Michael Jordan didn’t just play with thousands of dollars, as he did with a few dollars also with his less well-off Bulls teammates.
Michael Jordan being perhaps the most competitive player in NBA history is certainly the reason why he enjoyed playing as much as he did. The game makes you feel like the best hand in the entire game is just around the corner, keeping you in this game much longer than you should have been.
Combine the euphoric feeling of having a good hand with your innate competitiveness and you become addicted to gambling. However, Michael Jordan didn’t just bet money on card games. He would be in debt of millions of dollars for golf games and also lose a few dollars in a coin toss game.
—Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 8, 2021
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These are just two examples of several other activities that Jordan has bet on. They were used to show that he would almost put money on the line for anything and everything.
Of course, just because he gambled in a variety of activities doesn’t mean he wasn’t tough on the cards.
Michael Jordan wanted to play with $1 just to get his teammates’ money.
It’s a well-known fact that the flight of the Chicago Bulls throughout the 1990s, like many team planes in that era, were borderline casinos. Guys would put thousands and thousands of dollars in the pot and bet with similar amounts of money in hand.
Michael Jordan, along with the older Bulls statesmen who made more money than the rest of the team, would play with that kind of money on the back of the plane. However, the front of the plane was reserved for actors like John Paxson and Will Perdue, who didn’t make exactly $30 million a year.
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This is where Jordan’s hyper-competitiveness kicked in. Despite playing cards for exorbitant sums with guys who were actually willing to pay, he wanted to get to the front of the airplane.
MJ wanted to play cards with the ‘$1 guys’. Paxson and the others didn’t know why he wanted to do this. Asked about it, Michael Jordan said: “So I can say I have your money in my pocket.”