The 1980s were widely notorious for the celebrities’ rampant partying on any given day. The times were filled with alcohol, drugs, and everything you can imagine – allegedly, at least. It would’ve been mindblowing to be a fly on the wall in those parties, and we can only imagine how much insight we would’ve all had if social media was present back in the day.
If you’re a huge sports fan, though, having an inside scoop about a party that had a young Michael Jordan and Mike Tyson in attendance would trump any info on any other party, especially if it’s for that one particular night in 1988.
According to Tyson’s former manager, Rory Holloway, who recently released an in-depth book about his ex-client’s legendary boxing career, Jordan just barely escaped getting pummelled by Tyson:
In the tell-all, he wrote that while at a birthday dinner for then-Chicago Bears star defensive lineman Richard Dent, ‘Iron Mike’ confronted Jordan about a prior involvement with Robin Givens – Tyson’s then-wife.
“Mike Tyson’s sitting there with his drink of choice, a Long Island Tea, and when he drinks his real feelings come out … Mike stares across the table at Michael Jordan. He says, ‘Hey man, you think I’m stupid? I know you f***** with my b****.’ Jordan looks like he just seen a ghost. ‘I know you messed with her,’ Mike says. ‘You can tell me.’”
Jordan’s tough, and we won’t see him back out against anyone if he’s on the court, but that particular situation is quite different: he’s looking at an undefeated heavyweight boxing champion that couldn’t wait to blast him in the face.
“It’s obvious [that Jordan] just wants to get up and run. He wants no part of this … It was a circus, for real, that night … Mike telling everyone he’s going to bust Jordan’s ass. Jordan’s dressed sharp as always and he can’t get out of there fast enough.”
Dent, then-Bears coach Mike Ditka, and boxing promoter Don King were also able to barricade around Tyson before he even got real close.
Can you imagine if Tyson was able to get his hands on Jordan? Both of their careers would’ve been altered immensely, and the boxing and basketball world would be totally different today.
Basing it on Dent’s known birthday, the incident most probably took place in December of ‘88. Jordan was only 25 at that time, a freshly minted superstar that’s just months removed from winning his first Most Valuable Player award, and still looking for his first championship. Tyson, meanwhile, was a 22-year-old phenom who was in the middle of a rampaging reign as the champion.
It would be awesome to hear more sides about this story, but Jordan has never talked about it and would always decline any discussion on the matter, so let’s not expect it to get tackled on any of the remaining episodes of ‘The Last Dance.’