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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/10/2022

After his brief experiment with pro baseball in 1994, Michael Jordan un-retired from the NBA and returned to his starring role with the Bulls in March 1995, just in time for the playoffs. But the young, upstart Orlando Magic surprised Chicago by knocking them out in the 2nd round. MJ apparently needed a little more time to find his mojo. Heading into the 1995-96 season, Jordan and the Bulls were determined to prove their dominance once again. And did they ever, winning a then-record 72 regular season games before plowing through the postseason with an emphatic 15-3 run to win their 4th championship. Jordan was officially back on top of the sports world, putting to rest any doubts about his ability or desire when he walked away from basketball two years earlier. He averaged a league-leading 30.4 points along with 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals during the regular season to earn his fourth league MVP award. He was also named All-Star MVP and Finals MVP for the rare trifecta.

For the majority of the '95-96 season, Jordan sported the white and black Air Jordan XI shoes commonly known among sneaker aficionados simply as "Concords." Offered publicly for the first time is this significant pair of MJ's game-worn and dual-signed Concords from that epic campaign that began another three-peat for Chicago. Even juicier, these puppies were on Jordan’s feet when he dropped 46 points in a 116-109 road win against the Washington Bullets on January 15, 1996 (MLK Jr.'s birthday). They come from a private collector and were originally sourced from former Dukie and ex-NBA player Nolan Smith, who happened to be the visiting team ball boy that evening at the Capital Center in Landover, MD. According to his enclosed letter, Nolan was gifted the sneakers after the game in the visiting locker room by Jordan, who signed them for Nolan on the spot. Smith’s father, the late Derek Smith who had a lengthy NBA playing career as a high-scoring wing after starring at Louisville, was Washington’s assistant coach from 1994-96 and was on the sidelines that night. The Bullets coaching staff simply had no answers for His Airness as he went 16-31 from the field and a perfect 11-11 from the strike. Two nights earlier in Philadelphia, MJ torched the Sixers for 48 in just three quarters; he sat out the 4th in a blowout. In that era, it was standard for players to wear the same pair multiple times on road trips. Who knows, maybe he had these on for each monster performance!

Nike officially released the Air Jordan XI to the public in 1996, and Mike wore this shiny black-leather-on-white-canvas style from early in the season all the way through the NBA Finals. Tinker Hatfield's popular design for the XI's featured patent leather for the first time on a basketball shoe. "Quality Basketball Products Inspired by the Greatest Player Ever" is stitched inside the upper tongues. "23" and the Jumpman logo adorn the outer heels. The pair comes in size 13.5 (an increment not available to the public) and have the proper player-exclusive tagging on the interior with the important “Sample FTPS” label. Jordan has signed the upper ankles of both sneakers in black marker. They display a ton of game use, with creasing in the ankles and toe area, heel drag and usage on the outsoles, and a heavily faded Nike Air logo on the insoles from foot perspiration. The white laces appear newer and may have been replaced. All other structural components are original and problem-free. A spectacular pair of hobby-fresh MJ gamers from his most accomplished season in a Bulls uniform!

Included is a letter of provenance from former NBA player Nolan Smith, who received these shoes directly from Jordan as a gift. There are two LOA's from PSA/DNA, one for each autograph.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $50,137
Number Bids:16
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