Utah man says he made and delivered pizza to Michael Jordan, was Bulls fan
Michael Jordan blamed food poisoning from tainted pizza for his illness during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, better known as the flu game. Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, has repeatedly said five guys suspiciously delivered the pizza. Jordan’s personal assistant, George Koehler, corroborated that story in “The Last Dance” documentary.
Craig Fite has a different account.
In a fascinating interview on 1280 The Zone, the Utah man said he made and delivered the pizza and even took extra care in making it – in part because he was a Bulls fan.
Fite said he was assistant manager at the Park City Pizza Hut when the restaurant received a delivery order for the hotel where the Bulls were staying. Fite said someone pieced together the order might be for someone with the team. That intrigued Fite, who said he was known around the restaurant as a Bulls fan among Jazz fans.
Fite said he prepared the large thin-crust extra-pepperoni pie then possessed it the entire time, including passing through security as he and the driver entered the hotel. He said they took the elevator to the Bulls’ floor.
Someone got excited seeing the pizza, Fite said. But when Fite informed the person of the room number for delivery, the inquirer backed off and said the pizza was for Jordan.
Fite said he knocked on the door, and “This great guy who’s been saying all this crap lately” cracked it open. The door opener (presumably Grover or Koehler) paid and tipped.
Fite insists only he and the driver – two people – delivered the pizza. To give Grover and Koehler the benefit of the doubt, perhaps others passing in the hallway behind Fite and the driver stopped to get a peak of Jordan. Maybe Grover and Koehler mistook others for deliverymen.
Considering the store closed at 11 p.m., Fite said he delivered the pizza at about 10 or 10:30 p.m.
That’d poke another hole in the most sordid rumors – that Jordan flew to Las Vegas or partied late at Robert Redford’s chateau the night before Game 5. Sure, it’s possible Jordan was hungover the next day. But placing him in his hotel room at 10 or 10:30 reduces possibilities.
Which brings us back to food poisoning.
Ultimately, that’s the issue: “Who knows much truth is in it?” Everyone is sharing impossible-to-prove stories from many years ago. People can misremember or even fabricate.
What we know: Jordan looked ill, played great anyway and led the Bulls to a win then championship. However he got sick, it’s still an incredible accomplishment.