10 of the Craziest Stories You Will Ever Hear About Michael Jordan

  • 1. That HS story

    Michael Jordan’s shortcomings as a sophomore basketball player at Laney High School have been used as motivation for not only him, but for millions of athletes and people who were told they couldn’t do something without the aid of hard work. The story is that Michael Jordan tried out for the basketball team in the 10th grade, and ultimately was cut. His perseverance and will landed him on the team the next year, and we guess he turned out to be pretty successful. It has later been revealed that Jordan was sent down to junior varsity because there weren’t enough spots on the varsity squad, and that he would’ve been seldom used as a ninth grader, anyway. But hey, who’s counting?

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  • 2. That time Jerry Stackhouse beat him one-on-one

    It’s never actually been revealed that Jerry Stackhouse was able to beat MJ in one-on-one games. But what we do know is that there was a time when Stackhouse was one of the nation’s top draft prospects, and as a fellow North Carolina Tar Heel, that he and Jordan often battled during the dog days of summer. Myth has it that Stackhouse did well against Jordan in those sessions, and we suppose that it may have been the only place where he did well, because during the Bulls’ record 72-10 season, he let MJ have 48 points in three quarters while Stackhouse and teammate Vernon Maxwell, who was getting in on the verbal sparring, were left with a combined 17 points and five field goals. Real Gs move in silence like lasagna.

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  • 3. Mel Turpin didn't deserve it

    There’s the story of a night against the Jazz, where Jordan makes a quick post move, and dunks over John Stockton, who probably isn’t more than 6-0, sans sneakers. From the sidelines, former Jazz owner Larry Miller yelled, “Why don’t you do that against someone your own size?” So, the next time Mike goes down the court: YAK.

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  • 4. That time he talked trash to Bill Clinton

    You’re golfing with the president. You let the president play his game, you play yours. You don’t insult the president’s handicap. You let him play as close to the cup as he wants. You don’t ask him if he’s going to “play from the little girl’s tees.” You just don’t. Legend has it, that’s what Michael Jordan told Bill Clinton during a session.

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  • 5. He actually wasn't the only one in the league wearing Air Jordans

    We’ll let Kendall Gill explain. Click the video for the short story.

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  • 6. MJ didn't always have confidence

    Former Wizards coach Doug Collins lets us in on a private moment with he and Michael, letting us know that everyone needs a bit of positive reinforcement from time to time.

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  • 7. The real "Flu Game"

    Everyone knows the story. Everyone’s seen the game. Jordan being held up by Scottie Pippen after Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals in Salt Lake City. According to legend, Jordan had the flu. But over time the story has come out, and as Jordan’s former trainer Tim Grover says to TrueHoop TV (as well as Jalen Rose here), it was a little more than just the flu.

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  • 8. Two left feet

    The 1992 Dream Team is capable of a post of their own when it comes to tales. But one story comes from that summer, where Michael Jordan had cemented his legacy as possibly the best 2-guard in the history of the game. He’d been fresh off a victory against the Portland Trail Blazers and Clyde Drexler, whom many saw as Jordan’s only legitimate competition at their position. With that said, during Dream Team practice, Drexler accidentally brings two left shoes to practice, but because he didn’t want Jordan to find out…he wore them anyways. Yes, for the entire practice session. Apparently Jordan wasn’t aware of this, but laughed it off some years later. Next time, just come to the gym with your kicks already laced up.

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  • 9. Glove? No love

    Here’s a joke.

    Michael Jordan and Gary Payton are in a club. Gary Payton goes up to Michael and begins bragging about his new contract. Gary Payton tells Michael that he has enough money for a Ferrari Testarossa.

    Michael replies, “You pay for those? I get them for free.”

    That trash-talking extended to the court, too, especially during the ’96 NBA Finals.

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  • 10. The Bulls weren't going to pass it to him for "The Shot"

    It’s the 1989 NBA Playoffs. The Bulls are in Game 5 of their series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan was somewhat of a closer at this stage of his career, but nothing like what he would later become. Coach Doug Collins calls a timeout, and while in the huddle, he draws up a play for little used Bulls forward Dave Corzine. He decided to go with Corzine because he assumed that the double-team would be focused on Jordan, leaving a free shooter. Needless to say, with a few choice words, Jordan demanded the ball. The best part about that shot? He had to double-clutch, otherwise Craig Ehlo would’ve blocked it.

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Harrowing tales of extraordinary human feats are often the theme in mythology, gods and demigods battling evil, facing adversity and, ultimately, becoming the subject of folklore. For those of us that do not have the fortunate privilege of being immortal Greek gods, having a myth that surrounds your life could be awesome, or terribly awful, and obviously your personality will ultimately give a story wings.

In basketball, there are myths and legends spread from the professional ranks and streetball cultures, ranging from Dr. J and Wilt Chamberlain’s exploits before the dawn of social media to things that happen behind closed doors between players. Arguments, physical feats, trash talk. Over time, they grow in the telling and eventually they reach a point where the original truth is so stretched as to not even make sense anymore. Add in our nostalgic nature – and this is especially important with sports – and you can see where we are going. Nothing will ever be as good as it once was. No one will ever touch the good ol’ days.

Luckily, we have this thing called the Internet, so the things that used to get lost in translation now have longer legs to stand on.

If you’re someone like Michael Jordan, who doesn’t need myths to support his legend, you’ve created a body of work for the world that far exceeds any story told about you. So, in honor of MJ’s birthday, we bring to you some of the greatest stories that no one has ever heard about Michael Jordan.

Here are 10 of the Craziest Stories You Will Ever Hear About Michael Jordan.

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