Kemba Walker’s “Michael Jordan Flu” Game
One of Michael Jordan’s most famous performances came during the “Flu Game” in Game 5 of 1997 Finals. In it, a virus-ridden, dehydrated Jordan scored whopping 38 points, while having to be carried off the court. It was a transcendent performance that only solidified Jordan’s position in the pantheon of NBA greatness. Fast forward to 2010 and the Connecticut Huskies have a performance to add to their program’s lore.
While it won’t be universally recognized like Jordan’s flu game, it was an impressive performance nonetheless.
During the Huskies’ 89-73 win over Vermont, Kemba Walker dropped 42 points (21 points in each half. Synergy!!!), all while battling stomach issues. Walker’s scoring barrage came from an efficient shooting evening (15-24, 4-9 from 3, 8-10 from the line). The guard also tallied eight rebounds and three assists, and without his outburst, UConn struggles to beat the Catamounts. Keep in mind, Walker posted those numbers while battling stomach issues.
Now, as you can see in the lead photo, Walker didn’t appear like he needed Scottie Pippen to carry him off the court like Jordan did, but that doesn’t mean his performance was any less impressive, or any less valuable.
In fact, Walker himself realized his scoring outburst was needed:
“I just had to take matters into my own hands,” said the 6-foot-1 junior. “[Other] guys didn’t want to shoot. That’s what it looked like.“
More on that in a moment, but first, highlights of Walker’s 40th point, courtesy of a smooth-looking 3-pointer:
As for Walker’s post game comments, if UConn wants to avoid a repeat trip to the postseason NIT, his teammates might want to do something about their reluctance to shoot, and well, contribute. Besides Walker, there were only two other Huskies to reach double-digits in scoring. As for attacking the glass, Walker’s 8 rebounds represented the team-high, too. Considering he’s a 6-1 guard and UConn features four players (that get minutes) who are 6-7 or taller, that’s pretty weak play from his supporting cast.
How about at least matching the rebounding energy of your 6-1 lead guard, guys?