You all know the story by now, but to refresh your memory, the Chicago Bulls were in a dogfight in the 1997 NBA Finals with the Utah Jazz.
The series was tied 2-2 and the Jazz had all the momentum after winning Games 3 and 4. Jordan gets sick the day before Game 5 — to the point he can’t walk. Bulls trainers say there is no way he can play the next day. Jordan wills himself out of bed, looks visibly ill, but starts for the Bulls in Game 5.
He hits a big 3-point shot late in the game to help seal the victory. He plays 44 minutes and has a stat line of 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.
It is considered one of the greatest clutch performances of all time. The Bulls would end up winning the championship in Game 6. It was always assumed Jordan just caught a random stomach virus, but according to his trainer Tim Grover, he was poisoned by someone in Utah. Here is his story.
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 says all right, order pizza.
We had been there for a while. 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.
Five guys came to deliver this pizza.
I take the pizza and I tell them: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this. … I’ve just got a bad feeling about this.”
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.
I wouldn’t put it past Jazz fans, who have been known to be a bit on the crazy side. What do you believe?