As I left the practice facility I thought to myself “How could/should I possibly show my appreciation to a man who has everything?” I called a friend - Phil Rosenthal, Bell Captain at The Grand America Hotel where the Washington Wizards were staying, and had a case of Bud Light beer delivered to Michael’s room. A gesture that I hoped wouldn’t go unnoticed.
“I know what you were trying to do. You got the tall bottles trying to get me drunk!” he said. “What is it with you guys in
“To this day, I don’t think anyone appreciates how seriously ill Michael was in Game 5 on the 1997 Finals against
1997 NBA Finals Post Game Comments: “I almost played myself into passing out,"
Now, just for the record, I was not trying to get Michael Jordan drunk or sick! Nor was I the individual responsible for giving Michael Gatorlode instead of Gatorade.
Michael thanked me for the beer and we engaged in casual chit-chat before he went onto the court for shoot-around. While the players were on the floor I assisted the Equipment Manager, Jerry Walter, with the set up and organization of the visiting team locker room (hanging uniforms, laying out shoes, placing name plates, etc.) After the team left I took the opportunity to get a few pictures. (How many people do you know who can say they wore MJ’s jersey?)http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad70/nickfairclough1/Page3WW3copy.jpg
There you have it. My memory of Michael Jordan, The Greatest Player of All Time, Hall of Fame Inductee
Hey Nick, thanks for the info...a few follow up questions:
Did you work the Bull's locker room for Mike's sick game?
I was not officially assigned to the Chicago Bulls locker room during the finals. However, I assisted the Chicago Bulls bench and was on that end of the floor helping the other Utah Jazz Ballboys along with the Chicago Bulls Trainers and Equipment Manager.
Were those of you who were employees of the Jazz aware of what was happening with Michael's health?
Michael’s health was public knowledge due to the media. However, there were several employees (as well as fans) who believed that MJ was faking his illness in hopes of sabotaging the Utah Jazz mentally.
Do you have any specific memories from that game?
I was sitting on the basketball standard as Michael dunked the ball. The reverberation from the dunk was exciting as the standard shook. After MJ's epic performance, Pippen would say, "He's the greatest, and everyone saw why tonight."