When Michael Jordan exploded toward the rim, it appeared as though he was floating on a different plane of existence than any other NBA player. Jordan wore a jersey, shorts and sneakers just like everyone else, but this guy simply wasn't the same as those other mere mortals.
But even Superman could be brought down by Kryptonite, and Jordan could be brought down by… a threat to his immune system? On June 11, 1997, Jordan added an unforgettable chapter to his legacy with one of the most iconic performances in NBA Finals history.
Yes, we're talking about “The Flu Game.”
Beyond the basics of Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals — Jordan led the Bulls to a 90-88 victory despite feeling under the weather — what do you really know about “The Flu Game”? Let's travel back 25 years and revisit what went down in Salt Lake City.
1. Michael Jordan didn't actually have the flu.
OK, maybe you did know this part. However, there has been so much chatter about the background of “The Flu Game” that you may have blended facts and fiction together.
Before Game 5, play-by-play announcer Marv Albert declared that Jordan was suffering from “flu-like symptoms.” After the game, Jordan said that he was “almost dehydrated” and felt like he “couldn't breathe.”
But the truth came out years later. In 2013, Tim Grover, Jordan's former personal trainer, said on TrueHoop TV that Jordan was actually dealing with food poisoning, not the flu. With room service unavailable, he had ordered a pizza to the team's hotel the night before Game 5.