Back in 1997, Michael Jordan played an NBA Finals game through the flu. However, despite being the fierce competitor he is, the Chicago Bulls GOAT revealed he would never jeopardise his health and sit out if he had to do it all over again.
Michael Jordan is easily one of the greatest players the league has ever witnessed. Apart from being one of the most impactful players, Mike was considered a basketball god. Till today, fans rave about his insane gameplay and achievements.
It was because of Michael that the Chicago Bulls franchise is one of the greatest dynasties in history. Of course, with the help from stars like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, MJ helped the Bulls be the most dominant team in the 1990s.
Winning two successful three-peats, finishing a season with a flawless 72-10 record, there was virtually nothing that the Bulls hadn’t achieved because of their leader.
In his illustrious 15-year career, Jordan had several notable moments. His first championship, his Father’s Day performance, the Shrug, his career-high 69 points against the Cavs, his final championship, the Dream Team are just a few to name. One such performance which stands out in Michael’s incredible career is the infamous “Flu Game”.
“If I had to go through it again, I’d miss it”: Michael Jordan on his Flu Game
During Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals, an unwell Michael Jordan dropped 38 points in 44 minutes to lead his team to a 90-88 win over Karl Malone and the Jazz team. Visibly, His Airness looked gassed yet managed to put up such an incredible performance.
Game 5 of that finals series against Utah Jazz was an incredibly crucial game, which Jordan himself admitted to be a deciding game. And they then won their fifth championship, closing the series the next game. Somehow, MJ managed to not only play against some tough defense, but also pushed himself to play through a scary ailment.
Surprisingly, despite being the obsessive competitor he was, Jordan disclosed how he would sit out of such a game and not jeopardise his health if he had to do it again. Back in the offseason of 1997, Mike revealed:
“Let’s just say, if I had to go through it again, I’d miss it,” Jordan said. “That’s how sick I was. And I jeopardized my health, more so than I should have. And true, we won a Championship—I think that was the deciding game. But hindsight tells me I must have been a fool, and I don’t think I’d do it again if I had to.”