- Michael Jordan never hid the fact that gambling was a huge part of his life
- However, reports indicate that he was in huge debts by 1993 when his father died
- He retired for two years after his father’s murder
Michael Jordan never hid the fact that gambling was a huge part of his life that he was unable to rise against for years.
His gambling habit left him in so much debt at some point when he was in the NBA and it reportedly led to his father’s murder, James R. Jordan in July 1993.
It was the same year that the Chicago Bulls legend took a two-year retirement from the NBA but not many people knew what was happening.
Well, Michael Franzese, a reformed American gangster said that this rumour of Jordan’s debts leading to his father’s death has considerable merit and credibility.
Franzese while speaking during an interview with VladTV in 2019 opened up on his time working with the NBA to educate players about the risks of gambling.
He then recalled hearing from a credible source that Jordan’s gambling addiction was to blame for his father’s death in 1993.
He added that the NBA, which was commissioned at the time by David Stern, did not want to deal with the unwanted press that the rumour generated.
Thus, the league asked Jordan to take a leave until the heat cooled down which is when he retired in 1993.
“He’s a big gambler. Michael gambles on everything. I don’t have first-hand knowledge of this, but being that I was working with the NBA at that time, I was told two things,” Franzese recalled.
He continued: “One that he was told to leave the NBA around the time that his father got murdered because stories were about to come out and there was a lot of heat on the fact that because of Michael’s gambling habit, his father paid the price. And the NBA didn’t want the press, so they asked him to leave for a while, and that’s when he went to play baseball.”
In a statement on his retirement in October 1993, Jordan revealed that he was opting out due to a lack of motivation. He said there was nothing left for him to fight for after leading the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive NBA championships from 1991 to 1993.
Jordan’s subsequent return to the NBA in 1996 was according to plan. The rumour on the cause of his father’s death had faded away and there was no more negative press about him.
The All-time NBA legend was first seen gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1993. It was just before the Chicago Bulls’ game versus the New York Knicks.
He previously acknowledged to losing $57,000 while gaming but never talked of the huge debts he incurred due to his addiction.
Jordan admitted to being a gambler twelve years later, after announcing his retirement. He also said that his gambling behaviour put his family in jeopardy which Franzese says means more to those with inner knowledge of what happened in 1993.
Over the years though, he turned his fortunes around to become the wealthiest NBA player in history with a net worth of $2.2 billion by 2021.