Many basketball fans, especially Chicago Bulls fans, have lasting memories of an exhausted and visibly weak looking Michael Jordan playing through severe illness in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Seeing him put up 38 points in 44 minutes for a narrow victory over the Utah Jazz set the bar for all athletes confronted with severe “flu-like” symptoms.
Such was not the case for Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng, who missed Thursday night’s Game 6 tilt against the Brooklyn Nets. While many of his teammates were playing with the flu [Nate Robinson could be seen vomiting on the sidelines], he was not fit to compete.
After being chided in the media for being unable to play, Deng took to Twitter to address his critics.
He went on to further explain what happened with his health and why he was unable to play in Game 6.
On [Wednesday] I was taken to the ER and my symptoms indicated I may have meningitis. In order to play on [Thursday] I was required to undergo a spinal tap[.] As a result of the spinal tap[,] I suffered the worst headache I’ve ever experienced and been the weakest I’ve ever felt.
“Yesterday I was unable to walk or even get out of bed. I made it to the UC [United Center] and was sent home. This morning my symptoms worsened.”
Deng is hopeful that he’ll be able to play Saturday in Game 7, but his situation has yet to improve.
Deng will fly to New York to be with the team for Game 7 if the doctors clear him to play.
Considering that recent revelations from famed trainer Tim Grover have clarified the circumstances surrounding the famed “Flu Game”—Jordan had food poisoning from eating bad pizza—people should be more sympathetic to athletes who are incapable of playing due to illness.
Hopefully Deng will be able to play Saturday night.
Previous Tweet Posts: