For over 23 years now, Michael Jordan’s so-called “flu game” in the 1997 NBA Finals has been put on a pedestal as the epitome of greatness.

And sure, what Jordan pulled off while under the weather was pretty incredible.

But to this day, new explanations for what exactly was his issue that night keep emerging, and quite frankly, they’re all utter crap.

Since the airing of The Last Dance documentary that was billed as the inside story of the 1990’s Bulls – but was ultimately just a Michael Jordan lovefest as it was produced by Jordan and every second of the documentary was approved by Jordan – it seems that sports fans are talking more about him than ever before.

As such, new information on stories like the Jordan “flu game” are coming to light.

But it seems like the stories, especially when it comes to that “flu game,” keep changing.

It’s a rather peculiar phenomenon, but not totally unexpected as those who were closely involved at the time are now more comfortable than ever to discuss the truth.

For example, during the documentary, Jordan and his closest confidants revealed for the first time that Jordan didn’t have the flu at all.

According to them, he was actually suffering from food poisoning thanks to a pizza he had ate the night before the 1997 Finals game in Utah.

How does this detail stay buried for 23 years?

Seems like it would have been mentioned at least once, but it just now came to light.

However, there are some who were there in 1997 that don’t buy that excuse – namely the Bulls team doctor, Dr. John Hefferon, who is now speaking out for the first time.

According to Dr. Hefferon, no one, especially the doctors, thought Jordan had food poisoning before, during, or after that game.

In fact, the doctors thought it was something else entirely.

“No, I don’t know that he had food poisoning,” Hefferson said in a recent interview. “We always thought he might have had altitude sickness.”

If nothing else, it is rather strange that there are so many different explanations for Jordan’s so-called “flu game,” but in the end, they’re all utter crap.

The obvious answer has been staring us in the face all this time — it wasn’t the “flu game,” it was the “hangover game.”

Jordan was a notorious drinker, and in almost every picture of him, he has very noticeable red eyes, even recently during filming for The Last Dance.

The stories of Jordan staying up all night the night before a game to drink and gamble are all over the place, yet no one seems to want to admit that it’s entirely likely that the “flu game” was “the hangover game.”

Look, Michael Jordan came along at the perfect time for a guy like him.

He was the best player in the world right at the height of the NBA’s popularity, but also right before the Internet began to dominate the world and chronicle and dissect every move players make on and off the court.

No matter how great the players are before or after him, no one else is going to have a real chance to challenge him for the title of greatest of all-time for at least a few more generations.

And with folklore like the Jordan “flu game” surrounding his legend, it may ultimately prove to be impossible for anyone to overcome his status.

None of that is to take away from the player he was, but let’s face it, if he played in the era of social media and when players give more of their opinions on social issues, fans would ultimately have a much different perception of him.

And all of these stories that have become the stuff of legend would be viewed entirely differently.

It’s totally fine if Jordan were hungover – it was 23 years ago, and he still played incredibly well.

But it’s time for people to stop kidding themselves, constantly searching for answers to the story of the “flu game.”

Everyone knows what happened, and it’s time we all just admit it and move on.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.