Next month, SCP Auctions will sell off a pair of Michael Jordan game-worn sneakers from his rookie season in 1984. But the interesting story is actually how the current owner came into their possession.
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, Khalid Ali was a 15-year-old ballboy for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1984. That December, the Bulls came to town.
Ali remembers asking Jordan during pre-game warmups if he could have the pair of shoes he was wearing. Jordan explained that those were just warm-up shoes, and that he would be switching into a different pair during the game.
Sure enough, Jordan changed into a pair of white-and-red basketball shoes. Those shoes would later be known as the first line of Air Jordan shoes.
After the game, Ali found Jordan in the locker room and asked for the shoes. Jordan complied, even autographing the pair.
Thirty years later, Ali is putting them up for sale. He says the decision to sell wasn't hard because he didn't think about the shoes all that much. They are the only collectible he has from his years as a ballboy -- he never received any similar gifts from any of the Lakers players. For years, Ali said the shoes just sat in his mom's closet, gathering dust.
A representative of SCP Auctions believes the shoes could fetch more than $50,000 at auction. Another pair of Jordan sneakers worn during his rookie season sold for $31,070 in 2013.
That same year, the shoes Jordan wore during his now-famous "Flu Game" sold for a whopping $104,765. Amazingly, those shoes were also owned by a former ballboy.