. 23 orange-and-black Stefanel Trieste jersey.

The game is best remembered as the “Shattered Backboard” game, as the most memorable part of Jordan’s 30 point performance came when Jordan – almost flying towards the net – dunked the ball with so much power and force that the entire backboard erupted, spraying shards of glass all over the court. The moment has inspired some of Nike’s most popular Air Jordan 1 releases and is one of the brand’s most coveted colourways.

The present Stefanel Trieste jersey is on offer from Carlo Stefanel. The Stefanel organization was the sponsor of the team at the time.

Carlo Stefanel commented: “I am remarkably excited to bring this game-worn historic ‘Shattered Backboard’ jersey to market from my personal collection. It was an honour for Stefanel to sponsor the Stefanel Trieste team, and to be part of such an iconic moment of Michael Jordan’s incredible legacy.”


Michael Jordan's Historic 'Shattered Backboard' Jersey Goes For Sale
Michael Jordan game-worn and dual signed 1985 ‘player sample’ Air Jordan 1 | Estimate: $200 000 – $300 000

A selection of rare Nike Air Jordans is led by a pair of game-worn, dual signed 1985 Air Jordan 1s in the iconic ‘Chicago’ colourway – perhaps the most recognizable for Jordan, as well as the Nike brand (estimate $200/300,000). The pair appears at auction following Sotheby’s record-breaking auction of Jordan’s game-worn, autographed Nike Air Jordan 1s from 1985, which achieved $560,000 this May – a world auction record for a pair of sneakers at the time. Designed by Peter Moore, the name “Air Jordan” was coined by Michael Jordan’s agent David Falk, since the Nike shoes had air in the soles, and Michael Jordan played basketball in the air. One of the most iconic designs in the history of both streetwear and basketball, the shoes are unmatched when it comes to quality, craftsmanship, materials, innovation, performance, and style.  


Michael Jordan's Historic 'Shattered Backboard' Jersey Goes For Sale
Michael Jordan 2004-2005 ultimate collection achievements signatures Beckett black label | Estimate: $30 000 – $50 000

Signed by Michael Jordan in blue ink, this extraordinarily rare ‘population 1’ card was graded a perfect 10 by Beckett on five attributes: centring, edges, corners, surface, and autograph, and is the only card that has been graded as a BGS (Beckett Grading Services) Black Label (estimate $30/50,000). In total Beckett has graded 27 of the 69 copies of this card. There are no graded BGS Pristine 10 cards (the grade beneath this one), and therefore this card is significantly better than any of the other copies that have been examined. The present card is on offer from the esteemed collection of Ryan Chang.


One of the most desired styles among sneaker collectors, the Black and Red (or ‘Bred’) style was worn by Michael Jordan during the 1995-1996 NBA Playoffs and Finals (estimate $60/80,000). During this iconic season for Jordan, the legendary athlete won his fourth NBA MVP title (leading the Bulls to 72 wins), with an additional NBA Finals MVP title after the Bulls defeated the Seattle Supersonics in the Finals. The 1995-1996 season was Michael’s first complete season back after spending time in professional Baseball, and yet still, Jordan led the league in scoring with an average of more than 30 points per game.

The present sneakers were designed by legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield. Hatfield realized Jordan would roll his foot on hard cuts while playing, and took the opportunity to build a sneaker that would suit Jordan with these difficult movements during gameplay. The patent leather on the uppers of the shoe additionally allowed him to wear the sneakers with a suit. Both sneakers are inscribed “Best Wishes, Michael Jordan.”


Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby’s also presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Sotheby’s Home, the online marketplace for interior design.