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Just because The Last Dance is over doesn’t mean that the Michael Jordan stories are going to stop. Following the final episode, the documentary’s director, Jason Hehir, added a hilarious (and gross) new detail to the pizza story that didn’t make the cut when discussing Jordan’s famous “Flu Game” against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals.

It was bad pizza, not the flu, that caused Michael Jordan to get sick ahead of Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals

The legacy of Michael Jordan’s legendary “Flu Game” took a massive hit on Sunday night when it was revealed that it was food poisoning from a bad pizza, not the flu, that caused MJ to get sick ahead of Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, although Jordan’s longtime trainer, Tim Grover, has been telling the story for years, which now has many people calling it the “Pizza Game.”

In case you missed the episode, here’s a quick recap of what viewers saw. Michael Jordan was hungry at his hotel in Utah but the kitchen was closed. So he decided to order a pizza since it was late and nothing else was open. Five guys show up to give him the pie but even with many other people in the room, Jordan is the only one to eat any of it, which just seems odd, and he gets sick. But Jason Hehir says there’s more to it than what played out during The Last Dance.

The reason Michael Jordan was the only one to eat the pizza is that he spit on it

Not long after the final episode of The Last Dance aired, director Jason Hehir appeared on the “Jalen and Jacoby Aftershow” and added a classic Michael Jordan element to the now-famous pizza story that didn’t make the final cut of the documentary. As Hehir puts it, which you can see in the video above, the rest of Jordan’s crew had gone out to dinner and didn’t wait for him. So MJ hadn’t eaten, which is why he had to order the pizza. So when it arrived, Jordan made sure that nobody else touched it.

“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.”

The Last Dance director Jason Hehir on Michael Jordan spitting on a pizza

Hehir went on to say that this was something that Jordan did on more than one occasion and that he believes this is the reason why nobody else ate, which is why nobody else got sick. Can we please see this part of the interview as an extra feature on the DVD release?

Regardless of the cause of his sickness, MJ still went out and destroyed the Jazz


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There are a lot of people out there who are disappointed that it was food poisoning and not the flu that caused Michael Jordan to get sick and I’m not quite sure why. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know how bad that can get and it almost makes his performance in Game 5 of the ’97 Finals even more impressive.

With Scottie Pippen struggling to shoot the ball that evening, going 5-for-17 from the floor, Michael Jordan put the Bulls on his back that night in Salt Lake City. He played more than 44 minutes and scored a game-high 38 points on 13-for-27 shooting.

*All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference