NBA fans and historians now have the opportunity to purchase the most lucrative single-season contract in league history.
The Chicago Bulls’ copy of Michael Jordan’s $33 million contract for the 1997-98 season is being auctioned by Heritage Auctions, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
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.”
The contract was for Jordan’s last season with the Bulls, during which he averaged 28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists and led Chicago to its sixth NBA Championship.
While Jordan’s contract is poised to sell for a high price, it almost certainly won’t come close to being the most valuable sports contract ever. Babe Ruth’s 1918 contract with the Boston Red Sox sold for a whopping $1.02 million earlier in July, according to Rovell.