Michael Jordan and the gambling world

Michael Jordan is of course world famous thanks to his achievements on the basketball court. But that is not the only reason why he is so famous. He also suffered from a gambling addiction which is said to have cost him his life in basketball.

Read his life story first. That way you will know what was going on and the impact gambling had on the rest of his life.

Gambling problem already existed when Jordan was still in school

It is often said that Michael Jordan’s problem with gambling started while he was still attending High School. Speculations are there that a bet he had with his date before the ball was the beginning. Also, people talk about a lost bet at the pool table. His opponent asked him for a check to pay. This certainly did not do him any favors, because years later it was auctioned for a lot of money.

People who knew him back then also say that the problem was obvious even then. Jordan, in fact, took every opportunity to gamble or make a bet. It didn’t really matter what. The fact that he did not have much money to bet was a stroke of luck so he did not lose much.

Gambling, gambling and more gambling

When he joined the basketball team of the Chicago Bulls, his gambling problem took a completely different turn. He managed to persuade everyone close to him to play a card game with him. And by that we don’t just mean a fun game. Think of the big stuff. He wanted to play poker and of course for money.

Always useful in his case if you have many people around you so you can always find someone to make a bet with. Money did not even play the most important role (of course he had a generous income). He just wanted to compete with someone else and preferably win, of course. This also drove him to bet big because he didn’t even care about the money.

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Opportunity of a lifetime when it comes to gambling

When Jordan joined the US basketball team in 1992, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only in sports but certainly also in gambling. The team’s training camp was in Monaco. There, of course, you could gamble to your heart’s content. Which he then certainly did not fail to do.

When the team subsequently arrived in Barcelona for the Olympic Games, he decided to organize a card game himself with a number of fellow players. Since they, of course, also had nice earnings, the stakes were certainly not high.

Big losses on the golf course

Gambling was not limited to card games such as poker. Jordan also made bets on the golf course. He lost most of them, but that did not stop him from continuing. And even there the stakes were not exactly minimal. When he had to write a check for James Bouler for over $50,000, Jordan was in big trouble.

Lawsuit in which Jordan won

This led to a lawsuit because the honesty of Bouler was questioned. It ended badly for Bouler who received a prison sentence. Jordan got off without so much as a blemish. So this did not exactly mean that he decided to give up gambling either. However, in 1993 he lost so much money that the basketball player’s name became increasingly linked to gambling rather than his sporting achievements.

In that year, he also announced for the first time that he was going to quit the sport. There was plenty of speculation as to why he was doing this and a lot of blame was placed on his emotional health at the time but the link to gambling was certainly made as well.

Reason why he quit basketball

This might just be the reason he quit, according to many rumors. During the press conference that was held after he quit, it became quite clear that he was forced to quit because of his gambling problems.

This was never explicitly mentioned as such. But there were enough hints to suggest that that was the cause. And that he was told that he was no longer welcome in the basketball world as long as he was still struggling with a gambling addiction. After that, he did return to being active in the basketball world but that didn’t happen without a struggle.

Bet on everything possible

And it is true that you certainly can’t ignore his connection and preference for gambling. Things have happened that are clearly linked to gambling and that have not helped his image as a good player. Even if you are a fan of the man himself when it comes to playing basketball, he has done some things in the area of betting that have certainly not helped his reputation. For example, you can think of the following.

  • Betting at tables in the casino where Craps was played.
  • Bet he would be the first to get his luggage.
  • WSteen, Paper and Scissors games for money.
  • Betting a lot of money during games of Poker with friends.

Needless to say, if there was any way to gamble, Jordan would take advantage of it to bet his money on it.

The murder of Jordan’s father

In 1993, Michael Jordan’s father was murdered. At the time, two teenagers were accused of the murder of James Jordan, but there were also certain rumors circulating that linked Michael Jordan’s gambling addiction to the death of his father. His gambling debts were so high that he could never pay them off and this was linked to his father’s death.

And where there is smoke, there is fire, of course, but it has remained speculation and hard evidence that he had anything to do with it has never been found. It is also actually unthinkable that a famous player would not be able to pay off his debts so that is why it remains a rumor when it comes to his father’s murder.

Form your own opinion about Michael Jordan

Not sure what to think about Michael Jordan anymore? Then read the following so that you can make your own judgments about him. It is of course entirely up to you what you think of him. Both as a player and about his life and doings in the gambling world.

  • Why did Jordan start gambling?
  • This would have happened during his school years but the exact reason is not entirely clear. What is particularly clear is that he made bets with everyone. For example, with fellow players and coaches, so the chances that he did this with friends and classmates are very significant.

  • Why and how was he caught?
  • During his athletic career with the Chicago Bulls, he was often caught betting with his fellow players. Moreover, he was also seen paying a lost bet on the golf course. And when he played blackjack in an Atlantic City casino just before a basketball final. Of course, that’s hard to ignore then. Golf wasn’t exactly his strong suit when it came to gambling. He lost a lot of money on this over time.

  • Why did he quit basketball?
  • The reason why he quit playing basketball the first time will always remain a mystery. According to his own statement at the press conference, the death of his father was the final blow. But there is still intense speculation that his gambling addiction was the main reason for quitting.

What did betting cost him?

Many people will of course be curious to know what Jordan lost by gambling and betting. How much this is exactly will never be completely clear. But he lost a lot with his golf bets in particular. There are known amounts of about $300,000 at a time. This already gives a good impression of what he lost.