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You Tube Gold: The Flu Game

One of Michael Jordan’s most iconic moments

Michael Jordan Bulls
Michael Jordan trying to push through illness in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Championship

Game 5 of the 1997 Finals will always be known as the Flu Game when Michael Jordan rose above illness to beat the Utah Jazz.

Only it wasn’t the flu.

In the Last Dance documentary, Jordan said it was food poisoning from a pizza he ordered the night before the game. We’ll probably never know for sure.

What most of us remember is the look of exhausted trumph on Jordan’s face as he left the court in agony, supported by Scottie Pippen, but with the win in hand.

Here’s the entire game.

We have said before that although Jordan was immensely talented, his talent was not what set him apart. What set him apart is his immense will which really is what separates all great athletes. Look at the Frazier-Ali fights, look at Tiger Woods who has rebuilt his game more than once, look at Keri Strug, who overcame an ankle injury to make her final attempt in the vault in the 1996 Olympics.

Talent is essential but will is what sets the greats apart.