One of the most memorable moments of Michael Jordan's storied career was the "Flu Game," in which he propelled the Chicago Bulls to a 90-88 Game 5 victory over the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals by putting up 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block, despite suffering from flu-like symptoms before and during the game.
Over the years, the real reason for Jordan's suffering in that game has come into question. Instead of the flu, some have speculated that Jordan was feeling the after-effects of a particularly eventful evening, while others think it was a bad case of food poisoning. During "The Last Dance" documentary, Jordan finally addressed the issue, as he andclaimed that Jordan's sickness was indeed the result of food poisoning from bad pizza, .
As the story goes, Jordan got hungry while at the team hotel late at night prior to Game 5, and there was only one place open in Utah at that hour. Jordan ordered a pizza from that place, the pizza was delivered by five men, which is strange, but Jordan proceeded to eat the whole thing by himself and then he became ill shortly thereafter. Oh, and he also. Jordan's entourage clearly believes the pizza place may have tinkered with the pizza, knowing that it was going to Jordan.
Craig Fite, an assistant manager of a Pizza Hut in Park City, Utah, claims to be the person who made and delivered the pie to Jordan. During an appearance on "The Big Show" on 1280 The Zone in Salt Lake City, Fite said the famed "Flu Game" pizza was not tainted with in any way, calling it a "bunch of crap." He also denied that five people delivered the pizza to Jordan's room.
"The crap story the guy said, that there was five people, there was two of us -- and I didn't even have that many people working at the time at the store -- but there was two of us," Fite said, via Yahoo. "... I followed all the rules. At the time I was trying to impress the store manager there.
"I remember saying this: 'I will make the pizza, because I don't want any of you doing anything to it.' And then I told the driver, you're going to take me there."
While he claims he didn't tinker with it, the pizza was obviously a memorable one for Fite, as he still remembers exactly what kind it was over 20 years later.
"It's a thin crust pepperoni pizza," Fite said. "It's tough to get food poisoning off a pizza unless of course you add something to it, but that didn't happen because sure as heck it didn't leave my hands."
Though he lived in Utah, Fite said that he was actually a Bulls fan, and he respected Jordan so much that he even named his son after him, and thus wouldn't do anything to potentially hurt Chicago's chances. You can choose to believe Fite, or not, but he seems certain that the pizza wasn't the culprit when it came to Jordan's illness that night. We may never truly know what the cause was, but at the end of the day it's just a footnote anyway. The lasting takeaway from the situation is that Jordan was able to overcome the fact that he wasn't feeling his best in order to deliver an all-time performance.