When LeBron James asked to be taken out of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals last night due to cramping in his legs, a lot of people who were watching the game immediately thought one thing: "There's no way Michael Jordan would have asked to come out of the game there!" Many of them even took to their Twitter accounts to let LeBron know that he should have been a little bit more MJ-esque in that situation and played through the pain associated with the cramps. Because, you know, MJ would have done it, right? Er, right?
Probably not. We already told you that Isiah Thomas doesn't believe MJ would have been able to play through the pain associated with the cramps. And a short time ago, Grantland's Bill Barnwell sent out this tweet providing some actual evidence that shows that MJ did ask to be taken out of an NBA Finals game once due to cramps in his stomach:
When Michael Jordan got sick the game BEFORE the flu game, he asked out of the lineup in a 78-73 Jazz Finals win. http://t.co/dGvcce3qbH— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) June 6, 2014
The evidence comes from Roland Lazenby's 2014 book, Michael Jordan: The Life, which revealed that MJ was forced to sit on the sideline for part of Game 4 of the 1997 NBA Finals—the game before the famous "Flu Game"—because of stomach cramps that were caused by a sports drink that was served to the Bulls during that particular game. You can read the excerpt from the book about the game below:
Now, we know exactly what you're going to say after reading that excerpt: "MJ CAME BACK AND ACTUALLY PLAYED IN THE GAME DESPITE THE CRAMPS!" But it is worth noting that it was MJ's stomach and not his legs that were bothering him. And if his legs had been the problem, those two paragraphs above prove that he, too, probably would have been forced to sit out and miss the end of an NBA Finals game. So as we said earlier today, lay off, LeBron.
[via Pro Basketball Talk]