On May 17, ESPN televised the final two episodes of the acclaimed documentary, “The Last Dance.” The 10-part documentary follows Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during their epic championship runs during the 1990s.
One of the stunning revelations in the documentary was the truth behind Jordan’s legendary “Flu Game.” In Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, announcers reported that Jordan was suffering from a severe case of the flu before the game. Visibly tired throughout the contest, Jordan willed the Bulls to a victory over the Utah Jazz by scoring 38 points. Following the gut-wrenching performance, Jordan was helped off of the court by teammate Scottie Pippen.
The “Flu Game” became a cultural phenomenon years later in sneaker culture. Jordan wore the Air Jordan 12 during the game, which sold at auction for $104,000 in 2013, according to Sneaker News. On the retail market, Jordan Brand sold the Air Jordan 12 Retro Flu Game sneakers. Currently, the sneakers retail online for over $500.
However, the “Flu Game” was really a case of food poisoning. According to interviews from “The Last Dance,” Jordan ordered a late-night pizza while the team was in Salt Lake City, Utah.
When the pizza arrived, five men knocked on Jordan’s hotel room door to deliver the pizza. Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, and other Bulls staffers with Jordan were skeptical due to the number of men who delivered the pizza. But Jordan, hungry at the time, decided to eat the entire pizza by himself.
Hours later, Jordan was reportedly vomiting and curled up in a fetal position. Grover realized that the Bulls’ star player was suffering from food poisoning.
Once the truth was revealed in the documentary, social media users expressed shock and awe over the “Flu Game” becoming the “Food Poisoning Game.”
Remember the Flu Game? The Air Jordan 12s that Michael Jordan wore that game sold for over $104,000 at auction back in 2013. Today, it's probably worth at least double that amount.https://t.co/B6FJldTiva pic.twitter.com/B6ygONyDfX
— Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) May 18, 2020
Jordan didn’t even have the flu during the “Flu Game”?????? My life is a lie
— jake 💛💜 (@Shake_N_Jake35) May 14, 2020
Jordans flu game is unimpressive compared to Serena playing pregnant
— Hiawatha Smalls (@kblizzle) May 17, 2020
Now Michael Jordan's 'Flu Game' just seems a bit irresponsible.
— Samuel P. Morse (@SamuelPMorse) May 15, 2020