MJ’s Iconic ‘Flu Game’ Wasn’t What It Seemed


Every basketball fan knows about Michael Jordan’s ‘Flu Game’ in the NBA Finals. Ahead of the game, Jordan was experiencing flu-like symptoms and looked sluggish and weak going into the game. Despite his sickness, MJ’s stat line included 38 points, 7 rebounds, & 5 assists. Well, in an episode of the Last Dance it was revealed that MJ didn’t have the flu in his ‘Flu Game’. Jordan broke down what happened the night before which might have caused his flu-like symptoms.

In case you missed the story here’s a rundown of what happened. The night before the game Jordan was hanging out in his hotel room with some people and got hungry. It was around 10:30 at night and there wasn’t much open. They landed on the only pizza place that was still open. The pizza was then delivered by five delivery drivers. Yes, you heard that right, FIVE delivery drivers brought one pizza.

While Michael’s trainer had a bad feeling about the pizza it doesn’t seem like that deterred MJ from eating. Michael then goes on to claim that he was the only one who ate any of the pizza. The director of the Last Dance claimed that in footage that didn’t make the final cut Jordan said that he spit on the pizza so no one else could eat it. Well after eating an entire pizza alone Jordan says around 2 in the morning he woke up and was throwing up left and right. We all know how the rest of the story turned out for Jordan as he shined in the game that night. This story has brought a lot of skepticism and questions about what was wrong with Jordan.

Was he just hungover?

One of the main points that came up when talking about this is Jordan was probably just hungover. He was hanging out with people the night before in his hotel room and people speculated that he must have been playing cards, smoking cigars, and drinking and just let it get out of hand.

There are a few pieces to his story that have been scrutinized as people try to figure out what really happened. Jordan claims he ate the whole pizza by himself and no one else had any. That sounds like something someone would do after having a few drinks and in need of soaking up some alcohol. I myself have eaten an entire pizza and let me tell you it was in that exact setting. Another question regarding the pizza, did they tell the pizza place it was for Michael Jordan? Of course, the pizza place could assume if they were delivering to the hotel where the players are staying, they might run into an NBA player but it’s not like they would have known the pizza was for MJ. It does seem a bit odd that MJ didn’t speak out about any of this until recently.

Was he working on building the right story, so it didn’t seem like he got out of hand that night? This could also be exactly what happened the night before that iconic game and we just don’t want to believe it. Regardless of what happened, it doesn’t take away from Jordan’s incredible performance that night. Whether it was food poisoning, the flu, or a hangover most people wouldn’t even be able to perform at a normal job, let alone game 5 of the NBA finals.

Any way you slice it this game was impressive, and it was another big moment in MJ’s legacy. The Last Dance gave an in-depth look at this Bulls dynasty and I’m sad that it has come to an end. Either way, let’s hope the Bulls return to glory soon.