Michael Jordan’s 1997-98 Chicago Bulls contract on auction


michael-jordan-1998The original copy of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls $33 million contract (the most valuable single-season contract in NBA history) is up on auction.

Jordan’s 1997-98 contract, which is up for auction, would be worth roughly $49 million in today’s dollars.

The contract, which Jordan signed for the 1997-98 season, was his last with the Bulls. That season culminated in a sixth championship for Jordan and the Bulls. The contract is signed by Jordan, himself, and initialed by him on each of its 24 pages.

It’s also signed by Jerry Krause, former Bulls general manager, and Irwin Mandel, the man in charge of the Bulls’ finances. It also includes a two-page cover letter from Mandel to the NBA.

“It’s hard to compare this to anything we’ve sold,” said Chris Ivy, the company’s director of sports auctions. “It’s Jordan, who is in a class by himself, and, to our knowledge, this is the only Jordan playing contract to ever surface.”

Even still, the contract was once obtained for a bargain. Ivy said the consignor, who prefers to remain anonymous, bought the contract as part of a charity auction in 2000 for less than $1,000.

The most valuable sports contract ever sold was Babe Ruth’s 1918, $5,000 Red Sox contract, which was sold in an auction earlier this month for $1.02 million.

Last year, Heritage sold Wayne Gretzky’s rookie contract with the Edmonton Oilers, a 10-year, $3 million deal that was signed on his 18th birthday. The contract itself sold for $47,800.

Factoring for inflation, Jordan’s $33 million contract would be worth roughly $49 million in today’s dollars.

Jordan, the Hall of Famer, won six National Basketball Association championships with the Chicago Bulls. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player award five times and was named an all-star 14 times.

His on-court success and commercial endorsements have made him one of the most recognizable and prosperous athletes in the United States. He is primary owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Jordan played in total 1072 NBA games (1039 started), averaging 30.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg in 38.3 minutes per contest.

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