Michael Jordan was, and remains, an all-consuming cultural figure. To talk about Mike is not simply to talk about an athlete. It is to talk about a sport at large, about fashion and branding and movies and sneakers, everything, always. As such, it’s no surprise at all that as ESPN’s ten-part docuseries The Last Dance has been airing these last few weeks, Michael Jordan memorabilia of any and all kind has been seeing a huge spike in both demand and sales. eBay reported an astronomical rise of 5156% in sales of Chicago Bulls merchandise in the day following the series’ premiere. From his Bulls jerseys selling out as though it’s his heyday once more to the price of Air Jordans skyrocketing on the resale market it’s Jordan season once more.
With each episode functioning as a sort of documentary-style shopping list, we figured it might be pertinent to gather up some of the best of the bunch. From classic Jordan staples to undervalued gems tied to his teammates at the time to the occasional outright weird collector’s item, this is your The Last Dance shopping list.
“Hey,” your friend might say after watching an episode of The Last Dance, “Remember when Michael Jordan had his own cologne?” They’re wrong. Michael Jordan STILL HAS his own cologne. Like any cologne running for less than $20, it’s hard to advise you to actually wear it, but if you want to pick up the quintessential bizarre piece of Michael Jordan memorabilia, this is it.
Look, forget about the fact that the Bulls jerseys seem to be sold out everywhere. Do you really want the same jersey as all your friends who picked one up right before The Last Dance premiered? Nah, mix it up a bit with this classic. The jerseys for the ‘89 All-Star game were killer and this one still comes in red and white, keeping in line with Jordan’s Chicago Bulls color scheme.
One of the week-to-week standouts of the series has been the wisdom dropped by Bulls coach Phil Jackson, one of the more fascinating characters in basketball history. During his time as a coach his teams brought home a whopping 11 NBA Championships, six of which went to Jordan’s Bulls. Jackson, who has hippie tendencies and got his teams practicing yoga and meditation, is a fascinating dude and his career retrospective book on how he brought the degree of success he did to his teams is well worth picking up.
Air Jordan 14 ‘Last Shot’ | Prices Vary
Jordan will forever be synonymous with sneaker culture, and while his vast influence on the field is on display in full throughout the documentary, you can’t find a more appropriate Last Dance shoe than the Air Jordan 14 ‘Last Shot,’ the final Air Jordan he wore as a Chicago Bull.
The Baseball Years, during which he signed a developmental deal with the Chicago White Sox and played for their AA team in Alabama, remain a curious chapter in Jordan’s career, though one that he clearly has fond memories of given how he speaks of the experience in the documentary. Jordan relished the opportunity to step away from superstardom after exhaustion and personal tragedy and by all accounts his Barons teammates just treated him like one of the guys. The documentary also serves as a somewhat important reminder that Jordan wasn’t a total baseball flop. He had the potential to make it to the majors but decided to return to basketball instead. If you want a piece of Jordan apparel that will really catch the eye of knowing fans, this Birmingham Barons hat is the way to go.
Obviously Michael Jordan’s greatest accomplishment will always be Space Jam. Fuel your workouts or workdays with his Secret Stuff.
Space Jam Blu-Ray | $17
Again, obviously Michael Jordan’s greatest accomplishment will always be Space Jam.
If there’s one figure The Last Dance needs more of it’s Dennis Rodman. While the series understandably focuses heavily on Jordan’s exploits, there’s a whole other ten-part documentary possible that deals solely with the story of this absolute anomaly of a star athlete, from the Vegas trips to his insane fashion sense to his run as a pro wrestler with WCW. If the series has gotten you in the mood to get in The Worm’s headspace, your best option is his bizarre, delightful autobiography.