Michael Jordan has developed one of the most impressive careers in professional sport history, but some games stand out from the crowd. There was “The Shot,” where he defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers with a jumper hanging over Craig Ehlo. There was the “God in Michael Jordan disguise” match, when he lost 63 points in a first-round match against the 1986 Boston Celtics, who are in the running for the best NBA team of all time. There is the iconic continuation of his winning jump shot on Bryon Russell to win his last NBA title in 1998 before retiring for the second time.
However, one of the most impressive and discussed games to date is the Flu Game, in which Jordan propelled the Chicago Bulls to a 90-88 match 5 win over Utah Jazz by scoring 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three interceptions and a blockage, despite flu-like symptoms before and during the match. A lasting moment in Jordan’s career is the cliche of him being helped out of the field then by teammate Scottie Pippen.
Over the years, however, the real reason for Jordan’s suffering has been questioned. Rather than the flu, some have speculated that Jordan felt the aftermath of a particularly hectic evening (translation: he had a hangover), while others think it was a bad case food poisoning. Jordan’s longtime coach Tim Grover set the record straight, to the best of his ability, during a recent appearance on Barstool Sports’s “Pardon My Take” podcast.
Grover said Jordan ordered pizza late at night in Park City, Utah, just outside Salt Lake City, the night before the game. When Grover answered the hotel door, he saw five delivery men waiting, which he found suspicious. Grover voiced his concerns, but Jordan typically replied, “Ah man, fuck you”, and still ate the pizza. Later that evening, things got worse.
“One hundred percent was food poisoning, 100 percent,” said Grover. “But obviously it just seems better to be the” game of the flu “than the” game of food poisoning “.
“… No one has eaten the pizza except him. Nobody. And there was no sign of flu, anything, being sick before that. Then, around 3 am, I receive a call in my room which simply says: ‘Hey, man, come to MJ’s room’ and he’s literally curled up in a fetal position … I don’t know any flu that can hit you too quickly, but I know how quickly food poisoning can hit you.
“… that’s my story, that’s what I watched. I was in the room when it all happened, so if someone looked better than me, I would like to see who that person was because they were definitely there. “
Well, you have it now. The “flu game” should technically be the “bad pizza game”. The events will no doubt be covered in one of the last two episodes of “The Last Dance” which will air on Sunday, so we will likely hear a similar story from Grover and Jordan. That being said, there will certainly be fans who maintain that Jordan drank a little too much the night before one of the most iconic games of his career.