Donated Spike Lee Air Jordans Auctioned for Over €45,689

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James Free posing for a photo with a pair of gold Nike Air Jordan 3s Credit: AP

Among the pieces of art auctioned at Sotheby’s on Monday, December 18 was a gold Nike Air Jordan 3s made for the American filmmaker, Spike Lee. The sneakers sold for €46,307.

In an unexpected turn of events, the Spike Lee sneakers mysteriously ended up in the donation box of the Portland Rescue Mission and were found by one of the longest beneficiaries of the shelter during the sorting of donated items.

James Free drew the attention of the staff of the shelter to his amazing find and this was quickly followed by an authentication visit made by Tinker Hatfield, the brain behind the custom-made Nike pair for Spike Lee.

It was a scene of raw emotions on the premises of the Portland Rescue Mission house when two dozen of the staff gathered on Monday to watch the live feed of the auction ceremony. The continuous increase in the sale price increased the sounds of sobs of happiness among the staff who couldn’t believe what was unfolding before them.

“In the last five minutes it went up and up, and every time we saw that number increase, there were tears and people clapping,” Erin Holcomb, director of staff ministries at the Portland Rescue Mission, told The Associated Press.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Holcomb said. “The generosity of this moment has been a huge celebration for our whole organization.”

James Free who found the sneakers also shared in a press release by the shelter after the auction that he was “so happy to be a part of this. … I love this place, and I’m so glad to see this story shared.”

The shelter further clarified that the auctioned Nike sneakers were not the personal pair of Spike Lee but among a few that were given to him to give to his circle of friends. Spike Lee is said to have worn his pair to the Academy Awards in 2019 for his “BlacKkKlansman” screenplay Oscar Award.

“Money from the auction will help fund services at the downtown Portland shelter, which provides food and access to bathrooms and showers, as well as health care, housing, and employment resources. It serves some 6,000 people and 300,000 meals every year,” Holcomb added.

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