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Rare Michael Jordan shoe found in Milwaukee mall could sell for $20,000

Michael Jordan

The phrase one man’s trash is another man’s treasure has never rung more true for Larry Awe, who found a game-worn Michael Jordan sneaker lying in a dumpster as the Capitol Court Mall in Milwaukee was being demolished back in 2001.

Awe, who at the time was the head of maintenance for the mall, recognized the article as Jordan’s as soon as he saw it:

“I saw the box and said, ‘This isn’t going to the dump,'” Awe said, according to JR Radcliffe of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Now, the shoe is up for auction, and Heritage Auctions consignment director Chris Herat thinks it will end up commanding an incredibly hefty price.

“It was almost like a buried treasure,” said Herat.

Heritage Auctions estimates that the sneaker will fetch somewhere around $20,000, with bidding starting out at $5,000.

“Larry’s had it in his basement for 17 years and it happens to be what I consider and what Heritage considers the most significant Air Jordan shoe in existence, and I don’t think we’re overexaggerating,” Nerat said.

Why is this particular shoe so valuable?

Well, because these sneakers were the first Air Jordans to ever be made, and this particular shoe was autographed by Jordan himself.

“The signature was pretty faded, but it was legible enough that you can make out that it’s a vintage signature,” Nerat said. “He only did that (writing ‘my very best’) very early on, maybe just his rookie year. The most important thing, as far as authenticating, is the serial number that’s stamped into the interior of the shoe that dates it.”