Weird but True Facts About Michael Jordan
As Michael Jordan is largely considered the greatest player in the history of the NBA, there are constantly stories and anecdotes being told by former players that are revealing about the type of player and person he was.
Jordan made a career out of being the best, most intimidating, competitive player the league has ever seen, and even with all the adulation, there's still a lot of uncommon knowledge surrounding Jordan.
There are tidbits about furniture, dictators, diseases and cartoons that few people seem to be aware of. What's more, the more you learn about the guy, the more captivating he becomes.
So hopefully I can give you a bit of new info on a guy whose career has been gone through with a fine-tooth comb.
Michael Jordan's Dining Table Has 32, 292 Holes
When an artist was commissioned to make a dining room table for Michael Jordan, he put together something that looks as cold and heartless as Jordan was to his opponents but, at the same time, so interestingly meaningful.
The table is just a big hunk of metal with a bunch of holes in it, and it's even a bit uglier than I would have expected furniture in Michael's house to be.
However, when you get down and tally up all the holes in the table, the count goes up to 32,292, which is the number of points that Jordan scored in his career.
So there you go folks, iron-clad proof that Jordan isn't planning a return to the NBA. If he were to come back, he would have to get an entirely new table, as there isn't an inch of space left for new holes on his current table.
That just sounds like too big of a hassle.
He's Got a Strain of Salmonella Named After Him
Here's something only one person has been able to truthfully say in the history of mankind:
I am such a huge fan of Michael Jordan. I have a big stand-up poster of him in my office. I thought I would name this strain of salmonella for him.
In 1993, Dr. Stanford Shulman was presented with a patient that was discovered to have salmonella. After some testing and a check with the Atlanta Center for Disease Control, Shulman found that the strain of salmonella was previously undiscovered.
Shulman named the strain Salmonella mjordan.
Kim Jong Il Had a Shrine to His Airness
With Kim Jong-un hanging out with Dennis Rodman over the past few days, there's been a lot of delving deep into North Korean-NBA relations.
Kim's father, Kim Jong-il was a huge fan of Michael Jordan throughout the 1990s.
It's been documented that former Secretary of State Madeline Albright brought Kim Jong-il a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan back in 2000.
The ball sits in North Korea's Museum of International Understanding alongside a crocodile handbag from Fidel Castro, a rifle from Vladimir Putin and various other gifts from world leaders.
Jordan Was Invited to North Korea
In the year following Secretary Albright's visit to North Korea, Jordan's management team was asked if Jordan would want to visit the country and their dear leader. Needless to say, Jordan never went.
I've got no idea how a meeting between Jordan and Kim Jong-il might happen, but my guess is that it would go somehow along the plot line of Space Jam, only with no Looney Toons around to help out.
Kim would attempt to kidnap Jordan, Jordan would play against the best genetically altered players that North Korea had to offer and he would win handily.
Kim Jong-il never did get to meet his basketball hero, as he died late in 2011, but at least his son got to meet Dennis Rodman, which is a fine consolation prize.
Seriously, Michael Really Loves Cigars
Michael Jordan dropped some coin on a new mansion in Jupiter, Florida that was nearing completion by the end of last year, and the compound seems to have been built to his exact specifications.
Not only is it enormous, it houses a basketball court (obviously), 11 bedrooms, a pool house, guest house and guard house, plus it's built around the Jack Nicklaus Bear Club.
Sure, it sounds like any other athlete's mansion, but this one also has a personal movie theater built to handle huge amounts of cigar smoke.
Something tells me that if there need to be special specifications made to deal with smoke dispersal, Jordan's going to be sucking a few back on a daily basis.
Jordan Smoked a Cigar on His Way to Home Games
Keeping on the cigar kick, there's also an incredibly dense interview with Jordan from the July/August 2005 edition of Cigar Aficionado in which he covers everything from the normal basketball questions to the in-depth questions that only a cigar-smoking maniac would be able to handle.
Easily the most intriguing bit of information to come from the interview is that Jordan started to smoke in 1991 and became a daily smoker by 1993, the height of his pre-baseball career.
It was to the point that Jordan would ease the stress of his hour-long drives to the stadium before games by smoking a cigar on his way to work.
In true Phil Jackson fashion, Chicago's head coach had no problem with Jordan's habit, especially after seeing them to multiple championships.
He Donated His Entire 2001-02 Salary to 9/11 Charities
By the time Michael Jordan returned to the NBA for the second time, he had made nearly $90 million in contracts from playing basketball alone, not to mention the millions more from endorsements with everything from Nike to Wheaties.
That's why Jordan made no hesitation to donate his entire 2001-2002 paycheck, which totaled up to a million bucks, to various charities working to help out after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin set up the Washington Sports and Entertainment Education Fund, which helped support families affected by helping their children pay for whatever education expenses they might incur.
Jordan donated $100,000 to Pollin's fund, and the rest went to various organizations involved in relief efforts.
MJ Was in a Cartoon Before Space Jam
To most people, it would seem that Michael Jordan made his cartoon debut when he appeared in a Nike commercial with Bugs Bunny back in 1993, soon followed by Space Jam in 1996.
However, Jordan starred with Wayne Gretzky and Bo Jackson in the short lived Pro Stars back in 1991.
The theme song was terrible, the name of the show was beyond bad and the show itself was over-the-top cheesy.
Nonetheless, Jordan's character (voiced by Dorian Harewood) starred, as he was the leader of this particular squad of super heroes.
Along with Jordan, Gretzky and Jackson, the show featured an old woman simply called "Mom" who invented crime-fighting tools, Denise (mom's apprentice) and special appearances from Marv Albert and Mike Fratello along the way.
It lasted all of 13 episodes.
Jordan Never Saw His Shot over Ehlo Go in
It's as legendary a shot as Jordan ever made, yet he claims that he never saw the ball hit the bottom of the net.
I never saw it go in, but I knew right away from the crowd reaction—silence—that it was good." Jordan smiled slightly. "Then I did something maybe I shouldn't have. I really celebrated and shouted, "It's over!' I really felt justice was served.
Watching the clip again and again almost makes it seem impossible that he didn't see it, although there is a slight turn of his head right as the ball is above the rim, so maybe that just put the shot out of his line of sight.
There's also the chance the adrenaline was so much that Jordan just zoned past the ball and focused on the crowd.
That realization doesn't necessarily make the shot any better, but for some reason, it still seems amazing.
His Worst Was Better Than Harold Miner's Best
As Harold Miner dominated the NCAA at USC, he was among the best players in the nation, albeit incredibly raw.
Drafted 12th by the Miami Heat in 1992, Miner was heralded as the first "Next Michael Jordan" and was given the nickname "Baby Jordan" for his troubles.
After all the hoopla, Miner played for just four seasons, averaging just nine points, two rebounds and an assist for his career.
If you take Miner's 1994 season in which he averaged 10.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists and compare it to Jordan's 82 worst games, Jordan still wins.
Factor in the defense that Jordan played and Miner didn't, and you've got a clear-cut choice. Horrible Jordan beats terrific Miner every day of the week.