Michael Jordan was at the top of his game in 1991—which meant fans were bearing witness to the pinnacle period of the all-time greatest NBA player. MJ won his first championship in 1990-91 by averaging 31.5 ppg and shooting a lights-out, career-high 53.9% from the field! Also this happened.
No wonder Sports Illustrated crowned His Airness their "Sportsman of the Year." Not only that, but they pulled out all the stops to honor him with the only hologram cover in S.I.'s 70-year existence. According to our research, the magazine spent well over $1,000,000 (adjusted for today's money) to digitally emboss and reproduce the 4 million floppy hologram decals that were hot-stamped onto those issues. American Banknote, a company known for creating holograms for credit cards and U.S. currency, was commissioned as the manufacturer. For Jordan's part, he had to sit still and flash his trademark charismatic smile in slo-mo while sitting on a turntable that was rotating at a snail's pace. For 10 seconds. Without blinking.
The result? An iconic, full-color holographic image of Jordan sporting a Bulls warm-up jacket and a diamond-studded "23" earring as his mesmerizing gaze shifts to follow any passing viewer. For a demonstration of the magazine's complete visual effect, we point you to this video from an S.I. tribute.
Incredibly, what we are offering here is the one-of-a-kind nickel/metal holographic plate that served as the original source hologram! The approximately 9-1/2" x 11" showpiece has been filed away in a drawer for the past 32 years, never having seen the light of day until now. It has the mirror-like, high-gloss hologram area in the center within a brushed-metal border. There are actually two hologram images side by side so that they could be embossed on the 4 million magazine floppies in half the time. Mounted on a 13x15 matteboard for protection, the plate is optimally viewed in its full-color glory with any bright, narrow source of light (like a desk lamp, spotlight, even the sun) and would be ideal for displaying inside a frame or shadowbox.
This is Jordan history—not to mention Sports Illustrated history—at its very finest. A museum-worthy, Hall of Fame-caliber treasure!
To see our video of the hologram production plate "in action," please click here. For reference, our pictures below show the hologram in full color (with proper lighting) and more monchromatic (without proper lighting).