Michael Jordan’s infamous “flu game” only added to his legend as the greatest basketball player of all time. And on Thursday, the shoes he wore that night in Utah fetched the highest recorded price of game-worn shoes in any sport.
The Air Jordan 12 kicks that MJ wore that night in Utah – in which he scored 38 points and had to be helped off the court by Scottie Pippen – sold for $104,765, according to ESPN. The previous high for a pair of game-worn shoes by a professional athlete was $31,070, which ironically enough, was also for a pair of game worn Jordan sneakers.
Preston Truman was a Utah Jazz ballboy who had developed a relationship with Jordan by getting the basketball superstar some applesauce earlier in the year. On the day he was feeling ill with flu-like symptoms, Truman asked him abou the shoes. After the Bulls won the game to go up 3-2 in the series, Jordan autographed the shoes and gave them to Preston.
"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," Truman said.
"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."
Grey Flannel Auctions opened the bidding on the sneakers last month at $5,000 and 15 bids later they’d eclipsed the $100,000 mark. And, as luck would have it, Preston also has a pair of Jordan’s sneakers from the 1998 NBA Finals as well.