LeBron James Sneakers From Rookie Season Sell for $222,000

Just under two decades ago, a rookie forward named LeBron James took the NBA by storm.

His modest numbers in his first season—20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game for the Cavaliers, all career lows—belied his instant impact and gave only a hint of what was to come. Now, with James chasing his fifth NBA title on the Lakers as the league’s all-time leading scorer, memorabilia from that 2004 campaign has become a hot commodity.

On Friday, a pair of game-worn sneakers from the Suns‘ 95–86 win over Cleveland on Oct. 30, 2003—James’s second game in the NBA—sold at auction for $222,000. He scored 21 points, pulled down 12 rebound and gave out eight assists in the loss.

The shoes are dubbed “one of the most important artifacts of 21st-century sports ever to be placed upon the hobby’s auction block” by the Heritage Auctions catalog. It bested a previous high of $156,000 for game-worn James shoes sold in 2021, which were a pair of shoes gifted from Los Angeles guard Kobe Bryant to James in high school.

James can add to his ever-growing legend starting Tuesday evening when the Lakers open the Western Conference finals against the Nuggets in Denver.


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