Michael Jordan is probably the most competitive guy in the world and has a reputation for not appreciating when others experience success or enjoyment at his expense. While most people are aware of that fact, Eminem apparently learned about it the hard way.
If you were lucky enough to watch Jordan play in his prime or have simply seen The Last Dance, you know His Airness does not play around when there’s anything on the line, whether we’re talking about basketball, a card game, or a wager on the golf course.
After all, this is a man who once bribed baggage handlers to ensure his luggage would come out first at the airport to win bets with his teammates during road trips. That’s a level of degeneracy you can’t help but respect.
It would be a stretch to suggest Jordan doesn’t have a sense of humor, but based on everything I know about him, it can be pretty hard to get him to crack a smile. Again, this is only based on what I’ve seen, but he seems like he’s the kind of guy who loves to dish it out but is slightly less receptive when it comes to taking it.
There are countless stories about people who made the ill-fated decision to get on M.J.’s bad side before getting some fairly swift retribution, and while Eminem may have managed to avoid suffering his full wrath when everything was said and done, he definitely got a memorable lesson in how to act in his presence.
Eminem thought he screwed up a potential business deal with Michael Jordan over a joke
In 2015, Eminem linked up with the Air Jordan brand for the first time in conjunction with Carhartt for the collaboration that led to the creation of the Retro ‘Black Chrome’ Jordan 4s that currently go for some staggering prices on the resale market.
The rapper has kept the relationship going with a couple of other pairs of incredibly sought-after kicks, but as he once recalled while discussing his initial phone call with the NBA legend, he was pretty afraid a very lighthearted comment had torpedoed that relationship before it officially began.
Eminem said he and Jordan seemed to be getting along until he decided to cap off the conversation with the following remark: “Yo man, when are you going to come to Detroit so I can dunk on you?” Unfortunately, that comment was greeted by “crickets,” and the Detroit native said he had to deal with a torturous and lengthy silence before Jordan broke out an incredibly sarcastic chuckle.
Eminem said that he was legitimately convinced he’d blown the potential deal when the call came to a very awkward close. That didn’t turn out to be the case, but the fact that Jordan failed to see the humor in what seems like an incredibly obvious joke delivered by a 5’8″ guy who can’t even touch the backboard speaks volumes about just how serious M.J. is.
I feel like this is the kind of mental calculus a lot of celebrities have to do when they cross paths with other famous people. In situations like that, it seems like you’re going to be treated to one of two scenarios: you either find yourself engaging in a battle of egos or get comfortable enough to let your guard down a bit because the other person knows what you’re dealing with on a daily basis.
If one of those celebrities is Michael Jordan, I feel like the former is going to unfold 99.9% of the time. He’s never going to let you get the upper hand, but based on what he’s been able to achieve, it’s seemed to work out pretty well for him.