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Michael Jordan's Trainer Tim Grover Confirms Flu Game was Actually Poisoned Pizza

(via WGN-TV)

(via WGN-TV)

Michael Jordan was never one to shy away from the big moment, especially with a championship on the line. That sentiment was made abundantly clear in the 1997 NBA Finals.

With the series tied 2-2, Jordan and the Bulls traveled to Salt Lake City with the hopes of taking the series lead. Unfortunately, Jordan was experiencing "flu-like" symptoms and looked physically ill throughout the entire game.

We know how the story goes. After Utah took a 16-point lead in the first quarter, Jordan exploded for 17 points in the second quarter alone and eventually led his team to a much-needed win.

But in an appearance on the "Pardon My Take" podcast, Jordan's trainer Tim Grover revealed it was actually a bad pizza that had him sick that day.

"100% it was food poisoning. 100%. You know, but obviously it just sounds better to be the 'flu game' than the 'food poisoning game.' That doesn't even roll off your tongue currently. So we were in Utah and back then the team decided to stay in Park City. Park City was not what Park City is now. So literally everything closed down at like 8:30, there was no room service or nothin' in the hotel and Michael said he's hungry.

And I'm like, listen, everything is closed. And then I was finally able to find a pizza joint that's open. So I ordered a pizza and the door rang and by then everybody knew what room Michael was in because we had already been there for a while. And I open up the door and there's literally five guys standing out there to deliver a pizza. All right, so I take the pizza -- obviously they wanted to get a glimpse Michael and, you know, I handed the pizza I paid the guys I closed the door and I just said 'man, I got a bad feeling about this.' I told Michael, I said I got a bad feeling about this. He's like 'oh, man, f-ck you.

So there's about four of us in the room, nobody ate the pizza but him. Nobody. And there was no signs of flu or anyone being sick before that. And then about three o'clock in the morning, I get a call to my room and just say 'hey, man, come to MJ's room' and he's literally curled up in a fetal position. So we went and got the team physician at that time and just nobody could figure out what was going on. He had only eaten, like, a couple of slices. I've not known any flu that can hit you that fast but I know how quickly food poisoning can hit you."

Some theories as to the origin of MJ's sickness include the flu and a hangover. But this one makes the most sense.

If Grover is telling the truth here (and we have no reason to believe he's not), it makes sense that that the pizza place might give Jordan a bad pie with the hope that he'd get sick and be unable to play.

Even if it wasn't intentional, it certainly adds up.

Whatever it was, the fact that Jordan was able to overcome it and win the game for his team speaks volumes to how relentless he really was. It was a defining moment for his career.