The game-worn memorabilia market, like cards, has been having a moment. Much of the appeal for collectors and investors alike lies in the associated moments wrapped up in a game-worn item – a marquee player, a championship season, a pivotal game, a history-making moment. Here are a few of the most iconic (and expensive) jerseys that have been sold to date…
1. 1982-1983 Michael Jordan Game-Worn University of North Carolina Tar Heels Jersey
Sold in May 2021 for $1,380,000 by Heritage Auctions
A Jordan game-worn jersey from the 1982-1983 University of North Carolina season sold for $1,380,000, marking a new record price for a Jordan jersey. This is the only known jersey photo-matched to his “Player of the Year” cover on The Sporting News from that season. The jersey previously sold at auction in 1999 for $63,500.
2. 1986-87 Michael Jordan Game-Worn Chicago Bulls Jersey
Sold in October 2020 for $480,000 by Heritage Auctions
A different Jordan game-worn jersey, from his time in the NBA, was photo matched to a 56 point game, the cover of “One Man Gang” issue of sports illustrated, and possibly the final regular-season game where he scored 61-points and crossed the 3,000 career point mark to join the likes of Wilt Chamberlain.
3. 1930-1932 John Wooden Game-Worn Purdue Boilermakers Jersey
Sold in May 2018 for $264,000 by Heritage Auction
John Wooden is widely considered one of the most impactful figures in college basketball, and coaching in general, after amassing 10 NCAA championships during his 12 years as UCLA coach. This jersey is from his days as a player at Purdue, where he was selected as a three-time All American athlete.
4. 2020-2021 LeBron James Game-Worn 2021 NBA All-Star Jersey – 1st Half
Sold in March 2021 for $250,140 by NBA Auctions
LeBron wore this jersey — his highest selling one to date — during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game when Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 170-150. This was his 17th All-Star Appearance.
5. 2020-2021 LeBron James Game-Worn Los Angeles Lakers Christmas Day Jersey
Sold in February 2021 for $130,020 by NBA Auctions
James wore this unique “City Edition” jersey during the December 25, 2020 Christmas Day game in Los Angeles. James recorded a double-double while playing in his 15th Christmas Day game, the second most by any athlete in the league.
6. 1978-1979 President Barack Obama Game-Worn Punahou (HI) High School Basketball Jersey
Sold in August 2019 for $120,000 by Heritage Auctions
President Obama has a well-known passion for the game of basketball dating back to his days as a high school player in Hawaii. This jersey is tied to a moment early in the President’s lifelong love of the game, a love that he continued to nurture well into adulthood and pick up games at the White House.
7. 1970-1971 Lew Alcindor Game-Worn NBA Western Conference All-Star Jersey
Sold in November 2021 for $106,250 by Heritage Auctions
This is one of the last jerseys to display the name “Lew Alcindor,” the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s birth name. The jersey has additional significance as it was worn during the year the Bucks won the championship, a season that propelled Adbul-Jabbar into winning regular season and Finals NBA MVP titles.
8. 1997-1998 Michael Jordan Game-Worn & Signed Chicago Bulls Jersey
Sold in February 2020 for $102,000 by Heritage Auctions
This particular jersey, a gem from the Bull’s dynasty era, was photo matched to an April 7th,1998 game where Jordan scored thirty points. Jordan went on to win his 6th and final championship with the organization that year, a season memorialized in the documentary The Last Dance.
9. 1969-1971 Lew Alcindor Game-Worn Milwaukee Bucks Jersey
Sold in February 2013 for $95,600 by Heritage Auctions
Used during Lew Alcindor’s (Kareem Abdul-Jabar’s) rookie and championship season, he wore this specific jersey during the NBA Finals for the Bucks’ only successful championship campaign to date.
10. 2020-2021 LeBron James Game-Worn Los Angeles Lakers 2020 NBA Tip-Off Jersey
Sold in March 2021 for $93,608 by NBA Auctions
Another LeBron jersey, and one that is similarly relatively young in the bunch, James wore this during the December 22, 2020 season opener. A game in which he registered 22 points with 5 assists and 5 rebounds.