LeBron James and Michael Jordan now share another similarity: they have both battled illness during the NBA playoffs.
While Jordan famously dropped 38 against the Jazz in the 1997 Finals while saddled with the flu, an illness may have been what was responsible for James’ poor Game 3 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics.
Teammate Richard Jefferson revealed after the Cavs’ Game 4 win Tuesday that James might not have been at 100 percent in the team’s prior contest.
“I know he won’t talk about it, so I’ll give my big guy a shout. Deron Williams missed shootaround this morning because he had like a little bug, really lethargic, had no energy. And I think that’s what ‘Bron had,” Jefferson said on FOX Sports Ohio. “And sometimes these little bugs can go around … he was like, when Deron didn’t show up to shoot around, it kind of started clicking in his head. Because for him it was more of like, ‘I don’t know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing.’ And so, these little things happen. It was no panic. Look, he was lethargic, they hit a bunch of tough shots, if Marcus Smart doesn’t go 7-for-10 from three, then we’re not even talking about it.”
The Cavs star went 4-13 from the field and put up just 11 points on Sunday.
So, while James didn’t magically play well while (possibly) fighting off sickness like Jordan, Cavs fans might take solace in the fact that there could be a good explanation of why he didn’t have his best game that night.