LeBron James is currently entering his 17th season in the NBA, which is no small feat for a professional basketball player. Fans and collectors realize that the superstar’s career is likely reaching its last legs, resulting in somewhat of a mad rush to buy up all of his merchandise before he exits the league. As a result, the jersey worn by James on his first Sports Illustrated cover has just been sold for a staggering $187,500 USD in a Goldin Auctions event.
The faded gold and green St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Irish jersey is one of the rarest pieces of James memorabilia out there, as James was still just a high school junior back in 2002 when the cover released. The Sports Illustrated cover featuring the jersey was accompanied by the appropriate title “The Chosen One,” which stems from the race between NBA franchises that were already hoping to draft the talented young athlete at the time, despite his age.
To put the numbers in perspective, $187,500 USD far surpasses the amount paid for Michael Jordan‘s final Bulls regular season jersey, which was bought for $173,240 USD in 2015. According to Yahoo! Sports, Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin originally predicted that the James jersey would go for $300,000 USD or more, but even its final selling price of $187,500 USD makes it the highest price ever paid for a LeBron James jersey.
Elsewhere in sports, watch the first-ever Women’s Battle at The Berrics.
The Chosen One, indeed ? pic.twitter.com/bs2c7ruQ5Y
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 20, 2019