Michael Jordan falls into Scottie Pippen's arms
Michael Jordan falls into Scottie Pippen's arms

Slam-dunk superstar Michael Jordan could see his reputation bolstered still further, after it was claimed he played one of his best-ever games while sick with food poisoning.

His trainer Tim Grover looks to be rewriting NBA history books with his claim the so-called 'Flu Game,' of 1997 should be renamed the 'Pizza Game.'

It comes after he said it was a poisoned pizza and not flu, which laid Jordan low.

Grover alleged Jordan was targeted by a pizza parlour in Utah in a bid to rule him out of a crunch clash with the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals.

Sickly Jordan overcame illness to power his Chicago Bulls team to victory over Utah Jazz in the match. He shot 38 points to help silence a hostile crowd and secure a narrow 90-88 point win.

In dramatic scenes, Jordan collapsed in to team-mate Scotty Pippen's arms when the final buzzer sounded - a moment captured in an iconic image.

His display in the face of feeling so beleaguered underlined Jordan's greatness to basketball fans. As a result. The clash has become known as the 'Flu Game' ever since.

Ill Jordan was found curled like a baby after dodgy pizza
Jordan was found curled up like a baby after dodgy pizza

But now Grover's version of events threatens that tradition. He told TrueHoop website what he thinks really happened.

"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," explained Grover.

"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 foetal position. We're looking at him, finding the team physician at that time.

"Immediately I told him it's food poisoning. Not the flu."

After the victory, the Chicago Bulls went on secure the NBA title, with Jordan being named Most Valuable Player.