One of Michael Jordan’s most notable moments from his spectacular NBA career was his courageous performance in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, which has become known as the “Flu Game.”
According to lore, Jordan woke up sick the day before the Wednesday game against the Utah Jazz. Trainers said he would be unable to play in the critical game, which would have put the Bulls in a difficult spot since Utah had won the previous two games to tie the series.
Despite being dehydrated and visibly ill, Jordan managed to play in the game and went on to score 38 points in Chicago’s 90-88 win. The Bulls returned to Chicago and won Game 6 to clinch the series, and the “Flu Game” is considered a turning point in the series.
Now, Jordan’s personal trainer says Jordan was suffering from food poisoning those few days.
Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, is promoting his book, “Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable,” and told TrueHoop TV that MJ was poisoned by some pizza he ordered.
Here’s how Grover recalled the story to TrueHoop TV:
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 say alright, 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 ‘em: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this. … I’ve just got a bad feeling about this.”
Out of everybody in the room, [Jordan] 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.
This sort of thing happens much more than you think. Every time you hear about an athlete having the flu or flu-like symptoms while the team is on the road, there is a strong chance he/she is hungover, or is suffering from food poisoning from rival fans.
You can go here to watch Grover’s interview with TrueHoop TV.