For years, people have speculated that Michael Jordan did not have the flu during his infamous ‘flu game’ back in 1997.
Tim Grover, Michael Jordan’s longtime trainer, recently revealed the real story behind “The Flu Game.”
It’s been 23 years since that game, and Grover claims it was actually food poisoning.
“100 percent it was food poisoning. 100 percent,” Grover said in an appearance on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast. “But obviously it just sounds better to be the ‘Flu Game’ than the ‘Food Poisoning Game.’”
During Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz — Jordan pushed through to score 38 points on 13-for-27 shooting, seven rebounds, five assists, and the game-winning shot in a 90-88 road victory.
Grover says Jordan ate a couple of slices of pizza from the only open food vendor Grover could find in Park City, Utah at the time.
“I said, ‘Michael, I got a bad feeling about this,’” Grover recalled. “And he was like, ‘Ah man, f**k you.’ I was like, ‘OK.’”
A few hours later, Grover received a call.
“Then, about 3 o’ clock in the morning, I get a call to my room that just says, ‘Hey, man, come to MJ’s room’ and he’s literally curled up in the fetal position,” Grover continued.
“I’ve not known any flu that can hit you that fast, but I know how quick food poisoning can hit you.”
Jordan played 44 minutes that game.
The image of Scottie Pippen holding him up is the signature photo from that game.