Why Steve Kerr doesn't see another Michael Jordan 'Flu Game' happening

Why Steve Kerr doesn't see another Michael Jordan 'Flu Game' happening

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has firsthand knowledge of Michael Jordan's will.

Nearly 23 years ago, Kerr played alongside a severely weakened Jordan in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Battling food poisoning, Jordan scored 38 points to help lead the Chicago Bulls to a 3-2 series lead over the Utah Jazz in what's known as the "Flu Game."

More than two decades later, Kerr doesn't see a repeat performance from any player he coaches following the sports shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're not taking that chance today," Kerr recently said on the Runnin' Plays podcast. "I guarantee you that. If that happened with Steph, or Klay, or any of our players, no way we're dealing with that."

Jordan had no plans of sitting out that game, despite his condition. The previous night, Jordan had ordered pizza from a local parlor. Shortly after eating it, he was in the fetal position in his room after the pie left him sick.

By the time Kerr saw his teammate the next morning, Jordan was in bad shape. 
"He had an IV at the shoot-around," Kerr said. "We were at a high school in Park City, 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake, for that Finals game, and ... he could barely move."

But Jordan was dominant in Game 5. Following a slow start, he scored 17 points in the second half, hitting a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to give the Bulls the lead. In the waning seconds of the Bulls' 90-88 win, Jordan was so exasperated that teammate Scottie Pippen had to carry him off the floor.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Years later, Kerr said teams have evolved their approach and are more likely to hold a player out if he's sick or recovering from an injury.

"I'd like to think we're smarter today and we've taken more decisions out of players' hands, more medical decisions out of players' hands," he said.

History suggests that Kerr has stayed true to his word. This season, when guard Steph Curry pushed to come back from a broken hand on March 1 -- three months after he sustained the injury -- team staff delayed his return until four days later, to Curry's chagrin.

[RELATED: Why Nellie thought Jordan should've been a point guard]

But Kerr believes the new approach toward player health will continue when the NBA returns.

"It's a different era and a different time," Kerr said. "I think we value players differently. We have more help medically. We understand how to work players more in terms of resting them and preparing them for the long haul of the season."

Steve Kerr, Warriors will approach Chicago bubble 'like summer league'

Steve Kerr, Warriors will approach Chicago bubble 'like summer league'

Steve Kerr made headlines a month ago when he said the Warriors would not be interested in participating in some sort of summer league with the teams not playing in Orlando.

On Thursday, Golden State's coach provided an update on his perspective as a guest on The Athletic's "Hoops, Adjacent" podcast with David Aldridge and BIG Wos.

"Originally when it was announced that the 22 teams would go to Orlando, we felt like the other eight of us would probably be allowed to do some kind of an in-market training camp. And that is the most preferable scenario for us and frankly for most of the teams," Kerr explained. "But like everything else in the world, there are just so many factors here.

"I respect where the NBA is coming from, where the players' association is coming from, where the guidelines are coming from -- so this is really complex.

"We're gonna do whatever the league asks us to do. If that means going to Chicago for a bubble, then we'll do it."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Well there you have it.

But don't expect players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins to join the team in the "Windy City." In fact, it's very possible Kerr doesn't make the trip either.

When Aldridge said, "I got to imagine at the very least, younger guys would be the core of your group, right? And maybe some of the younger coaches, frankly, might make that trip," Kerr was transparent.

"We really haven't had a chance to talk about it, but I think those are pretty good assumptions to make," the eight-time NBA champion said. "It would feel like a summer league. If we go to Chicago, it's purely for development."

[RELATED: Steph, Klay, Draymond will return with hunger, Myers says]

So guys like Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic and Marquese Chriss would be expected to take the floor.

It's safe to assume new details will emerge at some point this month, but the overwhelming majority of the league's focus right now -- understandably -- is on Orlando.

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Watch Steph Curry, Canelo Álvarez spar at celebrity golf tournament

Watch Steph Curry, Canelo Álvarez spar at celebrity golf tournament

Oh no! Steph Curry got in a sparring match.

Just kidding. But the Warriors superstar did have a fake fight with legendary boxer Canelo Álvarez while the two were waiting to play a practice round at the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe.

Canelo made Curry look the least athletic he probably has ever looked -- and that’s saying something. 

Canelo swiped from the left side at Steph and he couldn’t believe it. 

“You’re supposed to move, dude,” somebody shouted as Steph laughed. 

Canelo has just one loss across his career with 53 wins in 56 fights -- 36 of those wins by knockout. That’s probably why he’s dubbed the world’s best active boxer by BoxRec. 

[RELATED: Steph adorably teaches son to golf on the beach]

Glad it’s Steph and not me.

Don’t worry, nobody was hurt in the making of this Instagram story.