Sixteen years later, ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell reports that the size 13s — socks included — have become the priciest athletic footwear in history. Bidding hit $60,000 within days of its Nov. 18 opening, and a last-minute flurry caused Grey Flannel Auctions to extend the auction until late Wednesday night. The winning bid, Rovell reports, was more than three times the previous record for game-worn shoes, set last month on a pair from Jordan's rookie season that sold for $31,070.
"I'm a competitive person, so that excited me more than anything," says Truman. He was told by the auctioneer that there were international bidders and is eager to know who bought the shoes. "It's got to be somebody with an incredible amount of disposable income."
Online betting site Bovada had set the over/under on the sale price at $80,000, but a Chicago sports memorabilia expert told Truman on a radio show days before the opening that due to a flood of fakes on the market he could expect about $15,000. Truman credits his photos and the attention his story received for increasing buyer confidence.
So what will Truman do with the money?
"It's so boring, honestly," he says. "I'm such a conservative guy. I've always been very smart with my money."
After taxes and the auction house's fee (which they wouldn't disclose), Truman says it's not as much as you might think. He'll put some of it into his children's college savings account. He may get a new car, and they may go to Disneyland. They typically buy presents for needy families at Christmas, and this year he expects they'll be more generous than usual.
And then he'll just be left with his story. Cue the MasterCard slogan.