A man in Utah is telling his side of the story after allegations made by Michael Jordan‘s trainer, Tim Grover, insist MJ’s “Flu Game” was actually due to a bout of food poisoning from pizza that got delivered to the hotel.
Following the final episode of The Last Dance, Craig Fite–a former Pizza Hut employee–claimed on Facebook that he was actually the one who made and personally delivered the pizza that Jordan ate the night before Game 5 of 1997 NBA Finals, now known as “The Flu Game.” Today, he appeared on The Big Show in Salt Lake City to let viewers know his version of what happened that night.
Being a self-proclaimed Chicago Bulls fan, Fite claims that he wanted to be the one who handled the order (a large, thin and crispy pizza with extra pepperoni) that was assumed to be for one of the players, since everyone knew the team had been staying at the Park City Marriott. The former Pizza Hut worker says he followed all the food prep guidelines and even went with the driver to ensure the pizza was delivered safely.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m delivering it,” Fite recalled. “I remember saying this: ‘I will make the pizza, because I don’t want any of you doing anything to it.’ And then I told the driver, you’re going to take me there.”
After checking in at the hotel’s front desk, Fite said he and the driver were the only people who went up to the floor where the Bulls players were staying. In the docuseries, Grover said that “five guys” all arrived together, which is what drew suspicions about the pizza that Jordan ordered–differing from Fite’s story.
Fite goes on to say that he asked to say hello to Jordan, which Grover agreed to, opening the door wide enough for him to get a peek at MJ, who looked up from his card game to say, “Thanks, man.” This is another detail that doesn’t align with what Grover said, who claimed to close the door after acquiring the pizza and think to himself, “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Now, since Fite insists he’s the one who handled Jordan’s pizza from prep to delivery that night, he’s upset over accusations that the legendary “Flu Game” was all because of him.
“Did you get it diagnosed? Did you go to the doctor? All this is innuendo on their part,” Fite said. “One thing I remind everybody is, he was smoking so many cigars. They had windows open. He didn’t have a shirt on or he was in a tank top. At around 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon in Park City, the sun is gone behind that mountain so it gets colder up there.”
As pointed out by Complex, Jalen Rose also doesn’t buy the story about the tampered pizza, saying that adult beverages, cigars, and late-night munchies do not mix on the latest episode of the Load Management podcast.
You can hear Fite’s side of the story for yourself down below.