MJ's trainer says Jordan was poisoned before Flu Game

MJ's trainer says Jordan was poisoned before Flu Game
April 17, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Mark Strotman

Perhaps the most impressive feat of Michael Jordan's illustrious career came on June 11, 1997.

The Flu Game.

But is it accurate? According to Jordan's personal trainer, Tim Grover, it is not.

The story up until now has been that Jordan, on the eve of Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, woke up in a Utah hotel room feeling ill and sweating profusely. Some have questioned whether or not Jordan really had the flu or if he was just hungover from partying the night before, while others believe Jordan's immune system finally caught up to him late in the playoffs.

Jordan wound up scoring 38 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining, to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead in the series. 

But according to Grover, who worked with Jordan his whole NBA career, food poisoning stemming from a pizza he ordered the night before was the reason for his illness.

He told TrueHoop TV that he thought something was up when five different people showed up to deliver Jordan his pizza in the hotel. Jordan was the only one to eat it, and hours later he woke up sick.

"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 all right, order pizza. We had been there for a while," Grover told TrueHoop TV's Henry Abbott. "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.

"Out of everybody in the room, [MJ] 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."

You can see the entire interview here.

So, who do you believe? What makes for a better story?