“He Cheated on Few of His Bets”: Scottie Pippen Gives a Sneak Peek on Michael Jordan’s Competitive Gambling

Published 06/24/2021, 6:27 AM EDT


Michael Jordan is human after all! While his insane levels of competitiveness saw the Bulls win 6 championships in 8 years, these traits had their drawbacks. As seen in the 10-part docu-series ‘The Last Dance’, competition and confrontation fueled MJ not just on the court, but also on the gambling table.

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His teammates, Steve Kerr and Scottie Pippen, spoke about these traits as they commented on Michael Jordan‘s competitive fire and his need to dominate in every walk of life.

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The gambler – Michael Jordan’s alter ego

The league widely knew MJ for his gambling history, a vice that also landed the star in hot water in his early years with the Chicago Bulls. Most of the mainstream media thought of his betting as a black stain on his otherwise brilliant career.

‘His Airness’ also addressed these concerns at Madison Square Garden as the Bulls prepared to face the Knicks in the 1993 playoffs. MJ has always believed it was nothing but a vice, something that never made its way to his on-court performances.

Scottie Pippen vs Michael Jordan – a gambling rivalry

Pippen, in a recent appearance on the Dan Le Batard show, opened a door into his gambling days with MJ, when Jordan would bend the rules to win his bets.

Jordan used to pull Pippen into betting over Bull races in Chicago Stadium, at $100 a race. However, Jordan picked up tactics for gaining inside information from the race’s operational staff to ensure that he would be the victor.

Another one of MJ’s gambling exploits came with the surging popularity of the Air Jordan brand. Since the launch of the brand in 1985, the brand’s popularity spread all over the states and the world over.

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Watch this story – Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Other Players Michael Jordan Was Lucky To Have.

Jordan, eventually, began betting hefty betting sums on whose luggage would be sent out first by baggage claim during their road games. Pippen shed light on the incident saying – “Michael Jordan had his own beautiful bags. At this time, we didn’t have team bags, so when you saw a bag come off and it had a Jumpman on it, I’m sure for the guys working at the airport, that was the first bag they grabbed.”

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Jumpman’s gambling streaks extended well into his hobbies. There also were multiple occasions where total bets crossed the million mark, including when he golfed with Richard Esquinas and gambled in Atlantic City. But when you are a 6-time champion billionaire athlete, losing is usually of little consequence!

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Nikhil Naik

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