The Last Dance reinforced a number of aspects of the mythology around Michael Jordan, but in the second-to-last episode of the series, one of the more well-known bits of Jordan lore was corrected. Everyone knows the story of Jordan’s legendary flu game, in which he fell ill in Utah during the 1997 NBA Finals and ended up scoring 38 points in a crucial Bulls win.
According to Jordan and some folks close to him, though, he did not suffer from the flu. Instead, he was given a pizza under some shady circumstances, ate the whole thing, and got sick. The strong implication was that Jordan got food poisoning — five people apparently delivered the pie, which led to longtime trainer Tim Grover saying he had a bad feeling about the whole thing — but according to a man who claims to have made and delivered the pizza to Jordan, that was not the case.
Craig Fite hopped on 1280 The Zone’s The Big Show on Monday and told his side of the story. He claims that everyone knew where the Bulls were staying in Salt Lake City, and since he was the only Bulls fan in his store (to the point that Fite even named his son after Jordan), he got the heads up that the pie might have been one of the players, at which point he volunteered to make and deliver the pie.
“I remember saying this, ‘I will make the pizza because I don’t want any of you doing anything to it,'” Fite recalled. “And then I told the driver, ‘You’re gonna take me there.'”
Jordan apparently ordered a large, thin-crust pie with extra pepperoni, and Fite made sure everything turned out well because it was going to a player, although he did not know at the time who it was for. He also made it clear that it was a “crap story” that five folks delivered it, stressing that it was only him and a driver, and remembered that getting onto the floor with the Bulls felt like they got “punched in the face with cigar smoke.”
“We go over and I knock on the door, and then this great guy who’s been saying all this crap lately — I’m sure that he’s a good guy,” Fite said, apparently referencing Grover. “But anyway, he answers the door, barely opens up the door, and I said ‘hey,’ identified the company I was with, here’s the pizza delivery.”
Fite also claims that he asked if he could say hello to Jordan, because “it’s my one shot,” so Grover cracked the door a bit more.
“Mike’s in the room, sitting at the chair, he’s playing cards or whatever, and raises his hand, he said, ‘Thanks, man!'” Fite said. For some further points of clarification, Fite claimed this happened sometime around 10 p.m. and that, after consulting with others who got pies that day, no one else got sick from eating something prepared at his store that day. He also is confident that any sort of rumor that Jordan flew to Las Vegas and partied a little too hard is also not true, as he saw him in the room.
Obviously stories get exaggerated over the years as time goes by, but Fite is convinced that he had nothing to do with Jordan falling ill. At least the Bulls were able to win, regardless of whatever ailment Jordan was dealing with.
(Via Bleacher Report)