On this unofficial Michael Jordan Day, the Dime crew reminisces on our personal favorite MJ moments, as well as our favorite Jordan sneakers.
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The Flu Game
Growing up in the middle of the Jordan era, I eagerly huddled around the television to see what he would do next. The next amazing dunk, the game-winning shot, the shrug, the finger wag … anything he did, I had to see. Out of all those games and moments, one stands above all of the others: Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.
The Bulls entered Salt Lake City for Game 5 tied 2-2, and reports circulated that Michael Jordan was stricken with the flu. Jordan had barely slept the night before, couldn’t eat or get out of bed during the day prior to the game, and pregame video showed Jordan barely able to stand, already exhausted before tip-off. But when the lights were on, Jordan’s instincts and desire took over and he ended the game with 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, including the game-winning three.
This game showed the essence of Michael Jordan. There were no highlight Jordan dunks or circus shots. He didn’t talk trash or celebrate. It was just the pure and absolute desire to win and be the best. Jordan had a job to do, and would not let the flu prevent him from doing so. The images of Jordan exhausted on the bench during timeouts and Scottie Pippen having to help him back to the bench aren’t as flashy as dunks from the free throw line or impossible circus shots, but they spoke more to MJ’s legacy than all the others.
Twelve years later, I still reminisce about that game. Whenever I’m sick or tired and need to get a job done, I think back to Jordan’s performance on that night and I remember desire and heart can overcome illness and fatigue.
My favorite pair of Air Jordans is the Air Jordan III. Simply because they were the first to use the Jumpman logo, the first to have the air cushion technology in the heel, and most importantly, the first to use Mars Blackmon in the commercials.