It’s known simply as ‘The Flu Game’.
Michael Jordan was as sick as he had ever been the night of June 11, 1997, but NBA Finals Game 5 awaited in Salt Lake City. In what ESPN recently described as his second greatest moment ever, Jordan summoned the strength to not only play, but lead the Chicago Bulls to a critical win. Now, Grey Flannel Auctions says the shoes Jordan was wearing that night have been consigned to auction by the ball boy who acquired them.
The shoes come with a photo of Jordan signing them after the game along with a letter from the ball boy regarding their acquisition.
The game has become a modern sports legend. Jordan, the story goes, summoned the Bulls trainer to his room around 2 a.m., sweating profusely with a bout of the flu or food poisoning, the latter explanation offered by Tim Grover, the trainer. Jordan made his way to the Delta Center late that afternoon, however, laid down for a while, put on his red uniform and shoes and told coach Phil Jackson he’d play. He also told Jackson he would let him know how he was feeling as the game went on.
Jordan was visibly sluggish and nearly passed out on a couple of occasions. The Bulls fell behind by 16 points but Jordan was brilliant in the second and fourth quarters and Chicago rallied. With 25 seconds left, he hit a 3-pointer to break an 85-85 tie.
Jordan wound up playing 44 of 48 minutes and scored 38 points, collapsing into Scottie Pippen’s arms as the final seconds ticked down.
No pre-sale estimate will be given on the shoes, but Grey Flannel’s Michael Russek believes they’ll be one of the top items in the auction, which closes December 11.]
See listings for game worn shoes from various athletes on eBay here.