The man who wrote the scathing book Jordan Rules after the Bulls first Finals win is now suggesting that Michael Jordan’s famous “Flu Game” was really a case of “something that wasn’t as manly.” Sam Smith sat down on The Dan Patrick Show to give his take on what really happened.

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In The Last Dance documentary that followed the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls, Jordan admits that he didn’t have the flu, but it was a case of food poisoning from a pizza he had ordered the night before Game 5 against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 finals.

Sam Smith is saying that neither are true, and in fact he believes the 6-time NBA champion was suffering from altitude sickness.


“I think because what they were doing was going up to Park City, in the mountains, in the ski area to stay… So they had to practice in Salt Lake City. They kept coming in and out, in and out and I think it was altitude sickness. The symptoms that he had fit much more than anything else that he had,” Smith said on the broadcast.

Of course, the journalist’s belief is all speculation and not fact. Smith’s 1992 book ‘Jordan Rules’ sparked locker room issues because the book used sources within the Bulls camp that labeled Jordan as a bully. Jordan suggested in the documentary that Horace Grant was the leak of the information due to his and Smith’s close relationship.

Despite feeling ill, Jordan led his team to the win against the Utah Jazz dropping 38 points setting up a Game 6 where the Bulls would close the chapter on ring number 5.