It’s common knowledge by now that Michael Jordan would do anything to win. During his playing days, Jordan put on his tyrant hat to force his teammates to play the way he wanted them to. Interestingly, this win-at-all-costs attitude extended far beyond the basketball court. Jordan exhibited a questionable attitude twice in a game of cards.
It’s all about winning
Author Chuck Klosterman brought up the infamous Jordan story in his ESPN column. Klosterman noted that the story has been romanticized over the years since the incident involved a renowned sports figure. Things would’ve been different if it was another dude who cheated on an old lady in a card game.
“There is a famous story about Michael Jordan visiting the home of North Carolina teammate Buzz Peterson; while playing a casual game of cards with Peterson's mother, Jordan attempted to cheat while the old woman was using the bathroom. This is often used as an example of what made Jordan so awesome; he would do absolutely anything to win, regardless of the circumstance,” Klosterman wrote.
This story is consistent with Phil Jackson’s revelation on the difference between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. According to Zen Master, Kobe’s obsession with competition started and ended in basketball. Meanwhile, Jordan is competitive on literally everything.
David Blaine vs Michael Jordan
Perhaps this is what it means to win by any means necessary. It doesn’t just mean putting your heart and soul into everything. It also means engaging in nefarious means such as cheating. It sounds a bit off and awkward but this is the reality.
Speaking of cards, Jordan’s cheating antics (or a futile attempt at it) was once caught on camera. Renowned magician David Blaine did a card trick on Jordan several years ago. Jordan didn’t behave like your normal subject. As observed in the video below, Jordan tried to trick Blaine. He didn’t even want to flip over his card to complete the magic trick.
Haters would probably use these instances against Jordan to boot him out of the GOAT pedestal. They would claim that Jordan is one big cheat and therefore doesn’t deserve to be heralded as a great sports figure. But the reality is, these are just small and trivial instances. Like in the Blaine episode, Jordan was probably laughing out loud as he tried to scam the old lady.