The shoes worn by Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals — the legendary “flu game” — have sold for a record price at auction.
The red and black Jordan 12s went for an astonishing $104,765, shattering the previous high paid for a pair of game-worn shoes in any sport.
The shoes, brought to the market by Grey Flannel Auctions and consigned by former Utah Jazz ballboy Preston Truman, were worn by Jordan during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals in which Jordan scored 38 points for the Chicago Bulls despite laboring up and down the court from feeling sick that day.
The identity of the winning bidder was not immediately made public, but the amount paid blew away the previous record paid for a pair of game-used shoes, which were also worn by Jordan. A collector paid $31,070 just last month for a pair of that Jordan wore in his rookie season.
Truman was able to secure the shoes, after developing a relationship with Jordan, which started when he says he one day fetched Jordan’s traditional pregame applesauce during the 1996-97 season.
Truman later told his story from that famous night in greater detail, which included the part about Jordan not having the flu at all, but instead being victimized by a bout of food poisoning.
Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, said the same thing in his recent book. But that doesn’t make Jordan’s performance while physically ill any less iconic, thus making the shoes one of the more important pieces of NBA memorabilia.