Pretty soon you can own the red and black Nikes that Michael Jordan wore in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals — the legendary “flu game.” Well, you can if you have six figures of disposable income sitting around that you can spend on shoes you will never wear. And if so, well, good for you.
You remember the game. The series was tied 2-2 and before the critical Game 5 Jordan was battling a 103 degree fever — which legendary Jordan trainer Tim Grover still says was due to intentional food poisoning — and still found a way to score 38 points, grab seven rebounds and drag the Bulls to a key win. Among all of Jordan’s legendary games and accomplishments, this one was right at the top.
After the game, he autographed the shoes and handed them over to an industrious Jazz ball boy (there is photographic evidence of this), who has kept them under lock and key since.
Now he will auction them off through Grey Flannel Auctions, with bidding opening in November, reports Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie
“We were approached by the ball boy because of our affiliation with the Basketball Hall of Fame,” (Grey Flannel director of operations Michael) Russek told BDL. “He never looked to sell them before now. I think he recently realized that he was getting a little older and was more curious than anything to see if people still cared about the story.”
Um, yes they still do. A lot.
“He wants someone else to have them who can display them better, as they’ve sat in a safety deposit box for the last 15-plus years,” Russek said. “Mainly, he wants Jordan fans to hear the story and know they are out there and how they were obtained.”
The story will get out there, and said ball boy will make a hefty chunk of change. Capitalism at its finest.
The auction also will have a LeBron James game jersey, Elgin Baylor’s 1974 NBA All-Star Game trophy and more. You can own all of it, if you have the cash.