The Michael Jordan versus LeBron James G.O.A.T. debate has reached a crescendo during these playoffs, and will probably continue for years and decades to come.
But there’s one Jordan feat the superhuman LeBron is unlikely to ever repeat – MJ’s iconic ‘Flu Game’ from the 1997 Finals. Monday Memories marks 20 years since that heroic performance.
20 Years Ago Today/”The Flu Game” Michael Jordan delivers an inspiring Game 5 performance (38 pts, 15 in 4th) in Chicago’s stirring 90-88 W pic.twitter.com/BZKR6XKeUz
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) June 11, 2017
The Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz headed into Game 5 in Salt Lake City locked at 2-all, and the defending champs’ hopes of reclaiming the lead seemed to nosedive as Jordan battled a stomach virus, sweating profusely on the morning of the game and barely summoning the energy to sit up in his hotel room bed.
Nevertheless, Jordan suited up for the critical encounter.
Weak and lethargic, Jordan was a virtual passenger as John Stockton and Karl Malone led the Jazz to a 16-point lead during the second quarter. But MJ rallied, reeling off 17 points in the quarter to cut the halftime deficit to just four points.
Jordan was spelled in the third quarter as the effects of his illness took hold again and the Bulls fell behind by eight points. But again No.23 revived, scoring 15 points in the final term – including a clutch three with 25 seconds left that gave his side an 88-85 lead.
The Bulls held on to win 90-88, and Jordan collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms.
— ☇ASAP Sports News☇ (@ASAP_SportsNews) June 11, 2017
Still not 100 percent for Game 6 in Chicago, Jordan top-scored with 39 points and had a game-high 11 rebounds as the Bulls closed out the series 90-86 in Game 6, with ‘His Airness’ collecting his fifth Finals MVP award.