A local mid-week basketballer has ambitiously claimed that regulations around the return to community sport post-COVID will prevent him from ever emulating Michael Jordan’s legendary “Flu Game”. Self-proclaimed “Splash Brother” Ryan Cameron had the odd realisation this week while contemplating the eventual return of domestic basketball at the Diamond Valley Stadium later this year. Like many aspects of society, the return to competitive basketball is expected to be accompanied by a range of conditions, including players being asked to not suit up for games if they are experiencing symptoms traditionally linked to the flu and the common cold.
According to Cameron, that will prevent him from ever representing his D-Grade team on a Monday night at Diamond Valley, as playing under that kind of duress would irresponsibly put both his teammates and opponents at risk. Cameron said, “I mean, usually I’d just push through that kind of pain and discomfort, but there’ll be none of that type of heroism in the post-COVID world. If you’re sick, stay at home, mate. It’s that simple. But it’s a real shame, because I always saw myself as producing some kind of amazing performance while dealing with man flu or something. Anyways, I’ll have to find another rainbow to chase now.”
Jordan’s “Flu Game” actually occurred 23 years ago today, when the GOAT led his Chicago Bulls to victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz despite obviously experiencing ill health. While The Last Dance seemed to suggest Jordan was actually dealing with food poisoning, basketball fans have long referred to the performance as the “Flu Game”, most likely due to commentators at the time describing MJ’s affliction as “flu-like symptoms”.
But despite Cameron’s bold claims about his willingness to play hurt, those close to him have questioned his ability to handle the duress – with or without the conditions placed on the game since the global pandemic. Cameron’s girlfriend said, “There’s no way he’d be capable of that. When he gets a little sniffle, he enters full man flu mode, which means multiple days in bed, a week of moping around the house, and an inability to even put the bins out, let alone play basketball. He’s kidding himself.”