The game-used shoes Michael Jordan wore for the famous “Flu Game”, have been sold to the highest bidder for a record breaking amount.
Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz, went down in history as the “Flu Game” because Michael Jordan struggled physically, with flu-like symptoms, but managed to score 38 points.
Early Thursday, the size-13 shoes Jordan wore for that incredible game were sold for a whopping $104,765 after former Utah Jazz ball boy Preston Truman consigned them, and Grey Flannel Auctions put them on the market.
The previous record of $31,070, set last month for a pair of Michael Jordan Nike’s was shattered. However, the identity of the bidder who won on Thursday has not been released by the Auction house.
Truman says he developed a friendship with the Bulls great after one day during the 1996-97 season when he provided Michael Jordan with his traditional pre-game applesauce.
When the Chicago Bulls returned to Utah that year for the NBA Finals, Truman brought Michael Jordan the applesauce once again, even though the Bulls star wasn’t feeling well.
Many believed Jordan was suffering from the flu, but trainer Tim Grover said in recent years he thinks it was actually food poisoning from a pizza the star ate the night before.
Following the end of the game, Michael Jordan gave Truman the shoes he wore.
For those wondering if these are the real shoes from the 1997 NBA Finals, Truman provided a picture of Michael Jordan signing the shoes for him. To supplement that evidence, footage from the game shows Truman servicing the Bulls bench during the game that night.
Speaking with ESPN, Truman recalled:
“I think my photo that Jordan’s bodyguard took with me standing there drove up the price because buyers didn’t have to worry if they were real”
“I have looked at the shoes maybe four times since putting them in a safety deposit box 16 years ago. I would go years without even thinking about it (…) I just didn’t see the point to something so cool and a part of NBA history sitting at my bank anymore.”
So what does Truman plan to do with the proceeds from the sale of the Michael Jordan shoes?
Nothing “overly exciting,” Truman commented, aside from increasing the college fund for his kids and car payments. He adds it was never about the money, but if he ever finds himself in dire straits, he has another pair of game-used Michael Jordan shoes from the 1998 Finals.