Now, we’ve finally got the truth about Michael Jordan’s flu game.
In a tough series against the Utah Jazz that featuring Karl Malone and John Stockton, there were ups and downs. For downs, there was Stockton hitting a last-second shot and tying the series 2-2, and more importantly, there was the flu game.
For years, Jordan fans have watched videos of Bulls teammates throwing towels on Jordan’s head as he sat there overheated on the sidelines. Or they’ve seen the photos and gifs of him falling into Scottie Pippen‘s arms, barely able to hold himself up, and until now, it was deemed as nothing more than the flu. Some thought he just had a long, alcohol-filled night that led to a severe hangover, but it turns out none of that was true. In The Last Dance, Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, tells the story of calling several Utah-area pizza places late at night to get a pie delivered. After calling around and places being closed, they finally found one. But when Grover opened the door for delivery, there were five guys there.
Jordan’s trainer found it weird immediately and noted that the guys kept peering inside before he eventually paid them for the grub and went back inside. Grover decided not to eat the pizza out of an abundance of caution– but Jordan decided to eat.
” … Nobody ate the pizza but him. Nobody. And there were no signs of flu, anything, being sick before that. 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. … I’ve not known any flu that can hit you that fast, but I know how quickly food poisoning can hit you.
Jordan would eventually wake up at 2 a.m. doubled over in pain with food poisoning, He’d be hooked up to an IV later in the day and was somehow able to play that night. 38 points in 44 minutes, to be exact.
And that’s why they call him the greatest.