We have all heard many stories about Michael Jordan‘s competitiveness, especially on the basketball court. It appears that Jordan’s competitive nature seeps into all areas of his life, too, even outside of basketball. However, actor Will Smith, who is friends with the Chicago Bulls legend, once revealed the one area of Jordan’s life where he may actually take an L.
Michael Jordan is competitive outside of basketball
There have been many stories told about Michael Jordan’s love for competition, whether it comes to actually playing basketball or just playing cards.
However, actor Will Smith took it to another level.
“We’ve hung out a few times,” Smith said in 2017 on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “(Hanging out with him) it’s like a competition. Mike and Tiger [Woods] are the two most competitive people I’ve ever met on Earth. … I love being around people with that kind of competitive energy, but Mike will compete with anything, though. If we’re drinking water, Mike will be like, ‘I’ll race you.’ ‘We can just drink our water, Mike. We don’t have to race.’”
He continued: “You can’t beat Mike in anything. If he can’t beat you, he’s not going to play. … I considered myself competitive until I spent time with them. But it’s another level, another command of their minds. You see why they win because that kind of mindset.”
However, Jimmy Kimmel then asked Smith a question that potentially revealed one area where Jordan may not actually be as competitive.
He doesn’t compete when it comes to footing the bill
During that same episode in 2017, Kimmel asked, “When you go to dinner with Michael Jordan, is he racing you to pick up the check?”
Smith answered: “Nah, yeah, he’s not good at that. … Somehow, you always get your hands to the check before him.”
Obviously, Will Smith was just joking here, but it’s definitely funny to think about, especially considering how much cash Jordan has made in his lifetime. According to Forbes, Michael Jordan’s net worth is $1.6 billion.
Whether he enjoys paying for dinner or not, though, Will Smith just further proved that the level of Michael Jordan’s competitive nature is very rare.
Michael Jordan’s competitiveness helped him become a basketball GOAT
As you probably know, Michael Jordan’s love for winning helped him become arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time.
After winning a national championship in college at the University of North Carolina and winning the 1983-84 AP Player of the Year award, Jordan went to the Chicago Bulls with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft. He ultimately became a star immediately, too. Jordan was the 1984-85 Rookie of the Year, and he earned an All-Star selection in every season that he played in but the one where he started late due to his baseball stint.
Jordan ended up earning 14 All-Star selections, five NBA MVP awards, one Defensive Player of the Year award, led the NBA in points per game 10 times, and led it in steals per game three times. He also went on to win six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and six NBA Finals MVP awards, as he and Chicago completed two separate three-peats.
For his career, Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 5.3 assists. His 32,292 career points are fifth all-time, and his 2,514 career steals are third. Additionally, Jordan’s 30.1 career points-per-game average is No. 1 all-time.
So, sure Michael Jordan’s competitive nature might be a little too much off the basketball court, but it is just right on it as he became one of the greatest basketball players of all-time because of it.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference