On Thursday, Michael Jordan's shoes from the 1997 NBA finals "flu game" were sold for $104,765 in an auction online, as reported by ESPN. It was the game between Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz where Jordan almost didn't play because he thought he had the flu. He played anyway and led the Bulls to victory.
After the game, Jordan gave the shoes to Preston Truman, a former Utah Jazz ball boy.
Truman made friends with Jordan by getting him his favourite pre-game snack. It all started with a little dare from Jordan. He said that he won't be signing any autographs for ball boys if he wasn't given his applesauce. Truman hurriedly looked for applesauce and he was able to find one, which he gave to the basketball superstar at once. Jordan was pleased that ball boy managed to get him what he wanted.
When the Bulls returned to play for the finals, Truman was ready with more applesauce for the basketball legend and asked him if he will be "doing anything with the shoes after the game." Jordan asked Truman if he wants to have them and the ball boy said it'd be an honour.
Truman reportedly kept the shoes in a bank for 16 years. He told ESPN that there was no point keeping the shoes, rich with NBA history, in his bank anymore, the very reason why he finally decided to sell it. Once, he was offered $11,000 for the said pair of shoes but he turned it down. Well, it was a smart move because he definitely got paid a lot more than the previous offer.
The online bidding started several weeks ago prior to Thursday's sale. The initial bid was set at $5,000. It went as far as $104,000 and that was when the bidding officially closed, according to Grey Flannel Auctions' operations director, Michael Russek. The winner of the auction was not revealed.
Russek also stated that Truman was happy to have learned about the total amount of money that the shoes got sold for. "He has no other crazy plans rather than paying off his college tuition," said Russek.
Grey Flannel Auctions has sold a pair of Jordan's shoes before for $21,780. Russek also said that another auction house sold one of the shoes that Jordan wore during his rookie season for $31,070.
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