Michael Jordan Once Had a Tragic Childhood Experience That Left Him Scared of Water for Life

Published 05/10/2022, 11:00 PM EDT
SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 06: NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and co-owner of 23XI Racing waits in the #23 DoorDash Toyota pit area prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 06, 2021 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest ever to play the game of basketball. He conquered the sport like no other and a lot of players feared him. But Jordan had aquaphobia, the fear of water. 

Michael’s fear of water started when he was a young kid. It is reported that when he was 7, one of his friends drowned in the ocean and died. And Michael was holding his friend’s hand trying to save him but he couldn’t. While he was trying to save his friend, the boy started pulling Michael down as he was drowning. Because of this incident, Jordan’s fear of water began.


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But his tragic encounters with water didn’t end there. Michael had to be pulled out of a pool a few years later. Then lightning struck for the third time when Jordan was in college when one of his girlfriends drowned. 

And his fear of water was at an all-time high. He had said that he stopped getting into the water. MJ had even admitted that he was sometimes scared to even take a bath. 

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Jordan tried to conceal this from his friends and made up excuses when it was time to go to the beach or pool. But his parents tried to help him with this fear. 

The Bulls legend had said that he had slowly overcome his fear of water as he grew older. And with all the fancy watercraft like jet skis, yachts, etc he owns now, it looks like his fear of water is not as strong.

Michael Jordan’s joy

Jordan owns an array of expensive things like supercars, superbikes, custom planes, yachts, etc. The name of the superyacht he reportedly purchased recently is ‘Joy’ which is estimated to be worth $80 million.


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PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 12: In this handout image provided by Jordan Brand, Michael Jordan paid a visit to Palais 23 this afternoon on Friday June 12, Joined by his frequent partners-in-design Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith, key figures in the 30-year evolution of the Air Jordan, Jordan has returned to Paris to mark the 30th anniversary of 1985’s Air Jordan One. Palais 23 is a spectacular tribute to the shoes, moments, designs and artifacts that have shaped the 30-year evolution of the Air Jordan. (Photo by Jordan Brand via Getty Images)

His latest addition is 230 feet in length, and 9.78 feet long. Also, ‘Joy’ can reach a maximum speed of 16 knots and has a cruising rate of 12 knots. The yacht went viral on social media after the Charlotte Hornets’ holiday party when some guests shared photos of the yacht on social media.


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There are 5 decks on the superyacht, and each deck was designed for different interests and occasions. And this allows the guests to choose between a variety of activities depending on their vibe. 

It is also reported that the fourth deck of the yacht is a convertible playground. The guests can choose between games like basketball, soccer, badminton, etc. Seeing Michael Jordan playing basketball in the middle of the ocean would erase all doubts about his aquaphobia.



Bagavathi Eswaran

962 articles

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.

Edited By: Arunaditya Aima