In their respective sports, it’s impossible to argue with Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky‘s credentials. The former man revolutionized the game of basketball; the latter rewrote the NHL record books with seeming ease. That reality, however, doesn’t mean that they’re infallible figures.
In fact, His Airness’ humanity was apparently confirmed during a trip to a casino. During a night of gambling, the Great One had to teach Michael Jordan an important financial lesson.
Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky were both historical greats
Certain athletes are so talented that they transcend the bounds of their sport and become global icons. It’s safe to say that both Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky cleared that bar without breaking a sweat.
After establishing himself as a talented college player, Jordan took things to the next level in the NBA. His Airness averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists as a rookie; while that would be the pinnacle of most player’s careers, he was just getting started. Jordan would go on to score over 30,000 points, win six championships, and claim six MVP awards while transforming the game of basketball every step of the way.
While it may be a bit blasphemous to compare anyone to MJ, Wayne Gretzky was equally dominant on the ice. Dubbed ‘the Great One’ at age 10, the center lived up to the title. During his 20 years in the NHL, Gretzky potted 894 goals while recording 2857 assists; unsurprisingly, he also dominated the awards scene, claiming four Stanley Cups, nine Hart Trophies, and 10 Art Ross Trophies.
Wayne Gretzky teaches the importance of tipping
Other than his pure basketball talent, Michael Jordan is defined by his intense will to win; even other Chicago Bulls weren’t safe from His Airness’ wrath. Wayne Gretzky, however, wasn’t afraid of showing up the NBA legend.
The incident in question apparently took place in a Las Vegas casino, when both men were gambling together. The Great One noticed Jordan’s tipping habits and felt like he needed to teach the guard a lesson.
“I remember a night when Wayne Gretzky insulted Michael Jordan at the table,” Rich Strafella, a gaming executive, told UrbanDaddy in 2010. “It was a private salon game. Michael had ordered a drink from the cocktail waitress, and he gave her a five-dollar chip. Wayne took it off the cocktail waitress’s tray, gave it back to Michael, grabbed a hundred-dollar chip from Michael’s stack, and put it on the cocktail waitress’s tray. Then he said, ‘That’s how we tip in Las Vegas, Michael.”
That’s not the only time Michael Jordan has been called cheap
While it’s unclear how Michael Jordan responded to Wayne Gretzky’s impromptu financial lesson, it’s safe to assume he wasn’t thrilled by the public putdown. His Airness’ tipping habits, however, aren’t a secret.
In the past, Charles Barkley has gone on the record as saying that Jordan is incredibly cheap. “I think that’s why [Tiger Woods and Jordan are] rich,” he once explained to Conan O’Brien. “They don’t tip. That’s their secret to being rich, they don’t tip.”
You won’t have to worry about Barkley’s tips, though.
“I think it’s important when you’re successful, the waiter, the waitresses, the blackjack dealers, they work extremely hard, they don’t get a great salary,” Sir Charles continued. “The more successful you are, the more you should tip, I truly believe that. … I never went overboard. I tipped $25,000 before. I won about $700,000 at a blackjack. You have to tip. I probably should have tipped more, to be honest with you.”