Today we take a full look at the "Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard Origin Story" from the "ORIGINAL AIR: Michael Jordan Game-Worn and Player Exclusive Sneaker Rarities" auction by Christie's and Stadium Goods.
If you're familiar with modern day sneaker culture, you know just how popular the Air Jordan 1 High is. Virtually any colorway produced is an instant sell-out. Of course, Michael Jordan's first signature shoe has always been revered by collectors, but the extreme hype surrounding the Jordan 1 today can be traced back to the "Shattered Backboard" colorway that released in 2015. It's one of a handful of special releases of the silhouette that have propelled the Jordan 1 High its current top-dog status in sneakers.
The highly coveted colorway is inspired by an Italian exhibition game on August 25, 1985 that Jordan participated in, where he shattered the glass backboard after a particularly powerful dunk. Once a small, almost forgotten footnote in Jordan's career, the backboard-shattering moment became a much more well-known piece of Michael Jordan and basketball history thanks to the hype behind the "Shattered Backboard" Jordan 1 thirty years later. After the "Shattered Backboard" colorway became a hit, Jordan Brand wasted little time producing additional variations of the white, black, and orange color combination on the Jordan 1, as well as other models. They have all been successful enough that "Shattered Backboard" has become an iconic look in the Jordan line—and in only five years' time.
Now the "Shattered Backboard" story comes full circle in the Original Air auction, which includes the very pair of Air Jordan 1s worn by Jordan that fateful day in Italy.
Following his NBA Rookie of the Year season, Michael Jordan travelled to Trieste, Italy to participate in a Nike-sponsored exhibition game. The game featured Italian Liga A teams Stefanel Trieste and Snaidero Caserta, with special guest Jordan wearing a No. 23 black-and-orange Stefanel Trieste jersey.
Wearing this Air Jordan 1 High “Chicago,” Jordan scored 30 points. Of course, the most memorable play of the game was Jordan’s famous dunk, so powerful that it shattered the glass backboard into thousands of pieces. One of those pieces still remains in the sole of his left shoe.
This incredible pair was sourced from Gianni Bertolitti, the captain of the Stefanel team, who was given the shoes by Jordan after the game. Jordan also signed each shoe on the medial side of the ankle. Included is a Letter of Authenticity (LOA) outlining the full provenance and backstory. The rookie signatures are authenticated by JSA.
This “Shattered Backboard” Origin Story Air Jordan 1 is as unique as they come—a one-of-a-kind Michael Jordan artifact—and the only Air Jordan 1 High to be definitively photo-matched to such an iconic moment in sports history and available for sale on the secondary market.
The ORIGINAL AIR: Michael Jordan Game-Worn and Player Exclusive Sneaker Rarities auction is live July 30-August 13, 2020.