Michael Jordan and Mike Tyson are two of the biggest names in the history of sports. Both were the absolute best at their respective sports at one point in time. Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and is considered by many as the best basketball player the world has ever seen. Tyson was once the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and is looked at as one of the most dangerous fighters of all time.
But they also have something else in common. They were both once involved with actress Robin Givens. Michael Jordan dated the “Head of the Class” star in his early days in the NBA and Mike Tyson was married to her for just over a year in 1988-1989.
If a story from Mike Tyson’s longtime manager, Rory Holloway, is to be believed, this led to quite the confrontation between the two at a Chicago restaurant.
Michael Jordan’s early days in the NBA
Michael Jordan revealed during the first episode of “The Last Dance” documentary on ESPN that his early days in the NBA weren’t what he expected them to be. He was just 21 years old when he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984 but had no idea of the level of drug use in the league at the time. When asked about the Bulls’ “traveling cocaine circus”, Jordan threw his head back in laughter, saying he had never heard that term before. But he did recall a time during the preseason his rookie year in Peoria, IL when he walked in on many of his teammates doing cocaine and smoking weed and he wanted no part of it.
Jordan simply wanted to do his own thing and as someone in his early 20s, that naturally included dating. One of the young women he dated back then was a young actress named Robin Givens, back when nobody really knew who she was. Things obviously didn’t last long and Givens would find herself with another athlete a short time later.
Mike Tyson married Robin Givens in 1988
After seeing Robin Givens on television one day, Mike Tyson was infatuated with the young actress and the two soon started dating. Not even a year into their relationship, the pair were married in early 1988, the same year Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds. However, the marriage did not go well as Givens told Barbara Walters on “20/20” that life with Tyson was “pure hell.”
Tyson would later admit that he physically abused Givens during their marriage and the two would divorce on Valentine’s Day in 1989. Tyson was an insanely jealous person as it pertained to Robin Givens. He later accused her of having an affair with Brad Pitt and apparently didn’t even like those she had dated before they ever met, which Michael Jordan would reportedly find out one night in a Chicago restaurant.
Tyson’s manager says Iron Mike confronted Jordan at a dinner in Chicago
In 2014, Mike Tyson’s longtime friend and manager, Rory Holloway, co-wrote a book entitled “Taming the Beast: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson”, which contained a number of crazy stories involving the former heavyweight champion of the world.
One such tale involved Holloway and Tyson attending a dinner at a Chicago restaurant with former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka, former Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent, Don King, and Michael Jordan. The dinner is said to have taken place not long after Tyson and Givens divorced and Iron Mike wasn’t handling things well. Holloway claims that Tyson was sitting across from Jordan drinking a Long Island Iced Tea and that he was trying to keep Tyson in check as things don’t go well when he’s drinking. But then it happened. Tyson knew that Jordan had dated Givens at one point and apparently let MJ have it. He even got into Ditka and Dent as well. This is how Holloway says things went down.
“I’m telling the server to water his drinks down ‘cause I see where this is going. Mike stares across the table at Michael Jordan. He says, ‘Hey man, you think I’m stupid? I know you f—-d with my b—h.’
“Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost. ‘I know you messed with her. You can tell me.’
“Jordan, it’s obvious he just wants to get up and run. He wants no part of this. Mike turns to Ditka. ‘Man, you think somebody scared of you, all that racist s–t you been talking?’ He says to Dent, ‘Y’all scared of this damn white man, Richard? He ain’t nobody. You gonna let him talk that way?’
“It was a circus, for real, that night. Don King trying to change the subject. Me and John trying to hold Mike down. Mike telling everyone he’s going to bust Jordan’s a–. Jordan’s dressed sharp as always and he can’t get out of there fast enough.”Rory Holloway on Mike Tyson confronting Michael Jordan
Wow, what a story. Can you just sit there and picture that scene? Mike Tyson screaming at Michael Jordan in front of Don King, Mike Ditka, and Richard Dent? It’s pure insanity. But that’s how a number of old-school Mike Tyson stories go.