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Sotheby’s presents Gamers Only – a selection of 13 fine examples of game worn sneakers from some of the NBA’s greatest athletes. Online Auction: 27 April–12 May 2021 • 4:00 PM CEST • Geneva

Some of the highest-quality basketball sneakers in history have come from top players’ signature lines. For the most part, it was Converse’s “Chuck Taylor” that dominated the sneaker game until adidas arrived on the basketball sneaker scene. In 1969, adidas re-developed the 1964-1965 ‘Supergrip’ which included the first iteration of the iconic ‘Shell Toe’. Now known as the ‘Superstar’, adidas hoped to dominate the market with the help of a player-exclusive deal with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was arguably the biggest name in the NBA at the time

By the mid-80s’, the ‘Superstar’ was ingrained in popular culture, propelling adidas’ dominance as the top producer of high-performance basketball shoes. The partnership between the company and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the model for younger players coming up in the system. The pair on offer at Sotheby’s is game worn and dual signed and worn during Abdul-Jabbar’s 1979-1980 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, which ended with the NBA title and Abdul-Jabbar’s sixth MVP win. The Lakers-inspired colorway is evident in the white leather uppers, suede toeboxes, and rubber ‘Shell Toe’ caps with purple and gold accents. This shoe-player relationship was later immortalized in a highly recognizable 1981 ad, in which Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shouts out his size-16 Superstars for assisting his trademark high-flying shot. adidas’ innovative design with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the face of the shoe made a serious impression among fans, players, and certainly with their competitors.


adidas Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Dual Signed Game Worn Superstar Estimate 10,000 - 15,000 CHF
Michael Jordan Game Worn 1985 Player Sample Air Jordan 1s | Sizes 13, 13.5 Estimate 100,000 - 150,000 CHF

When Michael Jordan left the University of North Carolina in 1984, it is now no secret MJ wanted to sign a deal with adidas. Jordan believed adidas offered him the best opportunity to make money and maintain control of his brand. Nike was able to win over the young star with the biggest deal ever to be presented to an athlete by a Sportswear company. The Nike “Air Jordan” is one of the most iconic designs in the history of both streetwear and basketball and is a key part of the origin of the Air Jordan brand for Nike. Designed by Peter Moore, Michael Jordan wore Air Jordan 1s in 1984 and 1985, as well as modified versions in 1986 (after a broken foot Michael endured). These specific shoes are the iconic ‘Chicago’ colorway, and perhaps the most recognizable for Michael, as well as the Nike brand.

Curry’s first ever signature shoe bearing his name released in Summer 2015, quickly followed by the Autumn 2015 release of the Curry 2. From the 2015-16 season of Stephen Curry’s unanimous MVP win. Curry wore this pair in four 2016 games: January 5 at Lakers, January 8 at Blazers, January 9 at Kings and January 13 at Nuggets. In total Curry scored 119 points, racked up 39 assists, 24 rebounds, 8 steals and 2 blocks in these sneakers. The Warriors won a record setting 73 games, the best regular season record in the history of the NBA. They are autographed, initialed, scribed and dated by Curry. The second edition of Under Armour’s Curry design feature Charged midsoles, SpeedForm uppers, and multidirectional soles for extra traction.

Under Armour Stephen Curry Game Worn Dual Signed Curry 2 Estimate 15,000 - 20,000 CHF

Discover the rest of exclusive Sotheby’s selection of game worn sneakers

Hidden Wonders | Bucherer x Sotheby’s: an exclusive pre-auction exhibition of unique and rare luxury pieces

Bucherer flagship boutique in Geneva becomes the platform for a takeover by Sotheby’s across all five floors. Until the auction on May 11th the two companies host a new home for luxury aficionados with an exclusive chance to discover a preview of Sotheby’s special selection of rare and masterfully crafted items. The highlight selection with sought-after timepieces, highly desirable jewellery pieces as well as must-have luxury handbags and legendary sneakers takes centerstage on every floor.

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