Updated 04:04 PM EST, Thu, Dec 02, 2021

Michael Jordan's $33 Million Contract With Chicago Bulls on Auction

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Collectibles relating to Michael Jordan are like the holy grail of sports memorabilia, the Bleacher Report said, so the mayhem around the last contract he signed with the Chicago Bulls is understandable.

The $33-million 1997-98 contract--the most pricey single-season contract in the NBA--is now being auctioned, ESPN said. The paycheck is nearly $10 million more than the highest-paid player in the NBA today -- Kobe Bryant, the Bleacher Report added.  

"It's hard to compare this to anything we've sold," Chris Ivy, the director of sports auctions for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, told ESPN.  "It's Jordan, who is in a class by himself, and, to our knowledge, this is the only Jordan playing contract to ever surface." 

The contract, also carrying the initials of the NBA legend and now Charlotte Hornets owner on each of its 24 pages, will be closed for bidding next Thursday evening, the report added. Also found on the contract are the signatures of Jerry Krause, former Bulls general manager, and Irwin Mandel, the team's finance man. It also has a two-page cover letter from Mandel to the basketball league.

The papers are from a never-ending stream of Michael Jordan-related memorabilia, including golf bags and love letters, Yahoo Sports wrote. Although it would come off as lame, the report acknowledged, the contract isn't just some ordinary bunch of papers--that season, apart from the sixth championship for the Bulls, Jordan also took home his fifth NBA Most Valuable Player award before retiring for the second time, AL.com said. 

Coming from an anonymous consignor who bought it for less than $1,000, the document was estimated to be worth $30,000 but bidding has already topped $28,000, the ESPN report said. In an AL.com report, it was said that as of 2 p.m. on Thursday, the highest bid was already $32,500.

No living retired athlete is given as much attention as Jordan, despite him not playing professionally since 2003, the Bleacher Report said.

To prove that, he is the second most popular male athlete in a Harris poll, added another ESPN story. It also noted that he enjoyed the No. 1 spot now occupied by LeBron James from 1993 to 2005.

Also listed for auction at Heritage Auctions are a Willie Mays game-used bat and a 1927 New York Yankees signed baseball, AL.com added.

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