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The revelation Michael Jordan didn’t actually have the flu during his “Flu Game” has not hurt the game’s legacy—and people’s ability to profit off it.
The Jordan XII shoes he wore during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals just sold at auction for $1.38 million, according to Dan Hajducky of ESPN.
Jordan scored 38 points despite an ailment initially categorized as the flu but later revealed to be food poisoning, leading the Bulls to a 90-88 win over the Utah Jazz.
For more than two decades, fans speculated whether Jordan had the “flu” or another ailment entirely. Some were convinced it was more of a hangover after a late night of partying than an actual virus.
During the 2020 Last Dance documentary, Jordan finally told the backstory behind what made him sick: a rancid pizza. According to the story told in the documentary, Jordan ordered a late-night pizza to his hotel room, spit on it so no one else could eat any and then downed the entire thing himself. He was later diagnosed with food poisoning as a result.
“So it really wasn’t the ‘Flu Game,'” Jordan said. “It was food poisoning.”
Regardless, the performance remains one of the most iconic moments of Jordan’s career. It broke a 2-2 deadlock with the Jazz and set up the Bulls to capture the 1997 title at home in Game 6.
Twenty-six years later, now a collector is willing to pay more than $1 million to own the shoes from the iconic moment.