A chair designed to fit Michael Jordan's buns just right could soon go to the highest bidder on eBay.
Wellington resident Neal Taslitz plans to sell a custom-made chair in which "His Airness" parked himself while watching game tapes at the Chicago Bulls' training center in Deerfield, Ill., during the 1990s.
"There are a lot of chairs that sell [for] much more than that that were used by kings and queens of various countries," Taslitz said. "Michael [Jordan] certainly qualifies as one of the kings of the world of sports."
The chair will be on the auction block for 10 days beginning at 11 p.m. Thursday.
Taslitz, a lawyer, designed Jordan's ergonomically correct chair after the basketball legend injured his back. During the 1990s, Taslitz developed a business selling furniture for people with bad backs. He suffered debilitating back pain himself from spending 12-hour days in a stiff, wingback chair.
His company BackCare Corp. became a hit, and Taslitz became a nationally recognized expert in pairing people with furniture fit perfectly for them.
He counseled companies on repetitive stress injuries; he advocated for worker-friendly office space.
"The majority who had low-back pain either were very tall or very short and couldn't fit in regular seating," Taslitz said. "It's like wearing the wrong-size shoe, especially if you're sitting for a long period of time."
Creating a chair for Jordan's derriere was an honor, since Taslitz was a huge Bulls fan. Before cable television became so widespread, Taslitz remembers using binoculars to watch the games on a TV in a building across from his.
Then came the back injury. Jordan, known for his gravity-defying, acrobatic feats, injured his back doing a reverse lay-up in a 1996 playoff game against the Miami Heat.
Fans flooded the team with backache cures.
"Michael in Chicago was the hero of everyone, and they wanted to help him," Taslitz said.
The Bulls won the 1996 championship, but after the season Taslitz offered his expertise.
Team trainer Chip Schaefer accepted and invited Taslitz to the Bulls' training center.
Schaefer wanted to customize the players' bench because he saw how uncomfortable they looked in regular-size chairs with their knees nearly touching their chests.
But financing and NBA rules wouldn't allow such a drastic change. Taslitz's chairs were the next option.
"We got a few for the video room," said Schaefer, who is now the Los Angeles Lakers' director of athletic performance.
Taslitz fondly remembers the first time he entered the Bulls inner sanctum.
Wellington designer puts Air Jordan's specialty seat on eBay
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