One of the most iconic Air Jordan models of all time is coming back this Saturday in the most anticipated release of the year. The Air Jordan 12 Retro "Flu Game", last seen in their original form in 2003, has one of the most storied histories of any shoe Michael Jordan has ever worn or produced. Aside from the classic black and red styling that renders any Jordan Retro a must have, these shoes were on MJ's feet for one of the most miraculous performances of his career: the infamous "Flu Game".
The morning of June 11, 1997 was not a good one for Michael Jordan. He was up all night vomiting after eating some highly suspect pizza. As he lay on the floor of his hotel bathroom, sweating and shaking, curled up in the fetal position, Jordan felt like he was going to die. "I was scared; I didn't know what was happening to me," he said later. He called the Bulls medical personnel to his room, who told him after examining him the there was no way he would be able to play in Game 5.
After winning the first two games of the 1997 NBA Finals in Chicago, the Bulls dropped the next two when the series moved to the home of the Utah Jazz. With the series now tied, Michael Jordan was not about to sit out of a game that could potentially send his team back to Chicago on the brink of elimination. Dragging himself down to the arena, MJ laced up his black and red Air Jordan 12's and prepared for what would be the hardest game of his life.
What followed was one of the greatest examples of the indomitable will of the human spirit triumphing over nearly insurmountable physical limitations. Barely able to stand and fighting off dizzy spells every time he closed his eyes, Jordan somehow managed to score 38 points - including a crucial 3 pointer in John Stockton's face with 26 seconds left to put the Bulls up 88-85 - in leading Chicago to 90-87 victory and a 3-2 series lead. Jordan collapsed from exhaustion when the game finally ended, and had to be helped off the court by teammate Scottie Pippen.
Jordan gave the shoes he wore that night to a Utah Jazz ball boy. That signed pair of Air Jordan 12's were auctioned off in 2013 for $104,765. While the shoes releasing this Saturday aren't the actual ones that were on Michael's feet, they are virtually identical and will cost $104,575 less. Not a bad deal for the embodiment of legendary greatness.
The Air Jordan 12 Retro "Flu Game" will be available on Saturday, May 28th in-store and via email order at 10:00 am. Check your local City Blue for availability.