“My wife would’ve left me….” Michael Jordan got BRUTALLY honest about $500,000 gambling loss on national television

Explore Michael Jordan's iconic era, his battles on and off the court, and how shifting perceptions on gambling redefine his legacy.

“My wife would’ve left me….” Michael Jordan got BRUTALLY honest about $500,000 gambling loss on national television

Michael Jordan courtesy Getty Images

During the 1990s, Michael Jordan lifted the NBA to new heights, and his excellence on the playing field can be said to be superhuman. Jordan’s high-stakes gambling was one of the ways the media used to tarnish his reputation despite his contributions to basketball.


Back in the 90’s Jordan used to be one of the most affluent people, thanks to his enormous Nike contract that complemented his NBA salary. While there has been a reduction in the stigma around gambling during the last 10 years, it was the main point in the accusations toward six-time NBA champions. Jordan felt that the public had no right to judge him because of his gambling and he did not violate any laws.

As a result, Michael Jordan claims that his family and ex-wife, Juanita, would have notified him when he had a problem with gambling, according to recent reports. This was said by Jordan in the course of the discussion:

No I enjoy it's a hobby if I had a problem I'd be starving I'd be hawking this watch my championship rings I would sell my house I would do this my wife had left me on she'd be starving my kids

This enabled his statement to depict him as a conscious person, who knew about the thin line between pleasure and addiction. As in his game, Jordan’s life was a high-stakes thing for him. Through this, one could notice that he knew that people kept an eye on his betting.


Reevaluating Michael Jordan’s ‘Gambling Problems’ in the Context of ‘The Last Dance

During the pandemic, fans quenched their thirst for a dose of basketball in the form of his documentary “The Last Dance”. The Netflix original series chronicled the entire journey of Michael Jordan in the NBA and even featured the Chicago Bulls that happened in the 90s.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan (image via NBA.com)

In the documentary, the 10-time scoring champion and his ‘gambling problems’ were reexamined and defended by reporters as well, including NBA Commissioner David Stern.  However, looking back, the former league executive said that he was never worried. As a result of leagues joining together with betting companies as part of sponsorship agreements, opinions on gambling have drastically changed in recent years. Compared to the 1990s, Jordan’s gambling appears to be a lot more reasonable.

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