How Michael Jordan Handled Being so Famous in Everyday Life

Hall of Famer Michael Jordan had a quick ascension into stardom due to his incredible talent on the basketball court. Jordan became of the NBA’s most popular players from the get-go that saw that only further heighten as he progressed through his career. That alone forced Jordan to change his everyday habits as his growing popularity didn’t allow him to go about things in a normal fashion by any means. Here are a couple of things that Jordan to do to operate in public.

How Michael Jordan handles grocery shopping

During the early portion of his career, Jordan could move around more freely in the public setting.

However, that opportunity was lost in the first few years of his playing days in the NBA that forced him to take other routes to do practical things. One of which was his ability to do grocery shopping as he had to take other methods to get that done. Brad Sellers, who was one of Jordan’s former Chicago Bulls teammates, recently told Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated that the star guard had to shop after closing hours in the local grocery store in Chicago.

“You saw MJ doing laundry in the first few episodes and that was him back then, the country side of him, just living like a regular dude,” Sellers said. “But he just got bigger and bigger in basketball and to a point where he couldn’t go out. I remember saying to him one day, ‘Hey, M, how do you eat?’ …

“He told me he would call Jewel-Osco [a grocery chain] about 15 minutes before they closed, and let them know he was coming in,” Sellers said. “They would stay open later to let him shop.”

Jordan had to take the route of being the only shopper in the market to his grocery shopping done without any hindrance. The fact that he had to go after hours shouldn’t be surprising, and it didn’t come without any appreciation from him as Sellers said his teammate always significantly tipped the grocery store workers for giving him that privilege.

Michael Jordan has to rope off areas to play pool

At the height of his playing days, Jordan was easily the most popular professional athlete across the globe.

That was something that his former longtime colleague Hall of Famer Charles Barkley experienced first hand. During an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in 2005, Barkley detailed that he and Jordan had to rope off areas to play on a pool table while many people stood and watched from afar.

“When he was trying to play baseball and he was in Phoenix we go out and play pool all the time. We would rope off an area and there would be like 100 people standing behind the rope staring at him all night. It was unbelievable…When I am out with other famous people, it’s no big deal. They may ask for autograph. He’s the only person that people will stand back and stare.”

Barkley is quite popular in his own right, but Jordan’s fame is a different stratosphere. Everywhere that he goes, there are always people assumed by his sheer presence, be it if he’s playing on a pool table.

Michael Jordan has to eat food in his hotel room

Jordan’s immense popularity even forced him away from doing a casual thing such as dining at a restaurant.

That was something that Charlotte Hornets veteran big man Cody Zeller noticed right away in his rookie campaign. He recounted in his rookie journal that Jordan couldn’t even eat with the team and had to order food to be picked by someone and brought back to him.

I’ve probably seen Michael Jordan 3-4 times since being drafted. He was at our training camp all week before the season. It’s funny because when he’s around us he acts like one of the players. He’s talking about the game and whatever. It was fun at camp because he was staying in our hotel with us. It was crazy to watch all the stuff you have to do because you’re Michael Jordan. He can’t go to a restaurant and eat. He has to have someone go pick it up and bring it back to the hotel. He was locked in his room a lot of the time and couldn’t go to dinner with the rest of us.

As detailed in The Last Dance Documentary, Jordan’s peace away from the public came in his hotel room. Once he ventured out of that area, he is always in the public eye. Even well into retirement, things haven’t changed for the Bulls great.