Michael Jordan is (arguably) the greatest basketball player who ever graced an NBA court, and you don’t become the best at anything without being a complete sociopath. Jordan’s drive to win on and off the court has led to myriad Michael Jordan rumors, which make him out to be kind of a crazy person, but also exactly who you want him to be. Most Michael Jordan gossip relates to his outrageous gambling habits, but there are some tall tales about Jordan that veer into very dark territory. Some of these unbelievable Michael Jordan stories from off the court will definitely change the way you look at number 23.
It turns out that even when Jordan is gambling with other players on a plane, he takes things very seriously. Don’t even try to best him in a game of Bejeweled Blitz. These funny stories about Michael Jordan illustrate just how strange a character he is, while humanizing him a bit, even when he’s doing stuff only kings in Shakespeare do. Whether you worship the ground MJ walks on or think he’s an overrated creep, there’s a story on here that you’ll enjoy. You never know, you might end up liking him a little more after checking out this crazy Michael Jordan gossip.
Jay Williams, who spent his only year in the NBA with the Bulls before injuring himself out of the league in a motorcycle accident, broke down the economics of being a young NBA star and the culture of rampant spending on frivolous things in an appearance on the Brilliant Idiots podcast in 2015.
Among other things, Williams spoke of teammates who went up against the big boys when making bets:
"I used to have dudes on our team who were messing around with MJ. And MJ was like, ‘Bet it back, bet this back. And I’m like, ‘Why are you f*cking with the big bank? Why are you f*cking with Brand Jordan? Think about gambling to the next degree. Rock, paper, scissors you bet $20,000 all day long. Why wouldn’t you? You get bored."
According to Williams, MJ would offer other players a chance to buy back debts as big as $100k with Rock, Paper, Scissors.
According to Michael Jordan, if you're going to cheat on your wife, you've got to do it right. Especially if you're a married celebrity with a reputation and a whole lot of money riding on it.
MJ supposedly said of Tiger Woods, "[He's] an idiot. I tried to help him, but the kid’s gonna get caught.” Supposedly, in order for a woman to get in touch with (or maybe get touched by?) Michael, she had to go through multiple undercover former narcotics detectives in a lengthy vetting process. If the woman wasn't approved by all of the agents, she didn't get an audience with His Airness.
Take this story with a grain of salt, because it rides the gossip train so hard it derails it and flies off into the wilds of batsh*t insane conspiracy theory.
When Michael's father, James Jordan, was shot and killed in 1993, a contingency of sports writers believed the murder had something to do with MJ's love of gambling and habit of not paying up when he lost. The conspiracy was bolstered when the man who went to prison for killing James, Daniel Green, spoke of being a pawn. Larry Demery, Green's co-defendant, accused Green of pulling the trigger.
To quote a conversation between Green and a reporter:
"'I did not kill him; that's cut and dry. It's not like I was even there when he was killed.'
'He said you did it," reporter Mark Roberts asked. "How do you feel about Larry Demery?'
'I feel that both of us are pawns in a game,' Green said. 'Of course, I'm upset for the way he did it.'"
Because Jordan was such a competitive weirdo with the other members of the Bulls, he bet and challenged them on anything he could, even, according to rumor, the size of their children's penises. Before a game in New York, Jordan, Pippen, and Grant, all of whom had boys younger than three at the time, debated for half and hour about whose child had the biggest penis. They eventually agreed it was Pippen’s. Which makes sense, because, as the rumor mill has it, "Scottie was very blessed down below. And that killed Michael."