Tim Grover Rumors
SI: You get asked this question a million times: What is the difference between Kobe and MJ? In the book you say Kobe worked harder but MJ worked smarter. Do you think this was just a way for Kobe to try to be better than Mike, or was it just his attitude about everything else? Tim Grover: It was both. They knew their ways to win, and that was Kobe’s way to win. He needed to constantly outwork everyone, outstudy them, he needed to watch more film. That was the way he was brought up and that was his language of winning. When I started with him in 2007, my biggest challenge was to get him to stop. We actually got to do less. Kobe was always like, “I got to do more.” I was like, let’s see if we can propel this back just a little bit and put different things in different compartments and get you better results and having you do actually a little bit less. It was challenging, but he was open to it.
SI: I know you and Kobe had a close relationship, as well. Where were you when you found out about his death? Tim Grover: I was in Chicago, and I started to receive all these texts. And I was like, “Nah, that’s not true. Someone is playing games.” Then I got a call from people that were extremely close to in his private life and they were like, this is true. This actually happened. It really froze me. I just couldn’t believe it. It literally didn’t hit me until three days later. I was sleeping, and all of a sudden I just woke up and I just was like, “He is really gone.” It was really hard because you don’t want to believe it. You just didn’t want to believe it, not only for himself but for his daughter and for everyone else. You can’t describe the feeling. The only people that could understand it are the ones that were really, really close to him.
SI: I love this line in the book: “When you’re iconic, you can never be duplicated.” Do you think anyone can try to adopt MJ’s mindset despite not having his God-given talent? Tim Grover: You look at all his videos, everything that he ever talks about is always about the mindset. You are not going to play basketball like Michael Jordan. There are people in the NBA that are not going to play basketball like Michael Jordan. There’s not that many people that are going to play basketball like Kobe Bryant, but you can have their mindset. And that’s what winning requires you to do. That’s why I said this book is for everyone. It’s everyone that wants to have the mindset and understand the obstacles that it takes to win every single day.
In the NBA’s offseason of 2001, then-Celtics forward and Chicago native Antoine Walker received an unexpected phone call from retired superstar Michael Jordan. “He called me,” Walker said on the McNeil & Parkins Show on Tuesday. “And he was like, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about making a comeback. I need you in the gym with me.'” With the help of Walker and personal trainer Tim Grover, Jordan wanted to begin working toward a return to basketball. It began as just the three of them, Walker said, until 2 p.m. each day, when pickup games would take place.
During the pivotal matchup, His Airness fought through flu-like symptoms to give the Chicago Bulls a 90-88 victory and 3-2 series lead over the Utah Jazz heading back to the Windy City. But according to Jordan’s longtime trainer Tim Grover, he wasn’t actually battling the flu. “One hundred percent it was food poisoning, 100%,” Grover said during a recent appearance on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast. “But, obviously, it just sounds better to be the ‘Flu Game’ than the ‘Food Poisoning Game.’ That doesn’t even roll off your tongue correctly.”
In some ways that’s not far off, according to Jordan’s personal trainer Tim Grover, who is featured prominently throughout “The Last Dance.” He confirmed food poisoning the culprit of Jordan’s ailment in an appearance on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast. “100 percent it was food poisoning. 100 percent,” Grover said. “But obviously it just sounds better to be the ‘Flu Game’ than the ‘Food Poisoning Game.’”