He doesn’t have the most points in NBA history, nor does he won the most titles in the Association’s long history. He never scored 100, 90, 80, or 70 points in a single game.
But there’s something about MJ that has dubbed him the “Greatest of All-Time” in NBA lore. Maybe it has something to do with how he single-handily re-marketed Nike as “the Jordan brand.”
Or maybe because he received the honorable “His Royal Airness” due to his electrifying dunks in competitions. Or, simply speaking, MJ became the GOAT because M.J was the must-see attraction for even the average NBA fan during the 1990s when the Chicago Bulls won two three-peats.
Whatever the reason, there’s nobody else in the history of United States professional speaking, LeBron James included, that has captivated the NBA world quite like No. 23. And because of that reason, the former legend from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has graced the world with all kinds of memorable autographed stuff.
In collaboration with Upper Deck Sports, here are the six most expensive memorabilia items that have been signed by His Royal Airness. Make sure to get your checkbooks ready!
5. Gretzky, Jordan, and Brady: “Faces of Sport.” $7,499.99.
This 48 x 24 autographed archival paper features the “John Hancock” from the hands of sports legends Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, and Tom Brady. These three legends are considered by many to be the GOAT’s of their respective sports. With each signature being in black ink, there are only 100 pieces available.
4. Ali, Jordan, and Woods: “Legends of Sport.” $8,999.99.
This 57 x 34 framed collage photo includes mixed-medium art print on P-velvet archival paper. This autograph includes Muhammad Ali signing the paper in a very meticulous way, despite his ongoing Parkinson’s disease. The piece includes a black background and a UV resistant Plexiglass. There are only 500 “Legends of Sport” still in stock.
T-3. MJ Goodwin Portrait and 1984 Gold Medal Celebration. Both at $9,899.99.
With only one still in stock, the original MJ-autographed base set card is extremely rare, as evidenced by the just under $10,000 asking price. This card comes from a 150-card grouping of the 2011 Goodwin Champions base set, and it features Mike Jordan in a self-reflecting pose portrait.
Or if you have an extra 10 grand just laying around the house, the 1984 gold medal celebration might be more of your cup of tea. This original 8 x 11 painting features Jordan, along with teammates Wayman Tisdale, Jon Koncak, and Vern Fleming, carrying head coach Bob Knight from the bench onto the court. Jordan signed this magnificent piece of art with a gold point pen.
2. Jordan Autographed University of North Carolina Collection. $19,999.
Numbered 1-10, this collection shows 10 autographed basketball cards of Air Jordan when he dawned the courts of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Each card is a 5×7 unique representation of his days with the Tar Heels, with every card having its own Upper Deck authentication on the trading card back. Only 25 sets of the collection, including the rare plaque to commemorate the cards, have ever been produced. Only two are left!
1. MJ Original Fleer Rookie Card Art. $29,999.99.
Believe it or not, but MJ wasn’t the first or second overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. Foreshadowing things to come, the Portland Trail Blazers selected a person named Sam Bowie with more “upside” than the future Hall of Famer shooting guard. (Remember the Greg Oden pick over Kevin Durant?)
Not a bad pick by any means, the Houston Rockets selected the amazing center Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon with No. 1 overall pick, a man who helped them win back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. As phenomenal as Olajuwon was, he’s no MJ. MJ fell No. 3 to the Chicago Bulls.
That’s what makes this rookie card so valuable. Not only did MJ become a Hall of Fame hooper, but he somewhat beat the odds to make even the Rockets somewhat regret picking Olajuwon over the UNC shooting guard. Think about it this way: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Oscar Robertson, James Worthy, John Wall, etc. are all former No. 1 overall picks.
In the eyes and minds of many NBA experts, former No. 3 overall pick Michael Jordan trumps them all.
This Fleer basketball card is almost universally regarded as the most important MJ rookie card ever made. Famed sports artist Chuck Gillies hand painted the 1986-87 Fleer rookie card art, and the original art print is signed in silver paint by Jordan himself.