Sportswriter Sam Smith, who wrote the book “Jordan Rules” chronicling the Chicago Bulls’ 1990–91 championship season, shared his views on the famous Michael Jordan “Flu Game”. It happened on June 11, 1997 during Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Bulls and Utah Jazz. Jordan was visibly feeling ill and experienced flu-like symptoms.
Despite being clearly not in a good condition, MJ still dropped 38 points and helped Chicago win the game by two points – 90-88. A theory emerged that it was food poisoning that hit Jordan. Supposedly, he was delivered a poisoned pizza. The guy who delivered the pizza even denied such rumors.
According to Smith, the whole food poisoning story is a lie and was made up by Jordan because the Bulls superstar was under such tight protection that such incident couldn’t have occurred. He thinks that altitude sickness was the real cause of illness.
“It wasn’t food poisoning. He made that up. He wasn’t poisoned. That’s not what happened. Michael Jordan, the most protected, nobody knows where he is, secure person – all of a sudden, five guys from the pizza place show? He was ill. There’s no question. I think – I think – he had something that wasn’t as manly as maybe some other episodes.
“I think because what they were doing was going up to Park City, in the mountains, in the ski area to stay. That’s where they stayed. So, they had to practice in Salt Lake City. They kept coming in and out, in and out. And I think it was altitude sickness. The symptoms that he had fit that much more than anything else that he had. There was some sort of illness. There’s no question he was ill. I wouldn’t deny that. He definitely was. He was sick. But he wasn’t poisoned.”