Victor Wembanyama game-worn jerseys sells for rookie record

Victor Wembanyama has captured the imagination of the basketball world, and now he has captured the imagination of sports memorabilia collectors after the eye-popping price of his debut jersey.

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BASKET-NBA-MAVERICKS-SPURS / CHANDAN KHANNA/GettyImages
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According to Sotheby’s, a multinational corporation that brokers fine art, jewelry, and collectibles, a jersey worn by Victor Wembanyama in his NBA debut has sold for $762,000. The fee is the most ever paid for a rookie jersey and illustrates how confident collectors are in his potential to become one of the greatest players of all time. 

The most expensive jersey of all time

The most expensive game-worn jersey of all time is Michael Jordan’s jersey from game one of the 1998 NBA Finals. The jersey sold for $10.091 million at auction on Sep. 15, 2022, and beat out Diego Maradona’s game-worn jersey from the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal, where he scored two of the most famous goals in history, “the hand of God” and “the goal of the century,” which sold for $9.28 million four months earlier.  

While Wembanyama’s jersey is millions away from being the most expensive jersey ever, it sold for more than the most expensive NFL game-worn jersey, a signed Tom Brady jersey from 2022. The Brady jersey cost a collector only $480,000, nearly $300,000 less than what Wembanyama’s jersey fetched.  

Will a big bet on Victor Wembanyama pay off?

Victor Wembanyama is the most hyped prospect since LeBron James and flashes his otherworldly potential on a nightly basis. He’s currently averaging 18.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. Defensively, Wembanyama has been a game-changer, and while his scoring efficiency remains poor, the San Antonio Spurs have afforded him the freedom to push his game to the limit at the cost of efficiency. 

Dubbed a 7-foot-4 Kevin Durant, Wembanyama’s shooting splits are eerily reminiscent of Durant’s rookie season. His 50.3 percent 2-point field goal percentage is seven percent worse than the league average, almost identical to Durant’s 45.5 percent, coming in at six percent worse than the league average in 2007-08. 

It remains to be seen if Wembanyama can have the type of second-year jump Durant had, where Durant saw his scoring rise from 20.3 points per game to 25.3, let alone career, but he appears well on his way to becoming one of the game’s great players. With incredible defense and the freedom to develop as a scorer from all three levels, betting on Wembanyama looks like a safe bet, suggesting the collector who shelled out $762,000 for his debut jersey could be in line for a serious return on investment. 

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