We told you back in September that the Nikes worn by Michael Jordan during his legendary "Flu Game" â€”Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals, in which an applesauce-fueled Jordan fought off a 103-degree fever en route to 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a game-clinching 3-pointer to push his Chicago Bulls past the Utah Jazz â€” were about to hit the auction block. Well, the bidding concluded early Thursday morning, and former Jazz ball boy Preston Truman â€” the applesauce-provider and post-game recipient of the autographed kicks, which he kept under lock and key all these years â€” finds himself quite a bit better-heeled this Thursday afternoon as a result.
The Flu Game shoes fetched $104,765 at auction, "shattering the record price paid for a pair of game-worn shoes in any sport," according to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell:
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. [...]
"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 told ESPN.com. [...]
"I have looked at the shoes maybe four times since putting them in a safety deposit box 16 years ago," Truman said. "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."
Now, he's got something else to put in the bank. (Well, whatever's left after making car payments and contributing to his kids' college education fund, anyway.) Not a bad return on "making sure to grab some applesauce at halftime," huh?