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Michael Jordan reportedly spit on the pizza

Michael Jordan on Saturday Night Live

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1 -- Aired 09/28/1991 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Farley as Todd O’Connor, Robert Smigel as Carl Wollarski, Mike Myers as Pat Arnold, George Wendt as Bob Swerski, Michael Jordan during “Bill Swerski’s Super Fans” skit -- Photo by: Raymond Bonar/NBCU Photo Bank

NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Michael Jordan didn’t have the flu during the “flu game.” On that, practically everyone agrees.

So why was Jordan so sick while leading the Bulls over the Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals?

Jordan and a couple people close to him said he had food poisoning stemming from pizza suspiciously delivered by five people in Utah. There are also rumors Jordan was hungover.

Conspiracy theorists have questioned why nobody else with Jordan – including trainer Tim Grover and personal assistant George Koehler – ate any of the supposedly tainted pizza. Jordan claims he alone ate the entire pie.

“The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir on “Jalen & Jacoby:"

Earlier that night, those guys all ate dinner and didn’t wait for Michael when they ordered. So, it gets to be about 10, 11 o’clock, and Michael is starving and says, “I want a pizza or get me something.”
When the pizza shows up, Michael says, “Everybody, do not touch this pizza. This is mine. You didn’t wait for me. Don’t touch this.” So, he spits on the pizza.
I am telling you what was told to me in our interviews. I was not in Utah.
I can tell you, from more than one person that we interviewed, Michael was not happy that he was not consulted for dinner earlier. And he said, “Nobody else eat this pizza” and spat on the pizza.

That would be in-character for Jordan.

Wright Thompson of ESPN:

Back when they used to shoot a lot of commercials, Jordan’s security team would wait for him in his trailer while he was on set. A woman named Linda cooked Michael’s meals, and he loved cinnamon rolls. She’d bake a tray and bring it to him. When it came time to film, he’d see the guards eyeing the cinnamon rolls and he’d walk over and spit on each one, to make sure nobody took his food.

If Jordan were hungover and his inner circle concocted a food-poisoning tale as cover, it includes unnecessary details – the five delivers, the spitting. And apparently multiple people kept the story straight with Hehir. It’s easier to keep track of truth than a lie.

The evidence of food poisoning is far stronger than the evidence of a hangover.