"It’s all about desire. You just gotta come out here and do what you gotta do. Me as a leader, I had to come out and do my best. Somehow I found the energy to stay strong. I wanted it really bad." - Michael Jordan
On June 11th, 1997, he solidified himself as the fiercest competitor the NBA had ever seen. A depleted, ailing, flu-ridden Michael Jordan summoned the superhuman strength to score 38 points and will his team to a critical win in Salt Lake City for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
What I remember most was seeing the greatest player alive be so vulnerable. During timeouts I held my breath, thinking it might somehow help him from passing out on the bench. Little did I know we were all collectively doing the same thing, exhaling finally when he collapsed into the arms of Scottie Pippen.
What's also memorable are the shoes he wore that night. So much so that the Jordan brand re-released the "Flu Game” XIIs this summer and celebrated with a pop-up store event and a Game 5 viewing party at Station 23 in Chicago. I got to play emcee for the evening.
Using a 19th Century Women’s dress boot and the Nisshoki Japanese war flag as inspiration, legendary designer Tinker Hatfield produced a title-worthy durable shoe wrapped comfortably in tumbled leather. A closer look shows how the pattern in the red color way mimics a basketball while the stitching in the black color way creates the appearance of sun rays.
Talk about going viral, being sick never looked so…sick.