But fulfilling that wouldn't be easy. The Lakers finished the season with the best record in the NBA, but it took them the full seven games to beat the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs.
The Lakers met the Pistons in the Finals, only to lose Game 1, followed by their star point guard, Magic Johnson, coming down with the flu.
But Johnson was able to play, delivering 23 points and 11 assists in Game 2, which the Lakers won 108-96, and came up with 18 points, 14 assists in Game 3 to help the Lakers triumph, 99-86.
The series remained tight, but the Lakers ultimately beat the Pistons, 4-3, to deliver on Pat Riley's promise and win their second consecutive title.
A number of athletes caught the flu bug during the winter games, a problem no doubt exacerbated because of the close living conditions in the athlete's village.
A number of athletes were forced to withdraw or finished well below expectations, including German figure skater Tanja Szewczenko, Canadian figure skaters Marie-Claude Savard-Gagnon and Luc Bradet, and Norwegian speedskater Aadne Sondral.
But perhaps the most prominent athlete to catch the flu was Canadian figure skater Elvis Stojko.
Having won the silver medal in Men's Singles at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, Stojko was among the favorites to take the gold at Nagano.
Stojko had a minor groin pull beforehand, which he said was exacerbated by the flu, both of which worked against him.
While he was able to capture the silver medal again, he blames the illness for keeping him from gold.
Chris Weinke brought Florida State to three straight national championship games as their starting quarterback from 1998 to 2000.
The Seminoles won the 1999 Sugar Bowl, emerging as the national championships.
But their bid to repeat appeared to suffer a setback as Weinke came down with the flu just before their 2000 season-ending game against their archrival, the Florida Gators.
They needn't have worried, as Weinke threw three touchdown passes and Florida State annihilated Florida 30-7 to advance to the Orange Bowl, where the championship would be decided.
Despite Weinke's heroics, Florida State was not able to repeat as national champions, falling to Oklahoma 13-2 in the Orange Bowl.
Weinke was awarded the Heisman Trophy, given to college football's best player, at the end of the season.
The influenza outbreak of 1918-19 killed 50 million people--more than three times the number killed in World War I.
Many sporting events were able to continue that year--the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 in 1918 to win their last World Series for a long time--but others ended up bowing out due to the tragic international epidemic.
The Stanley Cup final in March of 1919 pitted the Seattle Metropolitans against the Montreal Canadiens.
The teams played five games in a best of five, but with one game ending in a tie, the series was knotted at two wins apiece headed into the decisive game.
However, a number of Canadiens players had caught the flu at that point. While they attempted to forfeit the series, the Metropolitans did not accept, and so the series was called off.
Joe Hall, a defenseman for the Canadians, died from pneumonia--a complication from the flu--just a few days after the series was cancelled.
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