Michael Jordan shoes auctioned for $104K
Michael Jordan’s shoes from the famous flu game of the 1997 NBA
finals were sold for more than $100,000 in an online auction
The Nike Air Jordan XII shoes were owned by a Utah Jazz ball boy
who befriended Jordan when the Chicago Bulls visited Salt Lake
City. Jordan was playing with what he thought was the flu, but
still led the Bulls to a key victory in the NBA Finals.
Preston Truman has said he asked for Jordan’s shoes after the
game. He kept them locked in a safe-deposit box at a Utah bank for
15 years. He turned down an $11,000 offer for the size-13 shoes
from a collector the next season.
Thursday’s sale after several weeks of bidding was first
reported by ESPN.com. The collector wasn’t identified.
Online bidding started at $5,000 before soaring to $104,765 when
bidding was closed, said Michael Russek, operations director for
Grey Flannel Auctions in Westhampton, N.Y.
Truman was ”thrilled” and ”really happy with the overall
number,” Russek said Thursday. ”He has no crazy plans other than
paying off his college tuition.”
Russek called it ”the most expensive pair of game-used footwear
that anyone has ever sold. It just smashed the record.”
Grey Flannel previously sold a pair of game-used rookie Air
Jordans for $21,780 that also had been used by Jordan. More
recently, another auction house sold a pair of shoes Jordan wore in
his rookie season for $31,070, Russek said.
A message relayed by the auction house to Truman wasn’t
immediately returned Thursday.
Truman befriended Jordan by fetching him his favorite pre-game
snack, the former ball boy told The Salt Lake Tribune last
It started with a challenge from Jordan: ”`There will be no
autographs for ball boys after the game if I don’t get my
With 45 minutes until tipoff in an early-season 1996 game,
Truman dashed through the Salt Lake City arena looking for
applesauce. He finally secured an industrial-sized container from a
commissary. Jordan was grinning: ”You came through,” he told
When the Chicago Bulls came back for the finals months later,
Truman had more applesauce waiting for Jordan along with a bold
request: ”Are you doing anything with your shoes after the
Jordan looked him in the eye and said, ”Why, you want them?”
Truman said he would be honored.
After leading the Bulls to a critical victory, scoring 38 points
despite having to be helped on and off the court by teammates,
Jordan gave the red-and-black shoes to Truman.