Every sneakerhead was most likely tuned in to the 10 part documentary series The Last Dance which focused on the Chicago Bulls 1998 season, but also went very deep on the entire career of Michael Jordan. We were also watching over here at Kicks Collector headquarters, and here are five interesting tidbits from our perspective.
Jordan wanted to work with Adidas
Yes, it’s hard to believe. In the mid-1980s, Converse was the king of all basketball shoes and endorsements from the likes of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. After Jordan’s explosive rookie season, it made total sense that he wanted to get into the shoe game. Adidas was enjoying pop-culture success by working with rap icons Run DMC, but Jordan wanted his own shoe line, and they were not ready to take this on yet. Of course, years later they went ahead with this concept and created Yeezys with Kanye West. Nike was very interested in working with Jordan, but he was initially very hesitant. It took his Mom’s convincing to take the meeting, and the rest is Air Jordan history.
Jordan’s baseball career ended because of the strike
Everybody knows that Michael Jordan walked away from basketball to play baseball in 1994. He was working his way up in the minor leagues and was getting close to being called up into the majors. When the baseball strike happened, he was not willing to be called up along with the other minor league players in that situation. This frustration led to MJ eventually quitting baseball. He was not the greatest baseball player, but had the strike not happened, he could’ve gone on to play the White Sox instead of going back to basketball for another threepeat.
Jordan wore number 45 when he came back in 1995
Michael Jordan and the number 23 seem virtually interchangeable. We often forget he came back to the Chicago Bulls in 1995 wearing number 45 instead. After a less than stellar start, most likely because his body had been in training for baseball instead of basketball, he decided to back to that magic number 23. They ended up winning the championship that season, along with the following two, so maybe there was some magic in the number.
Jordan’s dad’s death is still puzzling
James Jordan Sr attended a funeral in North Carolina in July 1993. He decided to pull over on side the road to catch up on some much-needed sleep. Two men found him, shot him, and dumped his body into a swamp. They proceeded to steal his car and were captured almost immediately after using his phone. The Last Dance discusses the bizarre theory that he was murdered because of Michael Jordan’s gambling debts. Jordan stated that he only gambled with friends on their golfing matches, but there’s probably more to the story. It seems like James could have easily found and afforded a motel, but his family said he used to pull over and sleep in his car often.
Jordan’s “flu game” illness was from tainted Pizza
Jordan carried the Chicago Bulls to a 90-88 victory over the Utah Jazz in game five of the 1997 Finals. He managed to score 38 points while suffering from a horrible flu like symptoms and it’s part of his amazing legacy. The Last Dance goes into depth on this incident. Apparently, MJ was very hungry the night before, and the only food available to order was pizza. He ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut located in Park city, Utah. Hours after eating the entire pizza, he was on the floor and could barely move. Supposedly, five people delivered the pie, which seemed strange and suggests that they knew it was going to Jordan. The assistant manager, Craig Fite, claimed that he personally made the pizza and there were no intentional shenanigans.