The 1984 United States men’s basketball team was the last amateur team to win an Olympic gold medal in men’s basketball. The team was coached by Hall of Famer Bob Knight and led on the court by Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Sam Perkins, Wayman Tisdale and others. It was Jordan’s coming out party, who led the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game. His scoring prowess and athleticism was front and center in front of a worldwide audience. The team went 8-0 in the Olympic tournament, averaging 95.4 points per game and held their opponents to 63.3 points per game. This was the last time that Jordan would play a competitive game in a non-Nike product, as he would forgo his senior year at UNC and enter the 1985 NBA draft.
These size 13, white sneakers have a navy blue Converse logo on each side of the sneaker and have a navy blue trim around the ankle area. On the tongue is a “CONVERSE” manufacturer’s tag with washing instructions. On the inside ankle area of the sneaker is a black manufacturer stamp that reads, “678401 – 13 – MADE IN KOREA – 18516”. The outside of each ankle area is penned by Jordan in black marker. After the gold medal game and medal ceremony, Jordan signed and gifted this pair of Converse to one of the Team USA ball boys. During this transaction, a second pair of his sneakers were also gifted to a different ball boy. Each ball boy says they clearly remember getting the pair Jordan wore on the court during the gold medal ceremony. The shoes received by the other ball boy, the son of a professional basketball player, have insoles in them, whereas this pair does not.
Both owners acknowledge the fact that two almost identical pairs of Converse sneakers both originated directly from Jordan in the locker room. The consignor had these sneakers in his possession since that day that Jordan handed them to him. These sneakers were no doubt worn by Jordan during the Olympic Games, but during which game and in what capacity we may never know. Jordan had been known to wear multiple pairs of sneakers (changing at half) in one game and it is possible that he may have worn both of these pairs during the gold medal round. We may never fully know which sneakers were worn during the gold medal game — but the possibility certainly exists that these are them.
The starting bid for the basketball sneakers is $50,000 USD and you can find the auction at Grey Flannel Auctions.