MJ's Olympic Converses to auction

Updated: September 5, 2014, 1:12 AM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

A man who was a ball boy for the 1984 USA men's basketball team at the Olympics is giving up his prize possession: Michael Jordan's sneakers.

The man, who prefers to remain anonymous, consigned the shoes he says Jordan wore in the gold medal-winning game over Spain and then on the medal stand to Grey Flannel Auctions for its auction in mid-October.

[+] EnlargeMichael Jordan's shoes
Courtesy Grey Flannel AuctionsMichael Jordan's signed Converses from the 1984 Olympics will be auctioned next month.

The shoes are white Converse, the brand Jordan wore at North Carolina, thanks to a $10,000 a year deal that was given to his coach, Dean Smith, at the time.

Grey Flannel's Michael Russek said the auction house verified the chain of custody of the shoes by confirming that the consignor was indeed a ball boy and being presented with photos of him in the locker room in Los Angeles. He said that Jordan signed the shoes at the time before handing it to the consignor.

If the shoes were indeed worn by Jordan for the gold medal game in August 1984, it would be the last pair of shoes he wore in a competitive game as an amateur.

Jordan announced he would forgo his senior year at UNC that May and was drafted as the third pick by the Chicago Bulls in June.

Soon after the Olympics, Jordan went with his agent, David Falk, to Nike headquarters and signed a five-year deal with the swoosh worth $7 million over five years, including stock options.

The rest is history. There have been 29 versions of Air Jordans. The current version and the retro sneakers generate more than $2.5 billion at retail, and Jordan makes roughly $100 million a year from Nike.

Bidding for the shoes will start at $5,000, the same price Grey Flannel started at for the shoes it sold from Jordan's famous "Flu Game" shoes from the 1997 NBA Finals. Those shoes sold for $104,765 in December, a record for the highest price ever paid for a pair of Air Jordans.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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