Michael Jordan's 'flu game' was actually food poisoning
Scottie Pippen (right) helped Michael Jordan (left) off the court during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. MCT/Sipa USA

Michael Jordan's 'flu game' was actually food poisoning

Rumors have abounded over the years regarding Michael Jordan's performance in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals during which he was reportedly suffering from flu-like symptoms. Some believed that Jordan wasn't actually sick but perhaps hung over, while others saw no reason to doubt that he did, indeed, have the flu.

As it turns out, the Hall of Famer's iconic "flu game" wasn't caused by the flu but by food poisoning from a pizza he ate late the night before that kept him up vomiting and suffering through digestive turmoil the following day. Jordan admitted as much in the final episode of ESPN's "The Last Dance."

Jordan's trainer, Tim Grover, thought the whole situation was rather odd when five men showed up to Jordan's hotel room with the pizza. Grover said he didn't feel things were quite right and that clearly the men knew the pizza was intended for Jordan and wanted a glimpse of the megastar.

Despite experiencing flu-like symptoms, which evidently were actually food poisoning symptoms, Jordan scored 38 points in 44 minutes en route to the Chicago Bulls' Game 5 victory vs. the Utah Jazz. While the pizza did make him sick, it didn't stop him from putting his health on the line for the sake of his team.

The Bulls went on to defeat the Jazz in six games, and you have to imagine they celebrated with something other than a late-night pie in Utah.

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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