THROWBACK: Celtics Legend Danny Ainge Once Mocked Michael Jordan’s Baseball Skills On Live TV

Published 08/15/2021, 9:34 AM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO – OCTOBER 10: U.S. Team assistant Michael Jordan watches the action on #15 during the third round morning foursome matches for The Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Club on October 10, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)


Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan made two comebacks to NBA after retiring. Jordan retired for the first time in 1993 and signed a contract with Minor League Baseball team Chicago White Sox for the next year. Another basketball great, Danny Ainge, also plied his trade in baseball. However, Ainge played in Major League Baseball and is one of the 13 players to play in the NBA and MLB.

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In the last years of his NBA career, Danny Ainge mocked Michael Jordan, who had just started his baseball career, on live TV. Toronto Blue Jays drafted Danny Ainge in 1977. The two-time NBA champion spent three seasons in the MLB and made his name in basketball, with the Boston Celtics drafting him in 1981.

Michael Jordan playing baseball for the Birmingham Barrons in the Arizona Fall League, early 1994 (Photo by Scott Clarke/WireImage)

Danny Ainge mocked Michael Jordan on his MLB chances

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Danny Ainge was heading towards his last season as a professional basketball player when he came in front of live TV and mocked Jordan’s chances at MLB.

“I think it’s a real longshot, and at the same time I think it’s exciting and I’m rooting for him (Michael Jordan). It’s kind of fun. But I don’t think he’s got much of a chance,” Ainge said.

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While Danny Ainge may presently be associated with basketball nowadays, he was equally good in baseball as well. Toronto Blue Jays picked him 15th overall in the 1977 amateur draft. In fact, his switch to basketball wasn’t easy. Boston Celtics had to buy out his contract from the ‘Jays’ in order to sign him.

Michael Jordan’s baseball career

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Michael Jordan’s baseball career wasn’t as successful as Ainge’s. Jordan signed with Chicago White Sox, who were owned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Jerry continued to respect Jordan’s basketball contract during the two-season hiatus. Jordan first featured for Birmingham Barons in the Double-A minor league and batted .202. He then appeared for Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League batting .252. However, Jordan announced his comeback to the NBA in 1995 and helped Chicago Bulls win their second three-peat of NBA championships.

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Abhishek Singh

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