A lucky buyer has purchased one of the more interesting pieces of Michael Jordan memorabilia.
Preston Truman, a 35-year-old former ball boy for the Utah Jazz, put Jordan's Flu Game shoes up for auction. According to Grey Flannel Auctions, they sold for $104,765 on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Yes, you heard that right. The shoes that Jordan wore in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals—a pair of black and red Air Jordan XIIs, size 13—hit the auction block and sold for more than $100,000.
Oh, and Jordan signed them.
In this video, Truman says that he asked for Jordan's sneakers before the game began and that the former Chicago Bulls great agreed to give them to him, even after everything that happened in the game.
Matthew Piper of The Salt Lake Tribune spoke with Truman, who described the process of asking for the shoes:
Jordan’s food poisoning was evident as doctors and trainers checked his vitals before Game 5. He lay down in a back room with an IV and asked them to turn the lights off as they left.
Truman walked in. He almost turned back when he saw Jordan’s eyes were closed, but His Airness had sensed him and asked that he run some tickets to will call.
First, though, Truman leaned in and whispered — wondering whether this was a remotely sane thing to do — "Are you doing anything with your shoes after the game?"
Jordan looked him in the eye. "Why, you want them?"
Truman provided more of the backstory of how he received the shoes in the auction listing:
After doing Jordan another favor before Game 5, our consignor asked Jordan for his shoes. After the game, as he stood waiting in the locker room, the Bulls equipment manager John Ligmanowski stepped in to get MJ’s shoes. “No, leave em,” MJ said. “Those are his,” pointing at him. Jordan handed our consignor the sneakers with his socks inside and have remained that way until now. Jordan proceeded to sign the shoes and photos were taken during the process.
The Flu Game was one of the most memorable games in NBA history. With Jordan battling a stomach virus, he struggled to get things going and the Jazz went up 36-20 in the second quarter. However, he fought back and led his team to a win, pouring in 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in 44 minutes.
The Chicago Bulls took a 3-2 series lead and finished things in the next game.
If you're a sports fan, you would love to have these shoes.
A number of expensive pieces of memorabilia with Jordan's autograph have been sold in the past. A basketball signed by Jordan and Michael Jackson from the music video "Jam" sold for $294,000 in 2010. One of his rookie road uniforms from 1984 sold for $70,500 in 2007, and a pair of game-worn original Air Jordan 1s sold for $21,780.
Few moments from Jordan's career were as memorable as the Flu Game. Considering how legendary that game was, one fortunate fan now has an amazing story to tell their friends.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!