Michael Jordan Was Once in the Same Room With an Italian Mafia Boss – What Happened Next?

Published 08/14/2021, 4:53 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’s fame has come largely from his illustrious NBA career. However, anyone who has followed his journey is well aware of his other interests, ranging from golf to betting. Already highlighted a little in last year’s The Last Dance, the Chicago Bulls legend is known to make random bets on various games – sometimes only for a few bucks.

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During an interview with Mike Tyson, an Italian mobster recalled one such story about Jordan, which revolves around a five-buck bet.

What does the Italian mob boss have to say about Michael Jordan?

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While the interview started with a basic conversation, they soon moved on to athletes, speaking of how they love to bet and gamble. They even mentioned how it is the competition that makes them gamble, which involves high stakes. With that, as Jordan is mentioned, the mobster shared an anecdote about the time he spent with NBA players.


I love Jordan. To me, he’s still my all-time favorite basketball player, but we were at a security meeting once with the NBA, and Michael’s playing the head of security for table tennis,” he added, explaining that Jordan was playing for bucks. “Of course, Michael wins. He wins everything.”
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However, as they were about to leave when Horace Grant was in his warmup gear, Jordan asked them to go get his five bucks. “He goes up, he comes down. He hands Michael the five bucks. I witnessed it all and Horace looks and he said “Michael, five bucks?”, and he says ‘yeah. This is my trophy. I beat you’. Puts it in his pockets and walks away. I said ‘wow, this is intense’.”

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Later, he discussed how he does understand why people gamble, even if he himself was not into it.

AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Ex-NBA star Michael Jordan watches the action during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 26, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

That being said, other NBA icons like Charles Barkley have often discussed Jordan’s gambling. In an interview with SportsCenter, Barkley revealed that Jordan gambled every day while competing in the 1992 Olympics, where they often went big.

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Jordan’s gambling in Vegas during the postseason had also had gotten people curious, many wondering if it affected his game.

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Devika

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