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Michael Jordan’s signed 1997-98 $33 million contract up for auction

Jul 24, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT

Michael Jordan AP

Michael Jordan was fortunate to have played in an era when superstars were not pressured by owners and fans to take pay cuts to “help the team.”

Back in 1997, at the end of his Chicago career, Jordan signed what would be the largest single year contract — $33 million (making up for some years of being underpaid by the Bulls). No player has ever made more in one year (and it will be a long time before that record is broken). That year the Bulls went on to the finals, Jordan got away with a push off to hit the game winner, and won his sixth title.

Now you can own Jordan’s actual contract.

It is up for auction, reports Darren Rovell at ESPN.

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.

The original estimate for the contract’s value by the company auctioning it, Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, was $30,000, but with a week remaining until the bidding closes next Thursday night, bidding has already topped $28,000.

“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.”

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves contract law….

As far as memorabilia goes, it’s interesting. There are a lot of Jordan jerseys in circulation, he’s not signing another $33 million contract.

But a contract is 24-pages of lawyer language. It’s about as interesting to read as the assembly instructions of an Ikea bookshelf. I

If that’s your thing, and it is worth north of $30,000 to you. If so, more power to you. Spend away.

  1. 88heatnation - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    He deserved every penny of it. 6 for 6 in the Finals all MVP. Incredible.

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      It helped that the refs never called him for travelling, double dribble, offensive or defensive fouls.

      Can’t really put him in the same category as Kareem, Magic, Bird, or Duncan.

      • mykulmitch - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:50 AM

        You are a clown for even writing that out.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        Yes it helped that he got superstar calls but so did all the other players you mentioned. And Magic is my favorite basketball player of all-time

  2. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    He was underpaid.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:06 AM

      not for his time though..back then that was HUUGE money

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:42 AM

        True. He made more than the rest of the team combined that season.

  3. titansbro - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    It wasn’t a push off.

    • apkyletexas - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      Yes it was.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Wow… come on man.

  4. themagicfanguy - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    It was clearly a push off, and I’m a huge MJ fan. Get your eyes checked.

    • vanhenge1234 - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      Don’t blame MJ just because Byron Russell can’t keep his balance.

  5. sportsfan18 - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    So he wasn’t pressured to take hometown discounts to help the team.

    Yet, he was underpaid for many years by the team.

    No matter how it happened, he played for a lot less than he should have for a long time.

  6. 4thquartermagic - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    “You may have the highest single season contract MJ. But I have the record for the highest single season contract for a guy who didn’t even have to play.”


    • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Gilbert Arenas begs to differ

  7. blueintown - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Jerry Reinsdorf is so…cheap?

  8. titansbro - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Not a push off. Russell was all out of balance & MJ barely grazed him. I know the NBA loves to call everything a foul but this was not even close.

  9. mackcarrington - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    I don’t understand how these things end up at auction when the parties involved are still living. I could see if it was part of an estate auction or something. If it’s not for a charity, what’s the deal?

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      what’s the deal?

      a little thing called money

      • mackcarrington - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Ok. ESPN reported that the person who consigned the contract originally bought it at a charity auction for $1000.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        and it’s going for $28K right now…

        that is a NICE return on investment don’t you think?

        $1K to $28K and it’s going to go up more yet

  10. j0esixpack - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    I don’t care if it was a push off – those are non calls all the time – he hit the shot

    As far as $30k – that’s Jim Irsay pocket change – some rich guy will buy it and will make money on it in the future – sea like you need money to make money

  11. haaaaasoooooo - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    PBT math. You can count on it.

  12. jacobk621 - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:20 AM

    It was clearly a push off (foul) and not to mention he palmed (carried) the ball but give him credit he made it when it counted most unlike LeChoke (Lebron) !!!

    • blueintown - Jul 25, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      You don’t have to define (clarify) obvious (clear) words (remarks) as you write (scribe) your daft (idiotic) thoughts (child-like brain diarrhea).

  13. Lujah - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    You just had to throw the push off in there as if it was relevant to this story. *smh*

    Anyway he definitely deserved it for what he averaged and for putting the whole league on his back. Who wasn’t singing, “like mike if I could be like mike” back then?

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