A single NBA game that took place 16 years ago has been talked about a surprising amount lately. Of course, that game involved the best NBA player ever and—according to him—a near-death case of the flu, so it's not that surprising that Game 5 of the 1997 Finals carries a certain mystique. Jalen Rose made some noise by first claiming to Bill Simmons that Jordan was at least partially hungover. Rose, in a later moment of drunken candor, told a group of Indiana bros that Jordan wasn't just partially hungover—he was morning-after-16-jager-bombs hungover, and what you saw was the GOAT dealing with a college senior's Sunday morning.
Today, Jordan's trainer, Tim Grover, told ESPN's TrueHoop that Grover actually wasn't hungover. He was instead poisoned by a group of Jazz fans. (But they're Jazz fans! They're possibly Mormon! They can't be that mean.)
Here's what Grover partially said:
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 dunno. Grover isn't the most reliable source here given his ties to Jordan, and it'd make sense for him to defend his former boss. People get sick, NBA players get hungover. Does this legendary game really need a conspiracy attached to it?
(Also, sometimes the Internet takes and sometimes it gives in a BIG WAY. NBA.com has the full, unedited game available for free right here. What a find.)
[H/T: True Hoop]