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Michael Jordan, Once Accused of Eating Too Much McDonald’s and Disregarding His Health, Once Confessed He Found a ‘Safe Haven’ in Food (2017)

Published 12/20/2022, 12:30 PM EST

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Michael Jordan was supreme on the court. There was nothing he couldn’t do. While he managed to surprise those watching him time and again, Jordan created magic as no one else had. This is the opinion of many. His game had reached a level where people didn’t ask for more. They just were happy watching him play. However, former NBA player Olden Polynice had a different opinion. While he voiced this out, Michael Jordan had a confession to make.

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Drafted in 1987, Olden Polynice played in the center position. He hopped around from team to team in the league. However, he faced Michael Jordan on several occasions. Having watched the six-time champion’s greatness up close, Polynice believed that Jordan had more to offer only if he had a better lifestyle. He believed that Jordan’s love for food and cigars had stopped him from reaching a higher level. He said, “Can you imagine if this guy ate right instead of eating McDonald’s, did not drink, and did not smoke?” With that said, His Airness had an opposing view, especially on the matter of food.


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Michael Jordan and his safe haven

In an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine (2017), the six-time finals MVP spoke candidly about his life, endorsements, and business ventures. While speaking about this, he disclosed the thought and idea behind the launch of his steak house.

Jordan was asked, “Was there something about being in the restaurant business that interested you personally?” His reply proved that he didn’t see an issue with his eating habits.


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For Jordan, being in the restaurant business meant having a place that he could control. He found this to be “intriguing”. Jordan believed that having his own restaurant helped him have his fun and do things his way. He said, “It’s a safe haven for me, and yet at the same time it’s a great business.” 


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Michael Jordan’s steak house restaurants first opened in 1998. In the words of Jordan, the opportunity was presented to him and since he loves food, it felt like the perfect concept. He partnered up with The Cornerstone Group to start these restaurants.

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Being an owner of a restaurant, let alone a bunch of them, was never part of Jordan’s plan. However, as the stars aligned and the opportunity was given to him, he ventured out to understand the business. Soon, the 14-time NBA All-Star was able to launch a successful business venture. Now Michael Jordan’s steak houses are in various locations around the country.


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Written by:

Shriya Rajachandra


One take at a time

Shriya Rajachandra is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Communicative English. Shriya previously interned at The New Indian Express, but her favorite journalist, Marcus Thompson motivated her to start writing about basketball.
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Edited by:

Gideon Mathson