Perhaps nobody in the league overcame more than Michael Jordan. Throughout his NBA tenure, he battled through many opponents and obstacles en-route to winning six NBA titles.
One of the most impressive games of his career happened in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. In a hard-fought game against Utah, Jordan dropped 38 points to help give his team a 3-2 lead in the series. Here’s the kicker: the performance came in spite of Jordan having food poisoning, which the Bulls star acquired after ordering a pizza from the local parlor.
Former Bulls player Steve Kerr recently told the story:
“He (Jordan) had an IV at the shoot-around,” the Warriors coach recalled. “We were at a high school in Park City, 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake, for that Finals game, and … he could barely move.”
He also explained how that would never fly in today’s game.
“We’re not taking that chance today,” Steve Kerr said. “I guarantee you that. If that happened with Steph, or Klay, or any of our players, no way we’re dealing with that.”
It ended up being a signature moment of Jordan’s career and, even today, it’s one of the most famous performances in league history.
Despite being down and Jordan looking physically ill, he was able to lead the charge in his team roaring back to victory. How many players could pull that off today? How many would have even played?
Needless to say, the “flu game” will forever serve as a testimony to Jordan’s relentless attitude on the court. He didn’t let sickness get in the way of victory.