To me, this is every bit as shocking as Bill Romanowski’s admission that he used steroids. Jordan told 60 Minutes that he had been “stupid” in his gambling, and said, “Yeah, I’ve gotten myself into [gambling] situations where I would not walk away and I’ve pushed the envelope.”
Ya don’t say. I’ve never been a huge fan of Jordan. Greatest basketball player ever? Maybe. He certainly belongs in the discussion. But as an individual, he’s always been too… too… carefully-groomed, I guess, for me to like him a whole lot. Everything he said, did, wore, was always so carefully chosen, so as not to offend any corporate partner of his, or anyone who might one day buy his shoes.
Anyway, he’s always been so careful about what he’s said about himself… that if he admits any kind of mistake about gambling, it’s probably safe to assume that it was much worse than he’s letting on. MJ is not someone who’s going to admit any of his personal foibles. Anything he says it going to be carefully measured, so as to minimize any negative impact.
There were rumors that he took the year off from basketball because of gambling problems, there were rumors that his father’s death was related to gambling… I’m not saying either of those things are true, and I doubt they are, but… there are probably people in the world somewhere that have some crazy-ass Michael Jordan gambling stories.
Some people are just competition freaks… they’re addicted to winning, addicted to competing. It’s easy to see how they could be drawn to gambling. And MJ had that addiction worse than maybe anyone else who’s ever lived… you can see how something like that would serve him well on the basketball court, but maybe not so well at the blackjack table.