If you’re an NBA fan, there’s no bigger star than Michael Jordan. During his time on the hardwood, His Airness literally changed the game of basketball; he was an incredible talent, a serial winner, and a ruthless trash-talker. Those traits aren’t just limited to shooting hoops, though. Anthony Anderson experienced that reality firsthand.
On a recent podcast, the actor shared a story about playing dominoes against Michael Jordan. While it was only supposed to be a friendly game, things escalated pretty quickly.
Michael Jordan was a legendary winner, no matter the competition
It goes without saying that Michael Jordan was a uniquely-talented basketball player. He was more than just skilled, though. His Airness also refused to lose.
Growing up, Jordan honed those competitive instincts by battling with his brother, Larry. They were put to an immediate test in high school when Michael failed to make the varsity basketball team at the first attempt. While the rejection stung, MJ buckled down; he dominated the JV competition and, the following season, made the top squad.
From there on, Jordan was on the road to stardom, picking up plenty of silverware along the way. In high school, he was named a McDonald’s All-American; at the University of North Carolina, he won an NCAA title and the 1984 National College Player of the Year crown. Then, of course, he went on to dominate the NBA, winning six championships, five MVP awards, and virtually every other honor imaginable.
His Airness’ victories didn’t just come on the basketball court, though. He needed to win, period. From cheating at Yahtzee to betting on who’s bag would hit the airport luggage carousel first, Jordan was always ready to prove he was the top dog.
Trash-talking his way to the top
Michael Jordan also had another weapon in his arsenal, though. Beyond incredible talent and a refusal to accept anything short of the best, he was also a legendary trash talker.
Similar to stories about Jordan cheating or otherwise doing whatever it took to win, basketball lore is filled with tales about his trash-talk. According to one report, for example, he ruined Rodney McCray’s career by telling him that he was, and always had been, a loser during a scrimmage. Yes, a scrimmage; McCray and Jordan were teammates at the time.
The trash talk wasn’t limited to basketball, though. On one occasion, for example, he asked Bill Clinton if he was planning on golfing from “the little girls’ tees” and challenged him to break 100 during their round.
Michael Jordan apparently had an epic game of dominoes with Anthony Anderson
Anderson recently appeared on the “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” podcast and shared a story about playing MJ in dominoes. Needless to say, things got pretty heated.
Anderson began by asking Jordan to play a game with a custom set of Jumpman dominoes; the actor considers himself “the MJ of dominoes.” That comparison, however, apparently didn’t sit well with His Airness.
“And he turned to my wife,” Anderson explained, according to the New York Post, “and he said, ‘Sweetheart, I suggest you go to the bank and take out as much money as you can. Because after I whip his ass, he will not be able to provide for you and your children.”
Things didn’t stop there, though. While Anderson was initially basking in the experience of playing dominoes against a living legend, Jordan kept up his verbal attacks. “MJ is talking cash s–t. He’s talking about my momma. He’s talking cash trash, and I have to sit there and just take it,” the actor remembered.
Eventually, though, Anderson came out on top and won the game. As you might assume, Jordan didn’t take the defeat too well.
“Whenever we’re taking a group photo or picture … he tells me to get out of the picture,” Anderson said.
The two men, however, are apparently friends. Michael Jordan may not hate to lose but, based on Anderson’s story, it does seem like he recognizes game.