Even if you aren’t a basketball fan, you’re probably quite familiar with Michael Jordan. During his time on the hardwood, His Airness established himself as one of the greatest players in modern sports; that star status also helped him become a massive financial success away from the court. Despite that career and his legendary status, Jordan’s life hasn’t been perfect.
When push comes to shove, everyone, including the great Michael Jordan, is still a human being. According to Ray Lewis, the NBA legend still has one specific regret about his basketball career.
Michael Jordan’s legendary time on the hardwood
Every fan base has its fair share of legendary figures that are treated with reverence. Michael Jordan, however, commands respect across the sports world.
As the famous story goes, Jordan failed to make his high school’s varsity basketball team at the first attempt. That setback, though, couldn’t stop MJ; he made the main squad the following fall and, by the time he graduated, had become a McDonald’s All-American.
Jordan took his talents to the University of North Carolina and, unsurprisingly, kept growing into a star. As a freshman, he hit the game-winning shot to seal an NCAA title for Dean Smith’s Tar Heels; by the time he left Chapel Hill after two additional seasons, His Airness was ready to dominate.
When the 1984 NBA draft rolled around, Jordan slipped to the third-overall spot, where the Chicago Bulls snapped him up. From there, the rest is basketball history. Once His Airness got past the Detroit Pistons, he carried the Windy City club to six championships. On an individual basis, he claimed 10 scoring titles and earned five NBA MVP awards, literally changing the game of basketball in the process.
Becoming a success beyond the basketball court
When you’re the greatest basketball player in modern history, you’re able to command a sizable salary. While Michael Jordan took a while to get there, he managed to build up a massive fortune.
During his time in the association, Jordan earned $93 million; while he was the league’s top talent, he didn’t command a truly massive salary until his final two seasons with the Bulls. His star status, however, still paid dividends.
Since he was a global celebrity, MJ cashed in on his name and likeness through endorsements. Everyone knows about his massive contract with Nike and the Jordan brand, but the NBA legend has sold everything from McDonald’s and Gatorade to Hanes underwear. He’s also gotten back into basketball, taking ownership of the Charlotte Hornets.
These days, Jordan has a net worth of roughly $1.6 billion; clearly, being a living legend has its perks.
Michael Jordan apparently has one major regret about his career
Based on his basketball resume and financial portfolio, you’d assume that Michael Jordan has lived a pretty perfect life. According to Ray Lewis, however, His Airness still has one major regret.
“This is the honest goddamn truth,” Lewis once explained on Fox Sports’ Speak For Yourself. “MJ— I’ll never forget this—said to me, ‘The only thing I regret is putting on another uniform.”
As Brendan Darr observed for NBC Sports, however, it’s not exactly clear which uniform Jordan regretted. While the most logical one would be the Washington Wizards’—while His Airness was still a talented player during that comeback, it did feel a bit weird to see him wearing blue rather than red—he could also be referring to his time with the Birmingham Barons. MJ, of course, briefly left basketball behind and tried his hand at professional baseball; although he was better than you might think, he returned to the hardwood after a few years.
At the end of the day, only Michael Jordan knows what he does or does not regret. Assuming Ray Lewis is telling the truth, though, it’s a good reminder that every athlete, even His Airness, is still a human being.