Every once in a while, a story or anecdote comes up about somebody that you know and you think to yourself, "Yup, that's so him/her". Larry Bird entering the locker room before the 3-Point Shootout and asking who's coming in second. Reggie Miller throwing up the choke sign to Spike Lee.
And then there's Michael Jordan. While we have no shortage of myths and legends about His Airness, let me tell you, it doesn't get any more Michael Jordan than this gambling story from hockey legend Jeremy Roenick.
As he tells it, after 36 holes of golf and drinking with MJ, Roenick emerged victorious, and was understandably feeling good. So he bet his winnings that Cleveland would beat Jordan's Bulls later that night, after he'd gotten MJ adequately hammered. Jordan did him one better, though, and said they'd win by 20 and he'd have at least 40. Needless to say, Roenick fell victim to Jordan's legendary competitiveness yet again.
For the sake of accuracy, it should be noted that in the game Roenick is most likely alluding to, MJ had 44 and the Bulls won 126-102 on March 28, 1992. That said, this really is quintessential Jordan. It captures all of his greatness and all of his flaws as an athlete in a story that takes place within the span of 24 hours.
In spite of spending the day drinking and golfing, the man showed up and dropped 44 in a win. Unlike James Harden, it seemed Jordan's vices never held him back enough to make a difference on the court.
Everybody knows that gambling was Jordan's main vice. But his vice stemmed from arguably his greatest strength: that he loved competition, and he hated to lose. Say what you will, but Jordan showed up for every game he possibly could during his playing career...even if he was slightly buzzed from a day of drinking and golfing.