Ex-ball boy selling Michael Jordan's shoes
Updated On: Nov 12 2013 11:29:39 PM CST
An ex-ball boy for the Utah Jazz is auctioning off a pair of shoes from Michael Jordan's infamous "flu game" in 1997.
Preston Truman has been hiding the pair of kicks autographed by the NBA great for 16 years in a safety deposit box.
Now he said it's time to bring the shoes out of hiding and tell the story of how Jordan gave him the shoes after game 5 of the NBA finals.
"It's not about the money. I just want someone to take them and display them better than I can," Truman said.
Truman was 18 when he first met Jordan as a ball boy for the Jazz. It was 1996, and he said he got the attention of the basketball great before one game when Jordan asked his trainer for his usual snack of apple sauce and graham crackers.
The trainer had only crackers, no apple sauce.
Eager to please his basketball hero, Truman ran around the Delta Center "like a crazy person" looking for apple sauce. He returned to the locker room with a huge can of the apple sauce and a can opener.
"He said 'wow, you really came through," recalled Truman of Jordan's reaction.
When the Bulls returned to play the Jazz in June of 1997, Truman said he went to the store, bought apple sauce and graham crackers and left them in the locker room for Jordan, who said, "Oh, you remembered, huh?"
In the 1997 game, Jordan showed up to Utah sick with the flu. As he rested in the locker room before the game, the young ball boy said he found the courage to tell him, "I'd love a pair of your kicks after the game."
Jordan responded, "They are yours."
Jordan, who was visibly sick during the game, scored 38 points and helped the Bulls defeat the Jazz en route to another NBA title.
After the game, Truman said he was cleaning up and saw the equipment manager try to take the shoes.
"No. those are for him," Truman recalled Jordan saying.
A security guard snapped a picture of the basketball great as he signed the shoes, and they have stayed intact since -- except for the time Truman's mom tried to wipe off the scuff marks.
Truman stopped her before she put the rag to the shoe.
Bidding starts on Nov. 18 on the sports auction site www.greyflannel.com.