He was the billion dollar king of the court and Michael Jordan had it all a€“ the talent, the toys and the women who threw themselves at his feet.
Michael was always a godsend to Deloris, who viewed the boy as the happiness God sent her after a heartbreaking time in her life when she lost her mother.The marriage of Michaela€™s parents was fraught with violent battles with James allegedly delivering knockout punches at times.
While Michael was growing up in Wilmington, NC, the Ku Klux Klan was still dominant and North Carolina had more Klan members than the rest of the South combined.
In the fall of '78, at age 15, Michael went out for the varsity football team at Laney High School. Snub: Michael took offense to the star Magic Johnson when he learned that Lakers star had encouraged the team owner Jerry Buss to trade Michael's pal James Worthy. Golden: Michael sits with wife Juanita and his dad James after the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals.
The first Air Jordan was released in 1985 and drew an immediate ban from the NBA, that insisted players wear white shoes. Jordan accepted the bet and had a ten-day golfing spree where Jordan lost the $98,000 as well as an additional $626,000. When the teenage murderers learned they had killed Michael Jordana€™s father, they had tried to cover their tracks. But he was haunted by demons that stalked him most of his life.Now 50, the basketball genius never stopped seeking the approval of a dismissive father, the same father who was accused of sexually assaulting his sister and later was violently murdered. He was still too skinny, too short at 5'10",A  and had to settle for playing Junior Varsity.A  This setback was deeply disappointing and ignited an obsession to grow taller.
A friend of Michael's had drowned when they were out riding the waves togetherA  and the current caught the pal.
Any infraction would cost the player $5,000 each time he wore the colored shoes.Nike said, a€?F*** a€?em,a€™ Vaccaro recalled.
Go on in there with the womena€™, James Jordan once told his son, chasing him from the room.a€?Of the millions of sentences that James uttered to his youngest son, the fourth of five children, a€?this was the one that glowed neon-bright across the decadesa€™. Attempting to alleviate the boya€™s anxiety, his mother told him to put salt in his shoes and pray for a growth spurt. The boy's hand locked up on Michael as he was slipping away.a€?I almost had to break his hand.
As a kid in the late seventies, Michael played Little League baseball before he ever hit basketball courts.
So they prayed together daily, he prayed alone at the end of each day, in the morning and all during the day.
When he played ball now, he used anger and mental intimidation.Hea€™d say to other players, a€?Shoot it, you f******g midgeta€™ or a€?youa€™re not black enougha€™.


The backyard battles between him and his older brother, Larry, the favored son, set the pattern for his relentless drive and how he related to teammates throughout his whole career. Jordana€™s play, the ban and marketing sent sales through the roof earning Nike $150 million in Air Jordan sales over the first three years.At The All Star Weekend of 1985, draped in gold necklaces, the rookie Jordan was arrogant and standoffish and took offense at star players, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. By summer, he was six seven and joined the varsity team, the Buccaneers and made friends for the first time -- but he couldn't get a date.
When Jordan learned that Lakers star Magic Johnson had encouraged the team owner Jerry Buss to trade his old friend James Worthy, he publicly snubbed Magic and never forgave him.Michael believed that gamesa€™ established stars were against him when he played only 22 minutes and took just nine of the teama€™s 120 shots. In December 1991 James Slim Bouler, a convicted cocaine dealer, turned up with a $57,000 check Jordan had written to him.
The large baby she was carrying came suddenly and was delivered on a hospital gurney, struggling to breathe with his lungs filled with mucous.
Both claimed the money was a loan but Jordan would be served with a subpoena to testify against the dealer.The following February, bail bondsman, Eddie Dow, was murdered during a robbery at his home. By 1999, with his endorsements and investments, his wealth was estimated at as much as $500 million and he was described as the first billion dollar athlete.When he talked about retiring and leading a quiet existence as a regular dad, he tried but golf courses seduced him. He was also born with a nosebleed, a condition that caused him to have frequent nosebleeds until he was five-years-old.
Among the stolen monies were three checks totaling $108,000 written by Jordan.A  They were for gambling debts owed by Jordan to another man.
His customized Golfstream IV named Jump 23 -- 23 for his jersey number -- was always waiting to take him to virtual orgies of golfing and gambling. When Michael watched the ABC miniseries Roots in 1977, which depicted the inhumanity of the African American experience, he understood for the first time what his ancestors had endured.
Michael's success on the varsity basketball team attracted coaches from the University of North Carolina who were eager to sign the star shooter when he graduated. I may be a wino first, but I will not have a nine-to-five joba€™.Nike had been approached by a man named Sonny Vaccaro about making shoes for basketball teams and paying coaches to have their players wear Nikes.
He wanted to crawl into a hole.In DecemberA  1985 of his rookie year, he met Juanita Vanoy, a beautiful model who had grown up on the south side of Chicago and had been a former flame of one of his friends.
He had lost the money at golfing and gambling parties he had hosted at his Hilton Head Island residence.Other rumours plagued Michael. His eyes were now open to the painful racism his own family had lived through in the cauldron of racial hatred in the South.
The team's away games became an addiction for his parents who traveled to every game but they could hardly afford it.
When Vaccaro first saw Jordan, he was the best player he had ever seen and he suggested Nike create a whole product line around Michael a€“ Air Jordan.At 21, Michael didna€™t care about the shoe business and wanted to wear Adidas.


She was classy, intelligent and Jordan was immediately attracted to her but his parents weren't, and appeared to be jealous of her stealing Michael's attentions.
One, claims Lazenby,A  was that he had a€?wagered large sums with teammates over which Hollywood starlets he would bed during the teama€™s West Coast road swingsa€™. It was over in December 2006 but not before the couple had two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James and a daughter, Jasmine.The divorce cost Jordan $150 million. James wanted Michael contribute to the family expenses so he got him a job as a hotel maintenance man, cleaning pools, sweeping, changing air-conditioning filters a€“ for $3.10 an hour. Vaccaro said theya€™d throw a car into the deal and pay him $2.5 million over five years with a 25 percent royalty on each shoe sold.
Two years later, New Yeara€™s Eve, 1987, Michael proposed to Juanita and before tying the know, they bought a house in Chicago and began planning a life together.
In this same year, 2006, a Cook County judge in Chicago, ruled that Jordan did not owe his former lover Karla Knafel the $5 million dollars she was claiming he had promised her if she kept their relationship a secret. It was unprecedented, given Jordan was headed for the Bulls, a team poorly managed and under the shadow of its hard partying culture of the a€?70s. Their first child would be a year old before he married Juanita in 1989 in a quickie wedding in Las Vegas's Little White Wedding Chapel between golfing and gambling outings. He hadna€™t played a minute of pro ball when he was offered this pot of gold.Jordan viewed the red and black of the new shoe as a€?the devila€™s colora€™ and had to be convinced by his mother to accept the deal. In 2011, he proposed to Yvette Prieto, a Cuban-American model he met two years earlier and they married in April 2013. He continued being secretive about his weekends of gambling, golf and card games.In the summer of 1990, he began playing high stakes golf matches with Richard Esquinas, part owner of the San Diego Sports Arena. Esquinas lost $98,000 to Jordan in one day and wanted a double-or-nothing bet to try and win it back. The coroner collected the jawbones and hands from the unidentified corpse and order a cremation of the remains. She lectured to him over and over thatA  a€?it would be easy to hate people for the rest of your lifea€¦ youa€™ve got to deal with whata€™s happening now and try to make things bettera€™.




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