ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months ago we learned that the Jordan XII’s Michael Jordan wore during the famous “Flu Game” — also known as Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals — were going up for auction. At the time, there weren’t many details known, other than Jordan gave the shoes to a Utah Jazz ballboy after the game, and that ballboy had hung onto the shoes for nearly two decades now.
But in a piece in today’s Salt Lake Tribune, that ballboy, named Preston Truman, is sharing his side of the story of how he ended up with the iconic kicks, a tale that involves applesauce, graham crackers and being in the right place at the right time.
It’s a fun read, and reveals some cool details from behind the scenes of one of the most memorable NBA games of all-time. From the article…
[Truman] was one of the first in the building to know that Jordan would play that night when, as Bulls coach Phil Jackson gathered the team to go onto the court, Jordan finally got up and put his jersey on. He watched Jordan struggle back to the bench during timeouts; he ran Jordan a spoon for three small cups of applesauce at halftime; he heard Jordan tell doctors “F— no” when they suggested he sit out for a while.
Truman’s parents would later tease him because the broadcast showed him — a lifelong Jazz fan — patting MJ on the shoulder after he wrapped him in a towel.
When Jordan hit the clinching shot and leaned into Pippen’s arms, barely able to stand, Truman estimates he was 5 feet away.
“I was like ‘I think I’m going to see this again and again.’”