Jordan's "flu game" through a 2012 prism

Michael Jordan inspired in the 1997 flu game. Good thing the web wasn't yet crawling with trolls. Nathaniel S. Butler

Fifteen years ago Monday, Michael Jordan scored 38 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals with a 103-degree fever. Jordan received universal praise, and his performance was immediately hailed as one of the greatest of all time.

But 2012 America is very different from 1997 America. No one receives universal praise today. If Jordan’s “flu game” happened now, you can bet that Jordan would have been criticized by some people.

Here’s how.

Selfish! Results aside, it is selfish to put yourself in a game with a 103-degree fever and then dominate the ball. Jordan clearly did not trust his teammates to beat the Jazz. Is there division in the Chicago locker room? The obvious answer is: Yes. Now Jordan's teammates know that Michael has zero faith in them.

Faker! Sorry, but Jordan was playing to the crowd. He was under the weather, sure -- but it’s simply not possible to perform at that level with a high fever. Jordan is a faker. A fraud. And this is the guy who wants to sell products to our children? No, thank you.

Winning the battle, losing the war. This was only Game 5. If the Bulls went down, they’d only be trailing 3-2. Their season wasn’t on the line. All Jordan did by playing was exhaust himself further, likely meaning his illness will last into Games 6 and 7. He will have nothing left, and Utah will win the series. The smart thing would have been to rest for Games 6 and 7. Michael Jordan is obviously not smart.

Contamination! Michael Jordan only cares about himself. People who are sick with the flu are supposed to stay home so they don’t get co-workers and acquaintances sick. But this guy shows up in a building full of 20,000 people and sweats all over everything? Disgusting. Irresponsible. It’s impossible to respect Michael Jordan. The flu kills people every year. If there's a flu outbreak in Utah, blame it on Michael Jordan.