The image of an ill Michael Jordan being carried to the bench by his Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen after serving up the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals is forever embedded in our minds. But now it appears that instead of Jordan having the flu as we all once believed, it looks as if MJ actually had food poisoning.
Jordan’s former trainer Tim Grover recently revealed what happened the night before that famous “flu game” and what he believes the real situation was:
We were in Park City, Utah, up in a hotel. Room service stopped at like nine o’clock. He got hungry and we really couldn’t find any other place to eat. So we said eh, the only thing I can find is a pizza place. So we says all right, order pizza. We had been there for a while. Everybody knew what hotel. Park City was not many hotels back then. So everyone kind of knew where we were staying. So we order pizza. Five guys came to deliver this pizza. I take the pizza and I tell them: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this. … I’ve just got a bad feeling about this.” Out of everybody in the room, [MJ] was the only one who ate. Nobody else had it. And then 2 o’clock in the morning I get a call to my room. Come to the room. He’s curled up in the fetal position. We’re looking at him, finding the team physician at that time. Immediately I told him it’s food poisoning. Not the flu.
Yikes, I wonder if it was done on purpose or if Utah is just the wrong city for pizza.