Michael Jordan was one of the fists NBA players ever to have his own trainer, and Tim Grover was his guy.
Grover’s access to Jordan has long been as good as anybody’s, and now the trainer to Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and others has just released a book called “Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable” about building NBA greatness.
Grover sat down with us on Tuesday for a series of interviews. This first one is about Michael Jordan, and includes a shocking bit of Jordan insight from Grover.
You know Jordan’s famous “Flu Game,” when Jordan famously fought illness to succeed in Game 5 of the 1997 Finals in Utah.
Read what Grover had to say after the jump
Grover says Jordan didn’t have the flu at all. Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose have recently debated whether or not Jordan was in fact hung over for that game, a suggestion that Grover scoffs at.
The real truth, Grover says, is that Jordan was poisoned.
“100 percent,” Grover says on TrueHoop TV. “He was poisoned for the ‘flu game.’ Everyone called it a flu game, but we sat there. We were in the room.” Grover explains:
We were in Park City, Utah, up in a hotel. Room service stopped at like nine o’clock. He got hungry and we really couldn’t find any other place to eat. So we said eh, the only thing I can find is a pizza place. So we says all right, order pizza.
We had been there for a while. Everybody knew what hotel. Park City was not many hotels back then. So everyone kind of knew where we were staying.
So we order pizza.
Five guys came to deliver this pizza.
I take the pizza and I tell them: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this. … I’ve just got a bad feeling about this.”
Out of everybody in the room, [MJ] was the only one who ate. Nobody else had it.
And then 2 o’clock in the morning I get a call to my room. Come to the room. He’s curled up in the fetal position. We’re looking at him, finding the team physician at that time.
Immediately I told him it’s food poisoning.
Not the flu.