Michael Jordan memorabilia sold

Updated: February 8, 2014, 9:36 AM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Four significant pieces of Michael Jordan memorabilia sold at auction early Saturday morning.

Three items related to Jordan's North Carolina career -- a diploma and two recruiting letters -- sold for more than $50,000 combined, while a game-used Dream Team uniform drew a $32,682 winning bid.

Jordan Letter
Goldin AuctionsDocuments related to Michael Jordan's college career include a letter from Dean Smith to the future superstar.

The two letters, originally obtained from a storage locker rented by a Jordan's restaurant in Chapel Hill that was sold after payments weren't made, were a source of controversy.

Jordan's mother, Deloris, said the letters weren't genuine because she had kept all of her son's recruiting letters. But as the days went on, her story didn't seem to hold.

She never produced the identical letters, while the auction house that was selling them, Goldin Auctions, obtained multiple letters from experts vouching for its authenticity based on the paper the letters were on and the handwriting by then-assistant coach Bill Guthridge and head coach Dean Smith.

Last month, the auction house was given assurance that the winning bidder would own the items outright and that neither Jordan nor his family would lay claim to them.

The letter from Guthridge to Jordan sold for $4,732, while the letter from Smith went for $27,009.

A diploma, which the auction house said was an original copy obtained by the University of North Carolina but might have not been the only one issued to Jordan, sold for $20,785.

Other notable items in the auction included a Jackie Robinson game-used bat that sold for $162,267, two Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl rings that sold for more than $36,000 each, a New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX ring given to "Spygate" videographer Matt Estrella sold for $15,810 and an 18-page Muhammad Ali handwritten draft of his conversion to Islam drew a winning bid of $25,376.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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