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Michael Jordan is comfortably considered as the greatest basketball player of all time

Michael Jordan is comfortably considered as the greatest basketball player of all time

Michael Jordan is comfortably considered as the Greatest Of All Time in the sport of basketball while his legend lives on decades after he stepped away from the NBA.

‘Air’ Jordan is now back on sports fans’ lips following the airing of ESPN’s docu-series The Last Dance, which focuses on his championship-winning season with the Chicago Bulls in the 1997-98 campaign – shedding light on what happened behind closed doors in fascinating detail.

So far in the three installments, the critically-acclaimed series has dug deep into what made Jordan the phenomenon that he is while focusing on his supporting cast of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and coach Phil Jackson.

As viewers get an up close and personal look of Michael Jordan the player, fans may be left wondering what he may be like off the court.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at Michael Jordan the man – and his very colourful life – following his third and final retirement.

He earned less than $100million in his time as a player… but has since gone on to become the first billionaire athlete

After cementing his legacy on the court by becoming a six-time NBA champion, Jordan struck up a lucrative shoe deal with Nike that has seen him become the richest former professional athlete in the world.

Throughout his playing career with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, MJ made less than $100million before retiring in 2003 for a third and final time.

However, since stepping away from the court and now aged 57, Forbes estimate his net worth to be in the region of $2.1billion, becoming the first athlete to join the three-comma club.

He has an impressive estate portfolio across America, owns a golf course and multiple restaurants. 

He has gone on to become the first ever billionaire athlete with his Air Jordan brand

Jordan incurred $1.2m debt while gambling on a round of golf… before clawing it back to $300,000

MJ is known to be a notorious gambler. So much so, the former shooting guard managed to rack up a debt of $1.2million on a round of golf by betting $100,000 per hole.

The event even supposedly inspired the basketball icon to write about his gambling issues in his book titled, ‘Michael & Me: Our Gambling Addiction… My Cry For Help’.

The book details a long list of memoirs related to his gambling problem, which goes on to explain how he managed to get the staggering debt of $1.2m down to around $300,000 at the end of a 10-day golf betting marathon.

He wasn’t so lucky when he lost $5MILLION in a single night in Las Vegas

While $300,000 would’ve been chump’s change to a wealthy man like Jordan, it must’ve stung when he reportedly lost $5m in a single night inside a Las Vegas casino.

Jordan was known to have spent plenty of time in the casinos during his playing days and would even be seen trying his hands in the early hours of the morning before going to play for the Bulls.

He would also bet on almost anything and would challenge his Bulls team-mates as to whose luggage would come out first at the arrivals lounge at the airport.

While it showcased the amount of wealth Jordan had, it all came down to one thing at the end of the day: the man just hated losing. 

Tiger Woods was warned that MJ was a bad influence in 1996…

As Tiger Woods rose to fame in the 1990s, his stock in the world of golf was rapidly growing and would go on to become a superstar celebrity in his own right.

Reaching that level of fame attracted the attention of the world’s biggest stars but none more than Michael Jordan.

In an biography titled Tiger Woods, written by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, the American was reportedly warned to stay away from the Chicago Bulls star in 1996 by John Merchant – a lawyer that helped Woods’ family while he was at Stanford University.

‘Michael can play basketball as well as anyone who’s ever played the game,’ Merchant said as per Yahoo Sports. ‘There isn’t anything else that Michael is good at doing. Nothing! And he’s had too many years of being out there in public. So he’s going to try to use you.’ 

…but the pair became best friends and he would give Woods tips on how to talk to women

However, Woods, who idolised Jordan during his school years, failed to heed the advice given to him as a golfing prodigy and would strike up a strong bond with Jordan.

Before Woods inadvertently destroyed his golden boy image in 2009 following his infamous sex scandal revelations, he was seen as ‘socially awkward’ to close friends while he was said to have often hid his awkwardness around women.

According to a profile written on Woods by ESPN, Woods walked up to Jordan and Derek Jeter in a New York night club while on a night out in 1999 and asked how to talk to women.

With a confused look, Jordan and Jeter reportedly looked at each other before telling him: ‘Go tell ’em you’re Tiger Woods.’ 

He became the first player to go on to own a NBA franchise

Three years after his retirement in 2006, Jordan bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, becoming the second-largest shareholder behind majority owner Robert L. Johnson.

Having built his empire alongside Nike and his own Jordan brand, he revealed his ambitions of wanting to become the team’s majority owner in 2010.

In February of that year, his wish was granted, making him the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA team.

After being renamed the Hornets in 2014, Jordan has remained in control of the franchise ever since but has sold off a minority piece to Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim in 2019, retaining the majority of the team for himself. 

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