Michael Jordan's flu game is one of his most famous performances as a basketball player. Yet I remember that at the time there was some question about how sick he really was: had he been acting some to mislead his opponents?

Has any information come out since that gives further indication of how ill or well he really was?

  • Good question. Not sure we'll ever be able to objectively measure how "ill," "hurt," or "juiced up" an athlete is. Maybe if we do everyday pre-game tests. Jun 22, 2014 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


According to Tim Grover, Michael Jordan's personal trainer, it was food poisoning, not actually the flu. In 2013, Grover wrote a book titled Relentless about his time as a personal trainer, and he talks about Jordan during the Flu Game. According to this ESPN article, the team was in a hotel in Park City the night before the game, and Jordan ordered a pizza. He was the only one to eat the pizza, and was very sick shortly afterwards.

It's pretty clear by the way he looked in that game that he wasn't feeling well.

Jordan helped off the court by Pippen


This information has been taken from this url: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/79

He remembers waking up in the middle of the night, sweating profusely, shaking, and feeling as if he was going to die. "I was scared; I didn't know what was happening to me," Michael Jordan would say. At first, he thought it was a nightmare. Then he realized it was real, that he was seriously ill. "I felt partially paralyzed," he would later say.

When he lifted himself up from his bed in his Utah hotel room, his head began spinning. He'd never been so nauseated before. He feared that somehow, some way, someone had slipped some kind of drug in something he ate.

It was the middle of the night in Salt Lake City, an off day between Games 4 and 5. The series was tied, 2-2, following Utah's second consecutive win, but how in the world could Jordan play in this condition in Game 5?

Jordan called the Bulls' medical personnel, which came rushing to his room. They determined that he was suffering from food poisoning or an intestinal stomach virus. "There's no way you'll be able to play Game 5," Jordan was told.

Jordan remains in bed for the next 24 hours, missing the Bulls' morning practices the day before and the day of Game 5. He had lost several pounds. He was dehydrated. Then, at 3 p.m., just three hours before tip-off, Jordan rose from his hotel bed and dragged himself to the Delta Center.

Scottie Pippen went on to say that there was no way Jordan would be able to put on a jersey before the game.

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