One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Eighteen years ago, Wisconsin native Larry Awe, then head of maintenance at Milwaukee’s Capital Court Mall, found a cracked and faded Nike basketball sneaker in an abandoned storage area as the mall was in the midst of being demolished.
Awe recognized the red, white and black size-13 shoe immediately as one of the game-worn NBA kicks displayed behind Plexiglass in the sports store Playmakers, which he passed by countless times during his three decades working at the mall. This particular shoe was branded with Michael Jordan’s signature (albeit faded) and the message, “My Very Best.”
“I saw the box and said, ‘This isn’t going to the dump,’” the 67-year-old told Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel.
The shoe is believed to have been worn by Jordan during a 1985 game.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions
Now, Awe’s “buried treasure” stands to fetch more than $20,000 at auction. The 1980s-era sneaker has been put up for sale by Heritage Auctions, with bidding starting at $5,000. The auction listing describes the shoe as “unquestionably one of the most exciting Jordan items to surface in recent memory” and “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the advanced collector.”
Michael Jordan’s faded signature appears on the shoe.
CREDIT: Courtesy of