Originally written April 17, 2013 on BlackSportsOnline:

Via Black Sports Online:

You all know the story by now, but to refresh your memory, the Chicago Bulls were in a dogfight in the 1997 NBA Finals with the Utah Jazz.

The series was tied 2-2 and the Jazz had all the momentum after winning Games 3 and 4. Jordan gets sick the day before Game 5 — to the point he can’t walk. Bulls trainers say there is no way he can play the next day. Jordan wills himself out of bed, looks visibly ill, but starts for the Bulls in Game 5.

He hits a big 3-point shot late in the game to help seal the victory. He plays 44 minutes and has a stat line of 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.

It is considered one of the greatest clutch performances of all time. The Bulls would end up winning the championship in Game 6. It was always assumed Jordan just caught a random stomach virus, but according to his trainer Tim Grover, he was poisoned by someone in Utah. Here is his story.

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.

I wouldn’t put it past Jazz fans, who have been known to be a bit on the crazy side. What do you believe?

TEAMS: Utah Jazz
17 Comments:
  • So 16 years later this clown throws out an accusation that someone at either the pizza place or the hotel poisoned him? I guess no one like the great michael jordan could ever just get sick. That's pretty irresponsible of this trainer to make a slanderous statement like this without one shred of proof. Frankly in my opinion, I don't think jordan was as "sick" as he made himself out to be.
  • With your right hand, you criticize Jordan's trainer for making baseless accusations. With your left, you yourself make a baseless accusation that Jordan was not as ill as people think. Interesting.
  • Keep it classy MJ!!!
  • Johnny B, sorry bud i watched that game and Jordan was ever bit as sick as he appeared to be. Not sure why you feel that way but whatever. As far as food poisoning goes, that takes around 24 hours to come into play. The trainer suggesting food poisoning after about 2-3 hours following the meal shows his lack on knowledge on the subject.
  • Umm, not always 24 hours, the couple of times I had it I could feel it kicking in the next morning after whatever I ate, so roughly 12 hours, sometimes less and you can still tell it's coming. So 4 hours for a athlete to feel like something is wrong with his body is not unrealistic. Symptoms can be observed 3 to 24 hours depending on how fast it digests and what the bacteria is. Source(s): http://www.emergency-management.net So I guess that shows YOUR lack of knowledge.
  • I was thinking the same thing. And how did they supposedly poison pizza? The meat is all pre-cooked, did they give him a bad anchovi? What a ridiculous accusation.
  • Now we are going to poison you, for printing the secret!
  • Oh yes Bunch of fools poison him yeah Only thing is they grabbed wrong bottle Was supposed to be RAT POISON
  • It was a great performance non the less!
  • Sorry but I'm not buying it. I think MJ was sick but I don't think he was as sick as everyone thinks he was. I wouldn't put it past Jordan to play up any potential dramatic story.
  • Any of you fools who think Jordan wasn't as sick as everyone thinks has obviously never seen him try to act.
  • Sounds like an urban legend. The story just doesn't hang together. Why didn't they send someone out to the pizza place so the pizza makers didn't know it was the Bulls? And it could have been a third string guard ordering pizza. And are you telling me that room service wouldn't open for Michael Jordan? And I've been to Park City in 2002 for the Olympics, and there are other placees in town.

    It doesn't work.

    The illness by MJ was real and the performance unbelievable!
  • I remember that game, of course he was sickened by something other then the flu. He knew that the fix was on. so he did what all great warriors would do. Slay the Dragon. Micheal Jordan did just that, he never said a word
  • I was at that game. I can't say anything about the "food poisoning" claims but I do recall a local radio station in Chicago prank calling Jazz players in the middle of the night to try to get a reaction and throw them off their game. So maybe cheating allegations should start with Chicago fans.
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