Twenty-four years ago today, Michael Jordan played in Game Five of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz while – says the Disturbed – Down with disease After getting food poisoning from A Pizza He was delivered to his hotel room the night before with five rands.
on Netflix’s the last danceEven Jordan’s coach, Tim Grover, stated that he “had a bad feeling about it [that] Pizza,” but Jordan ate it all anyway. However, Jordan scored 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals as he led his team to victory. It’s a game that went down in basketball history as one of the greatest singles game performances in All Ages.To this day, we still use it as a measuring stick to compare the greatness of other players.
LeBron James Playing a playoff with food poisoning. copy print He played with the flu in the 2002 NBA Finals. There have been many Phantom of the Opera mask games, back stories and even time Derek Fisher He flew across the country after his daughter had eye surgery to join the jazz in the second half of a playoff in 2007. Fisher dropped a late triple pointer to claim victory.
However, the legacy of the “flu game” rises above them all. why? It’s a combination of a combination of things: Jordan is Jordan, and the fact that he was against two legends in itself – Karl Malone, John Stockton, etc. But the additional factor that likely plays into the greatness of that game is the fact that Jordan didn’t have to play it at all, but he did anyway.
The series was tied 2-2 heading into Game 5. Winning wasn’t necessary. The Bulls could have given Jordan some rest and come back to Chicago for Match 6 and 7 and win it all in front of the home crowd. Sure, avoiding a winner-takes-all Game 7 might be a lot less worrisome, and you could make an argument that you’d want to avoid any momentum swinging in the wrong direction, but in the end, there was still a chance of winning the title had Bulls Game 5 lost.
In the NBA today, that would never happen. Do you think LeBron would go out for a match that wasn’t necessary if he was as sick as Jordan? Be real here, we’re talking about the guy who just headed into the locker room before his team’s game ended in a loss to the Sun. Do you think James Harden will play a game this year that his team never needed to win if he was feeling comfortable? I doubt it. His networks work fine without him. Why would he risk provoking anything then next?
I am not trying to attack the character of any of these players. In fact, I think it’s a good thing that we no longer expect athletes to play while they’re recovering. Athletes are human too, and we shouldn’t expect anything more from them than you and I would have done in their place. The point I was trying to make in the previous paragraph is that because of the current NBA landscape that includes load management and super teams, no player will be forced to go out and play a game that isn’t necessary to win, which is why Jordan’s “flu game” will forever be the greatest performer in a match comma at all.
A little farther from the rabbit hole, you could argue that because of the load management trend, players are likely to be healthier late in the season than players in the ’80s and ’90s. Therefore, it is unlikely that a star player will be less than 100 percent before a playoff that he must win. Not to mention that athletes now know better than to eat an entire pizza served to them by five mysterious strangers the night before a game.
MJ’s “Flu” will forever be the greatest performer in NBA supplement history. Its legacy has remained unchanged through many other great performances and with the NBA shifting towards player empowerment and load management, it is unlikely that any star player will find themselves in a similar position moving forward. This is good. It keeps the myth of the “flu game” intact, and lets today’s athletes do what’s best for them, which is how the sport should be…even if we’d like to see another game reach that level of greatness.