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    Description

    1983 Michael Jordan University of North Carolina Tar Heels Game Worn Sneakers. A marvelously detailed letter of provenance tells the tale of a lifelong fan growing up in the fertile basketball fields of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. From his elementary school days through early adulthood, Anthony Morrow rubbed shoulders with the legends of the amateur game, from collegiate stars of UNC and NC State to the 1976 US Olympic Basketball team running drills under the close scrutiny of coach Dean Smith. As he grew older and stronger, Morrow himself took to the court to test his skills, and we'll allow him to pick up the story there:

    "In Woolen Gym, Sundays were the best time to play pick-up basketball. You just had to be there before 2 PM so you can get onto the main court, or most competitive court, and where the big time ballers played--street, organized, and good former high school players, and even many of the current and former Duke players also would show up.

    One Sunday in September 1981, we arrived on time to play first. I was on Michael Jordan's team, and my roommate was on the opposite team. It was the first time I met MJ. He was a freshman. As I recalled my roommate's team had three former D-1 players on it. Our team had average players, myself included, but we stayed up all afternoon (winner stays on court format) beating the best competition that day. Needless to say I was quite impressed with what I saw that day from MJ in a game that you can freestyle with no ref's, hanging lay-ups, double clutching between several defenders, skying dunks, and so forth. So that was the first of many pick-up games played with MJ.

    While working as a UNC basketball camp counselor in summer of 1983, I approached MJ about a pair of sneakers. The word from some of the local players was that MJ had a closet full. MJ gave several pairs to them and they were nice and almost new. After some pick games I ask MJ for a pair. He first refused, and I asked again another day and he said follow him back to his dorm. He came out with the worn team issued Con's. I was happy at first until I got home and realized how they looked on my feet (too big). Being a big Tar Heel fan and thinking that MJ would be a good professional (expectation exceeded of course) is the reason I think I kept them all these years. These shoes possibly could have been worn in the NCAA Championship Georgetown game in 1982."

    While absolute attribution to any particular contest is impossible today, we can report that the shoes exhibit tremendous wear, suggesting hundreds of hours on the feet of the most gifted player in the sport's history. Today, Jordan is quite literally synonymous with the Nike brand, but this white and Tar Heel blue Converse format that took the first steps on the path to athletic immortality remain the most coveted by collectors. Each is tagged size "12.5" inside, and bears a black marker number "23" at each interior tongue. Letter of provenance from original owner. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2020
    3rd Saturday
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