Whether it was food poisoning – as trainer Tim Grover claims -- or a 103-degree fever, Michael Jordan wasn't healthy during the fifth game of the 1997 NBA Finals, better known simply as the “Flu Game.”
The greatest player of all-time posted a ridiculous line of 38 points, seven rebounds and five assists against the Jazz, and the game is reverentially thought of as one of Jordan's most impressive performances, considering the circumstances.
Thanks to Grey Flannel Auctions in New York, fans will be able to bid on the now-legendary black and red Nikes that Jordan was sporting on June 11, 1997. Jordan even signed them for a Utah ball boy after the game, as documented in this photo.
For 16 years, the ball boy kept the pair of (presumably unsterilized) kicks secure, but evidently, he wanted to see what type of money the shoes would fetch.
“We were approached by the ball boy because of our affiliation with the Basketball Hall of Fame,” said Michael Russek, the auction house director. “He never looked to sell them before now. I think he realized that he was getting a little older and was more curious than anything to see if people still cared about the story.”
“He wants someone else to have them who can display them better, as they've sat in a safety deposit box for the last 15-plus years,” Russek added.
The auction begins on Nov. 18 and will be included in Grey Flannel's holiday auction.
(H/T Ball Don't Lie)