Part of the allure of “The Last Dance” is the chance to see and hear Michael Jordan, who has largely stayed out of the spotlight in retirement.
But it’s not for a lack of opportunities, some of which offered huge paydays. Jordan once turned down a two-hour, $100 million appearance, according to his former agent.
“I brought him a deal three years ago for $100 million. All he had to do was, other than giving his name and likeness, make a one two-hour appearance to announce the deal and he turned it down,” David Falk said Wednesday morning on WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio.”
“God Bless him. He’s been so successful, it gives him an opportunity to do whatever the hell he wants or not to do things he doesn’t want. I really admire that. He’s very, very selective in the things he wants to be involved in.”
Jordan’s current net worth is $2.1 billion, according to Forbes.
Falk, who was also Boomer Esiason’s former agent, said he never wanted to do one-off appearances for Jordan, only long-term marketing deals. Jordan, who is now the principal owner of the Hornets, landed his biggest deals with Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Gatorade.
The turned-down money — on another occasion, Jordan passed up $7 million to play in a one-day golf tournament in Asia, Falk said — was part of a larger point that Falk was trying to make about Jordan’s well-known gambling habits.
Many have wondered whether Jordan’s 18-month retirement in 1993 was actually a secret suspension for gambling, but Falk said the ESPN documentary gets into it and backs up Jordan’s denial.
“[Former NBA commissioner David] Stern comes on and basically says it’s complete hogwash that he suspended Michael for 18 months when he retired,” Falk said. “At the end of the day, Michael was almost teflon. There’s very few things people criticized him for. The gambling thing was it. He loves to gamble. He’s an extremely competitive guy. If he loses $150,000 playing golf, big freaking deal. If I told him tomorrow, ‘Hey, I’ve got an appearance for you for five minutes for $150,000,’ he’d laugh at me. If it was $1,500,000, he wouldn’t do it.
“So yes, he lost money in gambling and it sort of had a little bit of a black eye for five minutes. He apologized and the thing went away. But any of these Oliver Stone conspiracy theories that somehow it pushed him out of basketball were ridiculous.”
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