Michael Jordan’s basketball shoe, baseball glove found in Tel Aviv closet

The items were sent at the time by Jordan’s wife, Juanita Jordan, to be reproduced in silver.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Basketball legend Michael Jordan never made it to Israel, but his right basketball shoe and baseball glove did.

In an exclusive story published by Haaretz, Tel Aviv native Dan Lavi, the owner of a shop that sells equipment and materials to make jewelry, found the items collecting dust in his mother’s closet for 25 years.

How did they get there?

According to Lavi, his father, who co-owned a company that specialized in reproducing items in precious metals, received an order by fax in 1994. Lavi’s father didn’t know who the order was from but told the person to send the items and he’d see what he could do.

Shortly after, the legendary basketball player’s Air Jordan 1 right sneaker and a baseball glove made especially for Jordan when he played baseball arrived in the mail.

The order came from Jordan’s wife, Juanita Jordan, who wanted to give them as a gift to her husband on his 32nd birthday.

Why did she send the items all the way to Israel? “At the time, the factory’s technology to reproduce three-dimensional objects in silver was unique,” Haaretz reports.

No one requested the items be returned, so Lavi’s father took them back home to show his family.

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“I was at the height of my Michael Jordan fanhood then,” Lavi told Haaretz. “I’d get up at 4:00 a.m. to watch him play. I’d tape games and play them backward and forwards again and again.”

At some point, Jordan’s shoe and baseball mitt were put into his mother’s closet and eventually forgotten.

It wasn’t until Lavi’s mother recently mentioned an article she had read in Haaretz about the wildly popular new Netflix series “The Last Dance,” a documentary about the career of Michael Jordan, that Lavi remembered that Jordan’s shoe and baseball glove were lying in his mother’s closet.

Sure enough, they were still there.

Lavi is proud of his father for not cheating the Jordan family by making any extra replicas for himself. It was easily forseeable that the items would become immensely valuable, selling for “tens of thousands of dollars apiece in auctions held over the years,” Haaretz reports.

“My father was the consummate straight-laced businessman,” Lavi told Haaretz. “Any other Israeli would have made 11 copies and kept one for himself, but he was an air force man. He was asked to make 10, so he made 10.”

Perhaps Lavi will sell them in the future for thousands of dollars, but for now, Jordan’s biggest fan is keeping them safe and sound.

Lavi’s father passed away a few years ago.