The final episodes of The Last Dance brought the Bulls rivalry with the Utah Jazz to the forefront as the documentary wrapped up with the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals. As such, it became time to discuss Jordan’s “Flu Game” performance in Game 5 of the 1997 Finals, which was really (at least as it’s told by Jordan and his friends) an issue of a bad pizza.
As Tim Grover, George Koehler, and Jordan recalled, he was very hungry at 10 p.m. and they could not get room service from the hotel, so they called the only place open in the area which was a pizza joint. Grover recalled five guys delivering the pizza to the room, raising some suspicion as to whether something had been done to the pizza, but Jordan apparently shrugged off those questions and ate the entire pizza by himself.
Me: has anybody seen my pizza
— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) May 18, 2020
There have long been theories about the Flu Game that Jordan was actually hungover, but given that Jordan was not shy about going out and enjoying himself prior to games and never had issues, that doesn’t totally track. Food poisoning makes sense, but the way this story was told just seems a bit fishy and there are some holes in the story that are hard to get by. Jalen & Jacoby had Jason Hehir, the director of The Last Dance on after the finale and Jacoby pressed him on this story, which led to Hehir offering up further details about the context of that night and the act of Jordan spitting on the pizza when it arrived to ensure only he ate it.
I wish this had been included in the documentary because that part of the story absolutely tracks with Michael Jordan’s behavior and I would fully believe he would spitefully eat an entire pizza because his friends ate dinner without him. This should have made it into doc because this explains this part even better and makes it more believable. I have the same question as Jalen, which is why it was ordered and made fairly clear it was for Michael when they’re in Utah, and I’m not fully buying Hehir’s theory that they found out from the desk it was Jordan’s room (because why would five folks have showed up to the lobby to deliver it before knowing that).
Whatever the case, whether the pizza was spiked or something else took place we aren’t hearing about, it only builds the legend of that night and the following game in which Jordan put on a performance for the ages.