NBA - Jordan 'was poisoned' before iconic 'Flu Game'

Michael Jordan was poisoned before one of the most famous performances of his career, according to his trainer Tim Grover.

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Michael Jordan in action during the 1997 NBA Finals

Back in 1997 Jordan took to the floor in Game Five of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz despite being violently ill and with the Series tied 2-2.

Jordan played the match with extreme nausea and in front of a hostile crowd, but still managed to dominate and scored 38 points in a 90-88 victory.

The performance helped cement his reputation as one of the most competitive sporting legends of all-time.

The game is sometimes referred to as the 'The Flu Game' but his trainer Grover is convinced that Jordan was in fact poisoned by a local Utah pizza restaurant intent on making him unable to compete in the match.

"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," Grover told the TrueHoop website.

"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 foetal position. We're looking at him, finding the team physician at that time.

"Immediately I told him it's food poisoning. Not the flu."

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In the final moments of 'The Flu Game', Jordan famously collapsed into Scottie Pippen's arms creating one of the most iconic images of his career. Commentator Marv Albert said: "A courageous, classic performance by the flu-ridden Michael Jordan."

After Game Five, the Series returned to Chicago where the Bulls clinched a 4-2 Series victory with a 90-86 win. Jordan scored 39 points in that game and was named MVP of the Series.

It was the fifth of his six NBA titles. Jordan was named NBA Finals MVP in all six of those triumphs.

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