Utah Jazz Analyst Holly Rowe Has New Theory on Michael Jordan’s ‘Flu Game’

The longtime sports reporter reveals on a podcast that a televised craft service table could be the source of one of the NBA Finals’ most famous performances.

(Photo from related press kit) Chicago Bulls goalie Michael Jordan, shown in a 1997 game, has long criticized an allegedly contaminated pizza from a Utah restaurant for making him sick before his legendary “Flu” in the 1997 finale. Utah Jazz analyst Holly Rowe, however, believes he got food poisoning from something eaten on a craft service table at the arena .

ESPN reporter Holly Rowe will moonlight as an analyst for Utah Jazz TV shows this coming season. Before even a single game was played, however, she delivered a compelling shot.

As a guest on the episode of Jazz’s “Roundball Roundup” podcast released Friday, Rowe spoke about one of the most infamous moments in franchise history – Michael’s famous “The Flu Game.” Jordan in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.

It is notoriously well established that the Hall of Fame was ill before that contest on June 11, 1997, where it racked up 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, while also giving the Bulls a 3-2 in the series. that they were going to win for their last NBA championship. The cause of his illness, however, has long been disputed – Jordan claiming to have had food poisoning from an intentionally tainted pizza delivered to a restaurant in Utah.

Rowe believes Jordan did have food poisoning – but from food he scavenged from a craft service table on TV in the arena.

She says she was working as a runner for NBC Sports during that final and on the day of Game 6, she had a meeting with analyst Quinn Buckner who, in her mind, put the pieces together.

“He was the Chicago Bulls radio analyst at the time, and he was a friend of mine, he was chatting with me, ‘Hey, where were you yesterday? I did not see you yesterday. And I was, ‘Oh, I was very sick,’ ”Rowe said, she told him. “Oh my God, my stomach hurts so much. I had stomach flu.

Buckner told her to stay put, then led the Bulls athletic coach over to her.

“[He] asks me all these questions – about my illness, about my recent bowel movements. It’s too much information, but it’s a true story. And I’m mortified, and I’m looking at Quinn like, ‘Why did you ask this guy to ask me all these personal questions?’ Rowe said. “They were trying to figure out where Michael Jordan got sick from and why he was sick.

“Michael Jordan took food from the television craft service table as he left the building [after Game 4], and me too, ”she added.

Given the similarity of his symptoms to those of the superstar, and given that they both had the same food at the same table beforehand, Rowe is apparently of the opinion that the pizzeria in question finally deserves some justification. .

FILE – In this June 11, 1997 file photo, Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen, right, kiss an exhausted Michael Jordan after winning Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. The flu-like illness Jordan battled to lead the Bulls to a crucial victory in the 1997 NBA Finals created instant fodder for the virtue of persistence. Pushing boundaries, overcoming obstacles and adversity – this is part of the philosophy of great competitive sports. This is how elite athletes get wired to win. (AP Photo / Jack Smith, file)

“I know Michael Jordan has this theory on this mystery pizza that was delivered. I’m pretty sure he had food poisoning at the Delta Center Craft Services table at that time, ”she concludes. – Because me too. … I’m pretty sure that’s how he got sick.

The full episode of the “Roundball Roundup” episode can be heard here. Rowe and host JP Chunga begin discussing the flu match at 10:55 p.m. ET.

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