Michael Jordan’s Signed ‘Flu-Game’ Jordans From 1997 NBA Finals Auction for $1.38 Million

Someone just paid over $1 million to get their hands on Michael Jordan’s iconic “flu-game” Air Jordans he wore during the 1997 NBA Finals.

On Wednesday, June 14, the Jordan 12’s the legendary NBA star wore during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals sold for a whopping $1.38 million, ESPN reports. Jordan scored 38 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the Chicago Bulls’ win against the Utah Jazz before giving his signed sneakers to Jazz ball boy Preston Truman.

Truman gained favor with Jordan by bringing him applesauce before each game. He held on to the sneakers for 15 years before consigning them to Grey Flannel Auctions in 2013 for $104,765. Preston likely had no idea the shoes would auction a decade later for a 1,200% price hike.

“To me, the ‘Flu Game’ is the most iconic game of Michael Jordan‘s career, and that’s what everyone refers to when they talk about toughing it out and rising to the occasion under difficult circumstances,” Ken Goldin, owner of Goldin Auctions said.

“To me, these are the most important and most valuable pair of sneakers that will ever be sold.”

Despite the hefty price tag, the “Flu-Game” auction doesn’t surpass the Air Jordan XIII Breds that Jordan wore during the 1998 NBA Finals, which sold for $2.238 million with Sotheby’s in April, as noted by Sports Illustrated. The previous record was held by the Jordan Air Ships the pro athlete turned business mogul wore during his rookie season in 1984, which Sotheby’s sold for $1.472 million in 2021.

Jordan’s iconic Nike deal is documented in the new “Air” movie starring Viola Davis, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck. Jordan had initial loyalty to Adidas and was hoping to secure a deal with the sports apparel brand that was a lead contender behind Converse at the time.

But with three major sneaker deals on his plate after his NBA draft, it was Jordan’s mom who helped secure his landmark Nike deal that included a $2.5 million deal for five years, his own line of signature shoes called the Air Jordan, and an additional 5% royalties on the profit from the sale of his signature sneakers.

Jordan still had loyalty to Adidas and returned to them after Nike presented their pitch, as noted by Sports Rush. But, Adidas and Converse weren’t able to match Nike’s deal, and the rest is history.