Bummed that you lost to Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals? Might as well make a little money off of it.
Former NBA player Eric Snow was a member of the 1995-96 Seattle SuperSonics, a team led by Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton that lost to Jordan's Bulls in six games in the 1996 Finals. Nearly 20 years later, Snow is auctioning off an autographed pair of the black-and-red Air Jordan XI signature sneakers that Jordan wore in Game 4.
Grey Flannel Auctions listed the sneakers this week with an opening price of $5,000. By early Wednesday morning, bidding was up to $6,655 and expected to climb much higher before the auction ends on June 18.
Last November, the auction house sold an autographed pair of the Air Jordan XII sneakers worn by Jordan during his famous "Flu Game" versus the Jazz in the 1997 Finals for $104,765. A former Jazz ballboy put those sneakers up for auction and the sale price represented a record for a pair of game-worn shoes.
Jordan and the Bulls were at the peak of their powers in 1995-96, winning an NBA-record 72 games and capturing the fourth title of Jordan's Hall of Fame career. A 32-year-old Jordan was named MVP and Finals MVP that year -- Jordan's first full campaign after returning from his stint playing professional baseball -- and the Bulls would go on to win championships in each of the next two seasons.
Chicago defeated Seattle 108-86 in Game 3 of the 1996 Finals to take a 3-0 series lead. Jordan finished with a game-high 36 points (on 11-for-23 shooting), five assists, three rebounds and two steals in 41 minutes. The game was played on June 9, 1996, in Seattle.
Grey Flannel Auctions notes that Jordan gave the sneakers to Snow in the locker room after the game. The shoes were later autographed by Jordan in August 2004 at one of his summer basketball camps in Santa Barbara, Calif. The winning bidder will receive a letter of authentication confirming that the shoes were worn by Jordan during Game 3 and later autographed.
Sneakers really don't get much more iconic than this. The Jordan XIs are the most popular and recognizable version of Jordan's signature sneakers thanks to their groundbreaking patent-leather design. Retro versions of the shoe in various colors are still released every year to much fanfare. The black-and-red colorway -- often referred to as "Breds" for short -- is among the most popular because Jordan wore it during the 1996 playoffs.
Jordan autographed the right shoe in silver near the ankle on the inside.
Snow was a rookie guard in 1995-96 after being drafted in the second round. A defensive-minded point guard, Snow would enjoy a 13-year career with the Sonics, Sixers and Cavaliers. He advanced to the 2001 Finals alongside Allen Iverson in Philaldephia and played in the 2007 Finals with LeBron James in Cleveland.
The 41-year-old Snow retired in 2008 and is currently the director of player development at SMU, where former Sixers coach Larry Brown is the coach. Snow has also worked as an NBA TV analyst. Video via YouTube user thelakersshowtime