Friday, December 13, 2013
Michael Jordan's shoes hit the jackpot at auction
Michael Jordan’s autographed shoes sold for $104,765, shattering the previous record price paid for a pair of game-worn shoes in any sport. The shoes were worn by Jordan in his famous "Flu Game" and were bought by an annonimous bidder. The shoes, brought to the market by Grey Flannel Auctions and consigned by former Utah Jazz ball boy 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. 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. When Jordan came back to Utah for the Finals that year, Truman says he brought Jordan applesauce even though Jordan wasn't in an eating mood. While Jordan was said to be suffering flu-like symptoms, Jordan's trainer Tim Grover said years later that he was sure it was from food poisoning from a pizza Jordan ate the night before. After the game, which put the Bulls up 3-2 and one game from winning their fifth title, Jordan gave Truman his shoes from the game. Selling the shoes was never about the money said Trueman but he has another revenue stream for the future: a pair of game-used shoes Jordan wore in the 1998 Finals. A collector previously paid $31,070 for a pair that Jordan wore in his rookie season.
For provenance Truman provided the auction with a photo of Jordan signing the shoes for him that night, which matched the suit from pictures of him leaving the Delta Center. Photos from the game and of the broadcast also showed Truman taking care of the Bulls bench.