In 1997 Michael Jordan had already amassed a career of incredible highlights and amazing records. He had won 4 NBA titles, awarded as the NBA’s MVP 4 times and named the NBA Finals MVP 4 times. His legacy was already set to be considered one of the greatest basketball players of all times. Up to that point he had many memorable moments. The most notable was the game against the Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs were he made “The Shot” in 1989. One of the last memorable moments and possibly the biggest of his career came in the 1997 NBA Finals.
On June 11, 1997 the Chicago Bulls took on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the series was tied at 2-2. The day before the game Michael Jordan became severely ill. Jordan had a fever and was not able to keep any food down. He was found in the fetal position by his trainer and was very fatigued. Many who were close to the situation believed there was no way he would play the next day.
Michael Jordan during “The Flu Game” (Gety Images”
When the game started Michael Jordan was visibly weak and pale in color. The Bulls fell to an early 16-point deficit in the second quarter and with Jordan not feeling well were in a hole. At halftime the score was 53-49 in favor of the Jazz. The third quarter found Jordan on the bench trying to rest and looking in even worse shape than he had at the beginning of the game. When the fourth quarter began Jordan was back in the game and scored 15 of the Bulls 23 points in the final quarter of the game. The most dramatic plays of the game came in the final minute. Jordan was able to make a 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 88-85 lead with just 25 seconds remaining in the game. The next play was a dunk by Greg Ostertag of the Jazz which took the Bulls lead to only one point. The Bulls were able to raise the score again with a dunk by Luc Longley. With just a few seconds remaining and the Jazz down by 3 points John Stockton was fouled and was now at the free throw line. He needed to make both free throws for the Jazz to be able to stay in the game. When he missed the first free throw the game was sealed. The Bulls had over come this daunting game and won by a score of 90-88. Michael Jordan then collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms, this image would forever be considered the trademark picture for this game. Jordan finished the game with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
Scottie Pippen holding a weak Michael Jordan in the final seconds of “The Flu Game” (Getty Images)
The Bulls would go on to win Game 6 and their 5th NBA Title. It has been reported in later years that he did not have the flu but instead had food poisoning. Regardless of that fact this game was an incredible show of strength and determination for Michael Jordan. Jordan will be remembered long after his days on this earth and this game will be considered one of his best for all future generations who will read about him.
Posted in NBA, sports, Sports History
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After playing eight seasons for the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade had been rumored since yesterday became a reality on Friday. The trade involved The Lakers, Magic, Nuggets and 76ers. The Lakers ended up with Howard and sent Andrew Bynum to the 76ers who also recieved Jason Richardson from the Magic. The Nuggest landed Andre Iguodala from the 76ers while the Magic received Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, three 1st round picks and a second round pick for 2013. It was the mega trade we had been expecting almost the entire summer.
Dwight Howard is leaving Orlando as a villain. He skipped out on a charity event recently in Orlando, that wasn’t going to win him any fans. Howard has been playing hardball with the team since the season ended. Yet the team still tried anything they could to make him happy enough to stay. The Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy in May and the previous GM to appease Howard. Howard did not care he still wanted to leave as a free agent. The Magic had been that road before with Shaq in 1996 and were not about to let that happen this time around.
When trade rumors started Howard demanded going to the Brooklyn Nets and nowhere else. Howard put the team in a rough situation by lowering his trade value. He stated that he would not resign with any team other than the Nets or Mavericks when his contract is up after this season. A lot of interested teams quickly ran away not wanting to lose a lot for a one year stand with Dwight. Luckily for the Magic they were able to put together a deal that they can build a team for the future with. The team is ready to get on with life and with Dwight Howard out of the picture will be able to.
Dwight Howards legacy with the Magic will be a tarnished one. A story of feuding with his coach, stirring up trouble for the team and alienating himself from the fans of Orlando. The City of Orlando had been waiting for a star when they drafted Dwight in 2004. The team wanted to win a championship with Howard and the closest they came was the 2009 NBA Finals. The Lakers squashed the Magic in that year and the team never returned to the championship game since. The Magic should have realized earlier that Howard was not the man that could take them to a title.
Howard is now officially the most hated man in the NBA and it will not change anytime soon. He cares not about the team but himself. Howard has made his bed and no he has to sleep in it. Good riddance Dwight Howard.
Posted in NBA, sports
Tagged 2004 draft, 2009, 2013, 4 team trade, 76ers, Al Harrington, Andre Iguodala, andrew bynum, Arron Afflalo, championship, charity event, city, coach, contract, deal, Denver, draft picks, drama, Dwight Howard, gm, good riddance, lakers, land, los angeles, magic, mega trade, Moe Harkless, most hated player, nba finals, nba title, Nikola Vucevic, nuggets, orlando magic, stan van gundy, star, trade, tv, villain, where did he go