How Michael Jordan’s Gambling Addiction Began With a Bet Against His Prom Date at High School and Won

Michael Jordan has made a name for himself and has long been established as one of the greats of the basketball game.

Other than his larger than life personality in the NBA, he is known for his avid inclination towards gambling.

In an interesting feat of going back in time, MJ has a long association with betting as early as during his younger years at High School. As per CBS Sports, Roland Lazenby’s book on the illustrious former Chicago Bulls star, Michael Jordan: The Life, MJ acknowledged that he got a bet paid off from his prom date as he won it.

Additionally, his $5 check that he signed off for a North Carolina student after losing against him in a pool table game, was one of the highly sought after evidence of his young age betting that was later auctioned, all thanks to the name and fame Jordan stands ever after.

Michael Jordan and his betting roots

When Michael Jordan had to testify over a $57,000 check

In February 1993, Michael Jordan had to testify about a $57,000 check he wrote to James “Slim” Bouler, who was involved in money laundering and conspiracy. Initially, Jordan told the government it was a business loan, but during his testimony, he admitted that it was actually a gambling debt accumulated from their golfing sessions.

Additionally, in May 1993, Jordan’s golfing partner Richard Esquinas claimed in his book that Jordan owed him $1.25 million from golf bets, but later settled for $300,000. The golfing often took place in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where gambling was illegal.

Jordan was never charged, but this added to the controversy surrounding his image, especially when he was spotted gambling in Atlantic City on the eve of an important basketball game. These events had a significant impact on Jordan’s reputation and even affected his performance on the court.

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