Re-visiting James Harden’s 3 Houston Rockets “flu-games”

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Houston Rockets

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has shown the ability to easily dominate opponents, even when he’s been under the weather.

Like all basketball fans, many Houston Rockets fans tuned in to the ESPN docu-series The Last Dance. The Michael Jordan-produced film came during a time of need, as the docu-series aired during the NBA’s hiatus, which allowed many to temporarily fulfill their basketball needs.

But not everyone involved with the Rockets tuned in, as Rockets general manager Daryl Morey decided to forego the ESPN special. Morey wasn’t the only one, as former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy opted to pass on the featured film as well.

For those that did tune in, one key part of the final day of the airing was Michael Jordan’s famed “flu game.” For over two decades, MJ had the world in awe behind his Game 5 performance of the 1997 NBA Finals, in which he had 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals while allegedly battling the flu.

Jordan made it known that he didn’t actually have the flu, but rather had food poisoning instead. This puts a major damper on MJ’s performance and credibility, as there are obviously significant differences between food poisoning and the flu.

What it’s also done is change the meaning of the term “flu game” to simply mean any type of sickness that a player is battling, which doesn’t necessarily have to be the flu. By this definition, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has played through several illnesses and has also turned in stellar performances.

This isn’t surprising because the comparisons have long been made between Harden and Jordan, as both players were naturally gifted scorers. As Harden has also shown the ability to dominate opponents while under the weather, let’s revisit his own three flu games.

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