Former NBC sports employee Holly Rowe gives a new twist to the Michael Jordan flu game, aka food poisoning game during the 1997 NBA Finals.
Game Five of the 1997 NBA Finals is one of the most iconic games in NBA history. The Chicago Bulls were on a quest for their 5th title, going up against John Stockton and Karl Malone’s Utah Jazz. The series was tied 2-2, with Game Five being in Salt Lake City.
With few hours remaining for the tip-off, news broke out that Jordan was suffering from a flu. However, this didn’t stop his Airness from suiting up for the game. The superstar would torch a 38-point performance, shooting 48.1% from the field. The contest gained the status of cult and would be known as Michael Jordan’s Flu Game.
In 2013, Jordan’s personal trainer Tim Grover claimed that the Bulls superstar had food poisoning and not flu. The 2020 docu-series The Last Dance gave the viewers a detailed explanation of Jordan suffering from a stomach upset due to a pizza consumed a day before Game Five.
Also read: “Michael Jordan led the Bulls to the top seed in the eastern conference despite Scottie Pippen missing 38 games”: The Bulls would 3-peat for the second time notwithstanding the several controversy’s surrounding the team
During a recent appearance on the Roundball Roundup podcast, analyst Holly Rowe divulged some intricate details about the food poisoning incident that didn’t make it to The Last Dance cut.
Holly Rowe states how she became a crucial part of Michael Jordan’s food poisoning investigation.
Rowe’s interaction with the Bulls’ radio analyst Quinn Buckner would lead to her being part of one of the most mysterious investigations involving Michael Jordan.
During the Roundball podcast, Rowe revealed how a casual chat with Burner led her into being part of a controversial investigation.
“He was the radio analyst for the Chicago Bulls at that time, and he was a buddy of mine; he was chatting with me, ‘Hey, where were you yesterday? I didn’t see you yesterday,”‘Rowe said. “And I was, ‘Oh, I was very sick. Oh, my gosh, my stomach has been really sick. I had a stomach flu.”
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Her conversation with Burner at the time led to an interrogation session with a Bulls trainer.
“[He] asks me all these questions — about my illness, about my bowel movements recently. This is too much information, but this is a real story. And I’m mortified, and I’m looking at Quinn like, ‘Why did you get this guy to ask me all these personal questions?’ They were trying to figure out where Michael Jordan got sick from and why he was sick.”
Rowe later revealed how she had grabbed food off a TV crafts services table while leaving the arena from Game Four. Ironically it was the same place from where MJ had eaten.
Rowe’s theory proves the notion that MJ’s pizza was spiked was probably incorrect as he might have contracted the infection from the food at the crafts services table and not the pizza. It’s been more than two-decade since the incident, but it never fails to reignite controversies.